Thursday, July 8, 2010

Maybe "No" Should Be Your Default Word

If I'd listened to customers,
I'd have given them a faster horse.
-Henry Ford

It's so easy to say yes. Yes to another feature, yes to an overly optimistic deadline, yes to a mediocre design. Soon, the stack of things you've said yes to grows so tall you can't even see the things you should really be doing.

In "Rework" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson (founders of 37signals), the authors encourage us to get into the habit of saying no - even to many of your best ideas. The power of no can help keep your priorities straight. You rarely regret saying no. But you often wind up regretting saying yes.

People avoid saying no because confrontation makes them uncomfortable. But the alternative is even worse. You drag things out, make things complicated, and work on ideas you don't believe in.

What about it? Can you say "no" today?

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