N is for NoWhen I was starting out on my storytelling career, I would say "Yes" to just about every request for my services. The only time I refused was when I was too ill or I'd already made other plans. I was so eager to please and get my business off the ground. I wanted to be a well-liked storyteller.
Now don't get me wrong. Saying "Yes" to a lot of things can be wonderfully liberating and I owe a lot of my story-filled life to responding in the affirmative. "Yes!" to life, I say.
But . . . there are times when you have to say "No".
Eventually (and it didn't take too long) I learned to say "No". And, eventually, I could say "No" without feeling guilty. There are plenty of storytellers and entertainers who love doing kids' parties. But I'm not one of them.
It was an important lesson. The ability to say "No" to what you don't want to or can't do is crucial to your sanity and your longevity in the business. Don't do work you know you don't want to do. Let someone else do it.
If you have trouble saying "No", start imagining your ideal clients and start attracting them. If people get the idea that you'll work for anyone and everyone, you'll have no control over what comes your way. Don't let your insecurity sabotage you. People will respect your ability to say "No" and you'll save yourself and them a lot of heartache and disappointment in the long run.
So, next time someone calls you and excitedly requests your service, ask yourself, "Is this really the work I want? is this the client I want to work with?" If it is, say "Yes"; but if you know in your heart of hearts that it isn't, just say "No" (in a polite way of course).