If you’re like me, people pleasing is your jam. You put others first, do everything you can to be helpful + thrive on making others happy. And it’s a great trait, until you start to burn out because no one is taking care of you like you are taking care of everyone else.
Eventually I learned that saying “yes” to every single project was going to cause some serious problems for me + my business, yet I still struggled to tell those reaching out that I wouldn’t be taking on their project.
Until someone helped me rephrase the concept of saying no.
Instead of saying no + not being of service, me saying no freed the contact up to find someone better suited for their needs / budget / timeline / etc.
This not only cleared up my guilty feelings of turning away people needing help, but it allowed me to be of service in a completely different (and faster) way — by providing referrals.
I keep an Evernote note with names, websites + emails for folks that I come across with skills that are different than mine — and a few that provide similar services too. When I’m sending out “no thank you” emails to leads, I happily include a couple of options with reasons why I’m recommending them. The contact has next steps to continue on their journey + I can focus on the projects that are a good fit. That’s a win-win.