Say No So That You Can Say Yes

Photo of author
Written By Colin Graves

For many, the New Year represents a clean slate. It’s an opportunity to hit the reset button and plan for the year ahead.

And while I prefer September as a reset month (I have more energy then), I appreciate the fresh start that the New Year brings.

As you plan for 2024, here’s a thought to consider.

Say no so that you can say yes.

In 2021, before leaving my corporate job, I was asked if I would consider taking on the role of president of a board that I was serving on.

I was inclined to say yes.

The previous president had stepped down unexpectedly, so there was a pressing need to fill the position. I enjoyed serving on the board, and assuming a leadership role would present some skill development opportunities and look good on my resume. It was a good opportunity.

The problem was that it didn’t align at all with where I was headed.

My number one (work-related) goal was to quit my job and go full-time with my freelancing side hustle. I didn’t know precisely when that would happen, but I felt I was getting close.

Even though I knew all of this, I still had difficulty saying no.


As you head into 2024, remember this. It’s okay to say no to a “good” opportunity so that you can say yes to something more meaningful.

Good opportunities can become distractions that prevent you from reaching your goals.

Say no so that you can say yes.


I turned down the board president position and all the extra hours and pressure that would come with it.

A year later, I was able to quit my day job.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.