Self-Awareness for the Emerging Entrepreneur

 Part 1 Refining the Art of Saying Yes or No


Editor’s note: This is the first installment of an eight part series entitled “Self-Awareness for the Emerging Entrepreneur”.

This series will share tips and strategies to keep you connected to your best “You” through the ups and downs of entrepreneur life. It’s a blend of my leadership experience, life coaching and motivational knowledge to keep you feeling good, making sound decisions and overall position you as the Brilliant leader you can potentially be.

I once worked with a client who was the absolute sweetest guy. He was known in his circles as the guy who people could ask anything of  because he wanted to help. He was also sometimes known as the guy who wouldn’t follow through. Always committed being the “nice guy” he would often say yes to favors asked without fully thinking through the impact of his decisions.

On multiple occasions this client said yes to favors resulting in being over-committed, over-whelmed and not able to follow through on what he promised. This  left people angry and on the verge of losing their trust. As an entrepreneur you’re aware time and energy are precious and need to make decisions with success in mind.

Most importantly you have to trust your intuition to guide you to do what is right for you. If any place in life will teach you how powerful saying no can be, it’s in the world of entrepreneurship. Especially handy for those who have trouble saying no to others, I share here some questions to ask yourself when considering making a commitment to something:


  • “Do I WANT to do this?” It’s Amazing how often the small, basic things can make a difference if we just listen to them. First and foremost, do you want to do it? Be careful now, this question didn’t ask if you feel you “should” do it. The question is, in your heart, is this something that you want to do? Are you honoring what you want?
  • Am I the right person for the job? Do I have the skills/traits/resources necessary to get the request fulfilled correctly? You want to answer this one truthfully, and not from a place of ego. We all have our areas of strengths. Is what is being asked of you playing to your strengths, or is there someone else who may be suited to handle that instead?
  • Do I have the time and energy to fully commit to carrying out the task? If you’re an entrepreneur you likely have tons of things going on and already extending yourself in multiple directions. If your heart is there and you have the time and energy, then this is an Excellent opportunity to fill your positive karma box. But if not, it is perfectly okay to say so.
  • If none of the above are true and you still find yourself saying yes, what is driving that yes? Sometimes our needs to feel helpful or validated drive us to a yes to that to which we really want to say no. Sometimes it’s a lack of time management. Sometimes folks don’t have the language to say “I think the world of you but this is not something I can commit to doing right now.” Whatever the case is for you, pinpointing it is the first step in making the choice to continue the pattern or changing it.


Liz Garcia
Liz is a Speaker, Life Coach and Leadership Trainer with Stay Limitless, which she founded in 2011. Liz has been coaching and developing leaders for over 12 years, 10 of those working in the educational non-profit arena. She has guided and overseen the development of over 1,000 leaders. Liz recently served as a Group Facilitator for the Latina Global Executive Leadership Program founded by negotiation expert Dr. Yasmin Davidds and run in partnership with the USC Marshall School of Business. Liz is a former member of the Boards of Directors for the California Latino Caucus Institute’s Madrinas Padrinos Leadership Program and the National Latina Business Women Association – LA Chapter. Liz has a Bachelors in Sociology from San Jose State University and a Masters in Education from Harvard University. You can find more about Liz and sign up for her free newsletter.

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