Say NO, so you can say YES to what you want!

We’ve all been there: saying “Yes” to projects that kept coming our way. We could never say NO, even when we’re snowed under.

If you are overcommitted you’ll lose sight of your creativity, time and energy. You are stressing how to get all the work done on time. So how do you say ‘No’ so you can say ‘Yes’? I’ve been doing it for a while as my coaching business is my main focus.

I recall the times I said ‘Yes’ to projects and ended up working 9-5, seven days a week, and then 5-9 on my coaching in the evenings. Crazy. But this was because I did not have the heart, or didn’t know how to say ‘No’.

So, what do you do?

Although it was hard, I took the courage to say ‘No’ to focus on what makes me happy: coaching creative businesses and working with creative people. This post empowers you to say ‘No’ in order for you to stay positive.

Reasons for saying ‘No’

You’re already committed to other projects and if you spread yourself too thin, your quality of work will suffer. Personal or business, too much on is too much.

You want to have more time to focus on your art and design business. Just because you have always taken on lots in the past, it doesn’t mean you have to continue this way. Sometimes, we forget the stresses we went through to meet a deadline. Do you really want to go through that again or would you rather work on your art?

Reduce your stress as the real damage is to your creativity. Stress blocks what you love doing: creation. When you say ‘no’ someone else can take the strain, gives you room to focus on your passions and the tasks important to you.


Consider whether you will decline or accept an offer. Work the pros and cons. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do.

Plan what you say

Be firm and honest. Say “I can’t take this work at the moment.” Your answer should be clear and decisive. If you come across unsure people may doubt you, especially family as they will persist. Keep saying no, they’ll get the message.

Think before you say ‘Yes’. Be deliberate in how you spend your time and energy. You’ll be amazed at how much more you will accomplish. Saying ‘No’ means honouring your passion and creativity.

Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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