Trying to please everyone is downright dangerous.

Impossible in fact.

If you want to succeed in business you cannot afford to be a people pleaser.

Experience has shown me that being a people pleaser isn’t beneficial to my life or business.

It means I base my value on other people’s perceptions of me.

I used to say “Yes” when I should have yelled “No” …  and run in the other direction!

Over the years I have learned to make better choices and better decisions.

Let me explain.

When I first started out in business in my early 20’s I was not as selective as I am today.

I’d pretty much bring on board anyone who was willing to work with me.

And I prided myself in providing each and everyone of them with a high level of attention in order to produce the results they wanted.

It was definitely worth the effort with those clients who valued my input and paid my fees without question.

However, the problem with being a people-pleaser is that sometimes you get taken advantage of.

You get a client who sees how badly you wish to please them and, well, they let you.

In the beginning all of my clients were easy to deal with, but as time went by my willingness to exceed their expectations had trained some of them to squeeze as much work out of me as possible.

At no extra cost.

And they wanted it yesterday!

I ran myself ragged trying to keep up with their demands.

Eventually it came to a point where it was actually impossible to meet their expectations and it got very ugly, fast.

Their reaction to saying “No” after having been a Yes Woman for so long was much worse than if I’d set the proper expectations from the start.


How do you combat the negative side effects of people-pleasing?


In the service-based industry your success is based on producing quality work in a timely manner.

By all means bend over backwards to exceed the expectations of clients who pay you what such work deserves.

You want to foster positive relationships, and work on growing them.

But when you come across impossible clients you have to learn to recognise those bloodsuckers and repel them from your business.

No one wants to be a servant or lose money on projects.


Know when to say “No”


Make sure you set boundaries and expectations with every client you bring into your business.

Whether at the screening stage or even in the middle of a project you need to learn to say “No”.

A simple “No” is the perfect solution to impossible clients.

If they ask for something beyond the scope of the project and you don’t think it is feasible, you have to say “No”.

Regardless of what all the motivation quotes may tell you, “No” is the most important word in business.

And yes, it is possible to be generous without being a doormat.

Your time is your most precious, non-renewable resource.

You need to learn to spend it wisely.