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Amazing Things Will Happen: A Real-World Guide on Achieving Success and Happiness by C.C. Chapman

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Chapter 23

Learning to Say No

With only two letters, you’d think it would be one of the easiest words in the world to say, but the truth is, when opportunities start knocking, it can be one of the hardest. We’ve already discussed why you shouldn’t be saying, “I can’t,” all the time, but that doesn’t mean you say yes to everything either.

Once you achieve a certain level of success and are known by more than the people inside your house or cubicle, people will begin to approach you for help. This may come in the form of them wanting to buy you lunch, asking for a quick call, or the always fun picking of your brain. In the office, it sometimes gets masked with invites to committee meetings, closed-door conversations, or offers to buy you coffee.

The type of things you might have to say no to will, of course, depend on what line of work you are in. Perhaps you are always getting asked for free business advice, to look at business plans, or to give your opinion on a variety of topics. It is flattering every time because it means that people respect your thoughts, but it is also taking time away from the other tasks you should be focusing on.

You must learn to set boundaries and expectations.

No matter what your field of expertise, once you start living the life you want to live and doing the sort of work you’ve always dreamed about, people will come to you expecting a yes for an answer as the default.

When someone comes to you looking for a favor, ask yourself if you have the time. ...

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