It’s really OK to say no.
We wrote in our book that as you put yourself out there in the world you will likely become the target for interested parties that aren’t a fit. These are people who have an interest in what you’re doing and perhaps would like to “brainstorm” some ideas with you.
We suggest that you set the expectations of how you work by requesting a brief summary of their project or business idea. There is no shame in being honest about the fact that you are focused on x and this is the best way to engage with you at this time.
Life Examined host Jonathan Bastian talked with Vanessa Patrick, professor of marketing and lead faculty for the Bauer Executive Women in Leadership Program at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. Patrick has spent years researching “empowered refusal,” the practice of knowing yourself and empowering your voice. She explains why saying “no” is so difficult, but why learning the language of refusal can have a huge benefit towards living a more fulfilling life.
Most of us live busy lives. Between emails, texts, work, family, and friends, it’s easy to get bombarded by obligations and invitations. It’s also easy to have the tendency to say “yes,” even when we can’t or shouldn’t. Refusing a request or simply saying “no” can inspire feelings of guilt and worry about appearing unkind, uncooperative, lazy, or not a team player. Is there a way to turn things down in a socially acceptable way? Might there be an art to refusal?
Photo from KCRW/Shutterstock
We Hire Old People
A 60-ish software developer caused a stir after being bypassed for jobs again and again. The final straw was a brush with Facebook’s legendary attitude about age. His response was to start his own company and explicitly called out that he was “Hiring Old People.” The ad sparked quite a conversation about ageism, specifically in tech.
After posting about the experience in Hacker News he received over 300 comments. You may find some common themes.
Hat Tip to Startup Decoder