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How to say no without the guilt | Communication Skills for Entrepreneurs

by Ashlee Tate
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How to say no without the guilt | Communication Skills for Entrepreneurs

Saying No can be so tough

Once I learned the art of saying No without the feeling of selfishness, I felt so free and in control. So for today’s tip Tuesday video I want to share some of the key phrases that empowered me to say no with a little extra care depending on the situation so let’s start unleashing those no’s so we can lead our best lives and business–let’s go!

This isn’t to say that you;ll never have to do things you don’t want to but they should be things that are important to you or necessary. LIke we can’t say no to cooking dinner for our families right?!

I wish.

Shift Your Mindset

Now, Before we can even get to the phrases you must first shift your mindset from disappointing someone to saying yes to yourself and the priorities of your life first.

When you know exactly what values are key to you, decisions are no longer difficult. You likely already do this on a daily basis especially if you have children.

Your mindset shift will include things like: 

Setting boundaries

Understanding your priorities and what’s most important to you

Self care, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually

Don’t commit and disappoint or commit and don’t follow through

YES all of these things should be taken into account when you are making even the simplest decisions.

I’ve said yes to so many things that have taken up so much mental and emotional peace that the end result just wasn’t worth it.

NO has helped me never have that happen again!

Hard No’s are a MUST

These can’t be soft No’s these have to be hard (no follow up questions NO’s)

So if this sounds like a change you’d like to work up to, here are five ways you can say a Hard NO and still preserve those personal and business relationships

If you have to choose between an amazing business opportunity that will take you away from your child for months at a time, you’d have to weigh the trade offs you’d be making right? It’s a no brainer that your family would likely win this battle.

Here’s what you don’t want to do!

  • Do NOT lie so you can let them down easy
  • Do NOT explain yourself or provide an explanation by talking all over yourself
You want to be completely honest but you do not ever need to explain

Now for the 5 Phrases

Now this first one is a beginner No
  • Let me think about it
  • I can’t do that but what I can do is this
Want something a little less wishy washy
  • Unfortunately, I can’t fit that into my schedule right now (this better be true) but I’m honored that you considered me, thought of me, asked me….
  • Thank you for thinking of me, but I can’t
The hardest No
  • No
  • No thank you
  • Unfortunately I can’t
  • Niet
  • Nine

If all else fails

If all else fails and you just can’t work up the courage to be a direct NO start by asking yourself this simple question, then find the best NO of these 5 ‘closed door’ no phrases to use.


Ask yourself if what you are being asked aligns with your life or your mission and vision of your life.

If it doesn’t, the NO should come easily and naturally.

I hope this helps free you from the idea of disappointing others or letting someone down but you only have one life and if these things don’t align you’re living it for someone else.

Unleash YOU,

xo Ashlee

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