It’s OK to Say “NO”

By John Haney, Professional EOS Implementer

In collaboration with Ellie Cramer, Executive Assistant

The world around us is screaming, “Bigger is better!” “Go big, or go home!” “The more the merrier!” “Say ‘Yes’ to everything!” But is this really the best approach to building a solid business? While in some cases statements like these may ring true–I’m all about getting my money’s worth for something I’m investing in! Many times in my past experiences, I’ve found most entrepreneurs are focused on quantity rather than quality when establishing their clientele.

Numbers, in and of themselves, are not the problem. What is problematic is that numbers, especially large ones, are perceived from a business perspective as an indicator of success. We all want to reach goals and hit quotas but I want to pause a moment to ask an important question: Is it really a success for my business to hit numbers if there isn’t value and quality behind them? Are the numbers I am reporting an indicator of the standard of business I conduct? Do my numbers really signify something substantial; or at the end of the day, are they just numbers?

These tough questions need to be answered if we, as entrepreneurs, are going to operate in such a way that exemplifies our core values and reflects our organization’s core focus. As an EOS® Implementer, everything I do stems from the EOS® core values. I am humbly confident; driven to success for myself and my clients. I do what I say and strive to do the right thing. I want to help others be the best they can be. So my business standards and personal operating procedures should reflect those. Bringing on a new client is beneficial; however, we should never have to compromise our personal core values in the process. Everything I do as an entrepreneur reflects my business persona. Sure, money in my pocket is a great incentive but how much is it truly going to cost in the long run to work with someone who isn’t aligned with what I (and my organization) stand for?



When leaders spend time in ventures that don’t align with their purpose, there is much more at stake than numbers. Your target market needs to reflect your business’ bullseye, so to speak. When you aren’t aiming at the target, you’re bound to miss the mark! That’s exactly what happens when we take on a number for number’s sake. When value is placed on the “profit” instead of quality and market standard, the loss will come in other ways. What will we profit if we forfeit our integrity as a business? If we associate ourselves with people who don’t stand on our same operating principles we are going to fall short of living out the business standard we personify. I’m afraid that’s a loss that far outweighs the profit.

So, it’s OK to say “No.” It may feel like it’s costing you but in reality you are gaining credibility and sustainability. I’ll ask again: Is it really a success for my business to hit numbers if there isn’t value and quality behind them? 


What do you think?

Tell us what you know

about the power of NO.

The Entrepreneurial Operating System®–EOS® provides simple, practical tools that propel company growth, accountability and health to new heights. Elevating companies for nearly 2 decades, EOS® demonstrates their core values: humbly confident, grow or die, do what we say, do the right thing, and help first in a process guaranteed to produce value and results. John Haney, Professional EOS® Implementer, entrepreneur and former Air Force F-15 fighter pilot, brings structure, accountability and discipline to companies with a passion to improve their business and free them up on a personal level to live their best lives and soar! Find out more at

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