The power of the 80/20 Rule

There’s a lot of power in the word no. In fact, sometimes saying no can be the best thing for your business. When you’re starting a new business, it can be challenging to say no to new opportunities that come your way. You may feel like you need to take on every project that comes your way to prove yourself and grow your business. However, this is only sometimes the case. Saying no can help you focus on your core business goals and improve your bottom line.

Saying “No” Helps You Focus on What’s Important

You’re probably familiar with the 80/20 rule, otherwise known as the Pareto principle. This principle states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. In other words, most of your successes will come from a small minority of your actions. The key is to identify which actions those are and focus your efforts on those. By saying “no” to opportunities that aren’t aligned with your goals, you can focus your time and energy on the things that WILL help you achieve success. 

You cannot say YES to what matters until you’ve said NO to what doesn’t matter.

Saying “No” Means You Can Say “Yes” to Better Opportunities

We’ve all been there before: someone asks us to do something, and even though we’re already stretched thin, we say yes. After all, saying no might mean missing out on a good opportunity. However, we often fail to realize that by saying yes to everything, we’re actually doing ourselves a disservice. Spreading ourselves too thin decreases the quality of our work, and it also means that we’re less likely to have the time and energy for the things that will really help our business succeed. Learning to say no is not easy, but it’s an essential skill if you want to create a successful business. By being selective about the projects we take on, we can ensure that we’re able to give each one the attention it deserves. And as a result, we’ll be better positioned to create something significant and impactful.

The Canadian Tip: Use the Weighted Decision Matrix to help you prioritize

Saying no sets boundaries and keeps expectations in check

Saying no can be hard, especially when you’re asked to do something work-related. However, it’s essential to set boundaries and only say yes to things you’re comfortable with. If you’re always saying yes, people will begin to take advantage of you and your willingness to accommodate them. Setting boundaries and saying no when necessary will keep expectations in check and prevent people from taking advantage of you. It may be difficult at first, but learning to say no is an important skill that will benefit you in the long run.


The next time someone asks you for something outside your scope or expertise, don’t be afraid to say no. It might feel difficult at first, but it’s important to remember that saying no is not an insult – it’s simply good business practice. Besides, who knows? The person asking might respect you more for it in the end.

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