I’m not crazy about saying no. When I think about saying no to a client it makes me feel that I’m rejecting them and of course THEN I feel they will reject me if I say no. That’s how I feel but the truth is a lot deeper than that.
Never saying no means I will jump whenever asked. Doesn’t matter what I’m doing, where I am, or how stressed I might be at the time; when a client says JUMP, I do it. I recognize that this is actually unhealthy behavior not only for myself, but for my clients as well.
I have a clause in my contract that says, “a lack of planning on your part does not equate to an emergency on my part”. Still, I don’t like my clients to feel unsupported. Whenever I hear a cry for help, I drop everything, run to the closet and grab my superhero cape and fly to the rescue.
What happens when we rush off and jump to every request to do so? We fail ourselves because we are not being KIND to ourselves. We don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to prioritize. It IS possible to say, ‘no’ or at least, ‘not right now’. I have gotten to the point that I can tell them not right now if I can’t jump and rescue them but that I WILL get to it. I find they appreciate the honesty and let’s face it – I appreciate my own honesty because I am not setting myself up for more anxiety and stress.
Infusing a sense of urgency in our day-to-day tasks and requests can actually be counter-productive. We loose efficiency and accuracy and the end-product is typically less than what it would be had we had adequate time.
Take marketing, for example. We market for our clients in real estate and although they each want it to hit marketing forums immediately, the reality is that it takes a bit of time to make sure all the information is accurate. Our marketing team will typically post real estate ads for our clients in a myriad of places online. It is not a simple cut-and-paste job, either, because each site is unique and slightly different. They each have their own rules and process. Our team typically has to slightly recreate each marketing piece up to 45 times! So when we are pushed to get it out “yesterday”, the work for 45 different posts still has to take place.
My marketing director puts it this way: “Do you want it done or do you want it done right so it produces results? Your choice.” I LOVE that.
I can jump whenever anyone requests me to do so but if the task needs to be done well, professionally, efficiently, and accurately – a bit more time isn’t going to end the world.
You know who is the worst at requesting our superhero personas? WE ARE. We are typically the ones who demand of ourselves to put on that cape and prove to the world that we are faster than a speeding bullet. Stop doing that. No one deserves to be treated like a fast food drive-through. Order it, then wait for perfection. Or order it and run the risk of getting the wrong meal, cold fries, and no drink.
And put that superhero cape away.