The power of no

The Power Of ‘No’: Why I Rejected 3 New Clients Last Week…


I’ve been my own boss for some years now and to be honest, I’d never go back to working for someone else. That doesn’t mean the last few years have been easy, they certainly haven’t. I’ve made every mistake under the sun.

  • I’ve taken on clients that have hardly any budget and have ended up COSTING me money.
    I’ve stuck with clients that pay a pittance but want the earth.
    I’ve put up with clients that have been, to be frank, complete arseholes.
    I’ve made about a thousand other mistakes and I’m sure I will continue to do so because I’m human.


Whilst many of these mistakes have been costly, the fact is that I have learnt from them. Rather than see them as failure, I treat them as feedback, which is what brings me to the reason behind the title of this blog.


Why I Rejected 3 New Clients….


Last week was a good week, and I had a number of enquiries from recruitment agencies about helping them with their marketing. They were a combination of referrals from people who I’ve worked with previously, several contacts made through Linkedin and one enquiry that was the result of an outbound marketing campaign that I’ve been working on.


Out of these, I’ve taken on two new clients, two I am still in discussion with. The three other recruitment companies I had to say no to. Why?


The fact is, I’m thankfully in the position that I can choose who I work with. Although I specialise in working with recruitment companies and job boards, that does not mean that EVERY recruitment company and EVERY job board that enquires about working with me will be a good fit. The three in question weren’t.


  • One had a budget that could not go over £100 per month. What the hell do they expect I can do for that?
  • The second was a previous client of mine who was really happy with the work I’ve done for him in the past. However, he was a poor payer, invoice after invoice, months late. I’m tired of having clients that take up my time having to chase them for money, so that’s another ‘thanks, but no thanks’.
  • The third would have been a great fit. Unfortunately, they operate in a very, very niche sector where I also have another client in their exact geographic area. It would be unethical for me to be working with two direct competitors.

You’ve Potentially Turned Away Thousands Of Pounds Of Work… Where’s The Benefit Of That?

I have indeed turned away thousands of pounds of work. But in the long run, I’ll make more by doing it because I’ve utilized the power of ‘no’. Because by saying no to clients that aren’t a good fit I’ll benefit from:


  • Having the capacity to take on clients that are a good fit for the services I offer where we will both benefit.
  • I’ll be able to take on clients with a proper budget for marketing.
  • I won’t have to spend time with ‘difficult’ clients, endlessly chasing money etc.


There was a time when I first started in business when I would never say no. Now I say it quite often, and it pays dividends.

The Power Of ‘No’: Why I Rejected 3 New Clients Last Week…

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