10 Ways Startups Can Say No

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Nice quote from Warren Buffet from John from Beacon Maker.

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.”

More startups die from doing too much than from lack of opportunity.


Think about this when;

  1. You’re thinking about new features. Either remove another feature or SAY NO.
  2. You’re thinking about new customers/markets. Either stop focusing on your current customers/markets or SAY NO.
  3. When someone asks you to be white label. Either say yes and only be a white label, or SAY NO.
  4. When a deal looks like ‘once in a lifetime’. Either sell them the same way you sell to everyone else, without derailing your roadmap, and without changing your focus, or SAY NO.
  5. When an investor says that you should change your focus to something you don’t know about or care about. Think very very carefully and even then probably SAY NO.
  6. When a customer says they will pay you for a feature you don’t think all customers need. SAY NO, or at least “not right now”.
  7. When a new platform comes out and people ask you to support it. Unless your existing platform is not nailed completely, SAY NO.
  8. When you get invited to more than two events per week, SAY NO.
  9. When you have more than 3 cups of coffee with ‘interesting people’, SAY NO.
  10. When you get tempted to set up a process which will help you when you are huge, SAY NO.

Honestly, I find this really hard. There is always so much happening, always good people to meet with, always new products to try. I always remember Stephen Covey’s quote of “Every time you say yes to something that is not important to you, you are saying no to something that is.”

I encourage you to say no more. Try it now. Shut down your browser (after sharing this post) and focus on some work.).

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