How to Say No to Money

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When you are working with a not so perfect customer, you drag yourself to call this person. He asks you to do one thing. You finish it, and then he would ask for more. It seems like a never ending journey. It seems you can never make this person happy. You don’t feel good when you are around the not so perfect customer.

This happened to me the other day… (I co-founded a website/community building company). We found a great prospect. He seemed very excited to work with us. We submitted a proposal based on what he asked us for. He seemed happy but immediately asked for a few additional things. One request led to another. A week passed by… then he asked for something else that was not what our company did. So I said no. Then he gave me a long lecture on why my company needs to do exactly what he wanted.

I thought to myself… life is too short for this. Isn’t this the reason why I am no longer in corporate? I don’t like taking orders and I am here to do what I absolutely love.

So I fired him… YES! I did. Very gracefully of course. But you just know when you about to get into something that doesn’t feel right for you.

I reflected on this experience and realized that sometimes you just have to say no to money if it is the wrong kind of money.

Here are my lessons learned:

Know What You Want & Don’t Want
Here are a few questions you must answer for yourself:
- What do you love the most about your job/work?
- Who is your perfect customer?
- What are his or her characteristics?
- Can you do more of what you love when you are working with this perfect person?
- Also, what do you hate the most about your job/work?
Use these answers to help you spot the perfect customer, find more opportunities to do more of what you love doing and do less of what you don’t like.

Know When to Walk Away
If you are not sure what you do want, you will get pushed around to do a lot more of what you don’t want. Everyone loves to tell you what to do with your life and work. You need to know when it is time to “walk away”. In my case, I knew those certain “moments” that signal me it is time to go. How about you? Would you know when it’s your moment?

Trust Your Gut
When things don’t feel right for you, listen to your inner wisdom. Remind yourself what you love and don’t love again. Pay attention to yourself. Trust your gut. You are probably right.

Just Say It
When you realize it’s time to walk away, you need to let this person know. Leave this person gracefully by saying …
- I would love the opportunity to work with you, but I am swamped right now…Mr. X is great and I know he can absolutely help you.
- I want you to have the best support and experience. Here are a few people I know can absolutely help you…
Just because you and this customer don’t work out, doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t work with this person. Try to give referral if you can. Offer help, just not your help.

Help Them Save Face
A client relationship is like dating. It’s really no one’s fault when things are not working out. Don’t make your customer feel bad. Help them save face. Always stay positive. Keep it professional. Everyone can find the perfect customers & vendors.

To recap, here are my 5 little secrets on saying no to money:

  • Know What You Want and Don’t Want
  • Know When To Walk Away
  • Trust Your Gut
  • Just Say It
  • Help Them Save Face

Think About This
This theory might also work for your other relationship too…

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6 Responses to “How to Say No to Money”

  1. Ria Ludy on 11 Feb 2008 at 9:05 pm


    You are right when working for yourself you are creating a Freedom Business System and that means you actually get to control who you work with and only work with clients that fit your work style.

  2. Lorie Marrero on 13 Feb 2008 at 10:33 am

    Amen, sista! Fantastic post. We have all needed this advice at one time or another, in both business and personal matters. It’s so important to have clarity about what you DO want so you’ll know it when you see it.
    - Lorie

  3. on 17 Feb 2008 at 3:38 am

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  4. on 18 Feb 2008 at 6:46 am

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  6. on 29 Feb 2008 at 3:39 am

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