Angela Court
Angela Court, Capalancora Consulting

What is the most common business coaching question I am asked? How to say no.

Sometimes entrepreneurs that I am coaching ask me how to say no. They don’t always ask it so direct and concisely. But they ask me that when they ask me “how do I tell a person who wants to do business with me that I think…” Next, they share their reason, and barriers to saying no, and usually their fears of the consequences of saying no.

What do I tell them? I tell them that it’s their job to say yes, no, maybe, yes but only if… and other of the infinite options they can chose from – whatever works best for them and their business.

It is not much different from personal life. You need to decide what the life you want to live looks like, then surround yourself with friends who can hear you say no, so that you keep going down the path that you chose, the path that works for you – that is healthy for you.

It is critical to say no to what isn't right for your company.

It is critical to say no to what isn’t right for your company.

I remind my entrepreneur clients that they don’t need to feel guilt for being direct about who they are, what they want, what they do – and equally as important – what they don’t do.  If the person who wants a business relationship is disappointed, that’s theirs to deal with. And my clients don’t need to take that on. It’s not their job to.

So go ahead, entrepreneurs, chose your path. Know yourself. Be fearless in being you, and your company will be focused and not bending into bad business decisions and directions that aren’t suited for it.

So, say no when you feel like it. You won’t regret it.

This post originally appeared on Capalancora’s Blog on July 24th, 2014. 

Angela Court earned her BA at the Royal Military College of Canada, where she graduated with distinction, with a major of business administration and a minor of psychology and honed skills of leadership and bilingualism. She worked as a planner at the 1 Canadian Air Force Headquarters before moving to fill a position as public affairs officer. Next, she served in progressively senior communications advisor roles with the provincial government, first at their economic development agency, then the department of finance, energy and municipal affairs. She was also member of the 2011 Royal Visit Committee. After advising a local not-for-profit, and receiving an excellent job offer from another in Nova Scotia, she knew her unique combination of skills and experience was a huge asset when helping this sector communicate with government, stakeholders and the public. Next, her entrepreneur friends added Angela to speed dial for business crisis advice, and inviting her for lunch for her outside perspective on business analysis and for public affairs advice. In 2013, Angela made the jump into entrepreneurship. She spent some time doing careful analysis and planning, and incoproated Capalancora Consulting Ltd. Capalancora focuses on the not-for-profit and small-to-medium sized enterprises in the Charlottetown, Halifax, and Ottawa regions. Like us on