No, is such a small word in size; but one that carries such power, strategy, and weightiness. No is often one of the first words that we learn as children. No, no, no, said every two year old! What was so easy and simple, now becomes painful to say. We are told not to waste and to hang on to resources, relationships, and opportunities that we don’t need; because… just in case. Most of us could probably use a refresher on the power of no, as it relates to how we present, market and package our unique offerings to the world.
Whether we want to admit it, we are our first and primary product. On some level, every professional interaction brings us closer or away from an exchange that will further our goal. We know how important it is to focus on what we can use to market ourselves; things like a great portfolio, resume, photos, testimonials, and other tools. It can be equally important to say “no” to what no longer serves us. As a model, bringing a great looking but outdated headshot to an audition does me no favors. A client may love the girl in the photo from several years ago, or love the girl in front of them today, but the two are no longer the same.
This kind of intentional simplification has been trending in fashion and home décor recently. I’ve been inspired by the concept of the capsule wardrobe; at least seasonally, or for work. The capsule wardrobe limits the number of wardrobe pieces to just a few essentials that follow a similar color palate. Finding and keeping a few higher quality, tailored, timeless and comfortable pieces that complement each other and often can be worn multiple ways makes the wearer always look well put together and polished. This is a perfect example of limiting our yeses, to help us to present ourselves more intentionally.
Another area that can become cluttered is the focal point of our offerings. Having multiple talents, skills and abilities is a great thing, and can often be supportive of our main offering. Sometimes though, having too many diverse products and services, especially when housed on one platform, can be distracting and detracting from showcasing what we do best. Every person, business and corporation has something that they can do amazingly well; and gives them a unique shine. We must take an inventory; locating exactly what that common theme item is. Sometimes releasing a few of the things that we do just for fun, or that we are just okay at, or have been hiding behind, can help us to better develop our biggest gift.
Are there areas in your life or business that you can free up some space, or say no to? Less is often more, so much more; but less is always, less to hide behind. Less is scary, but less is also authentic, freeing and inspiring.