The #1 Rule of “NO”

I have to say No.

I’m feeling hate. And despair. But I’m scared to say “No”.

“No” feels like I’m saying, “I will never succeed”. I’m scared to say it.

To say “No” means: maybe hurting someone who will then trash me. Am I turning down opportunity?

Will the gods of good fortune no longer look at me with hope and optimism?

And what will I do with my “no”. Will I just stay home and binge watch TV? Will I waste the opportunity?

But I hate airports. And I hate dinners. And, in general, I’m better off without too many people. I like to have my core three or four people. Maybe five.

But a dinner? Or fly to talk? Or get pitched a business in “just five minutes of your time” coffee?

Or “can I just call you?”

The other day, a well known entrepreneur wrote me and said he had a great opportunity. “Maybe billions!”

But I don’t want to talk to him. I simply can’t pick up the phone and call him.

And now I have the opportunity to talk to 10,000 people at a conference. Maybe I can use it to practice standup in front of 10,000 people.

They want to know right now: “Yes!” or “No!” “Please say YES!”

But I want to say “No”.

I don’t want to go to an airport, security, customs, a car, a hotel, speak for 30 minutes, turn around and go to airports etc. Three days out of action for 30 minutes of nervousness.

Here’s the RULES OF NO:

Two out of these three have to trigger for me to say YES:

– KNOWLEDGE: Will I learn something
– FUN: Is it fun
– MONEY: Is it financially worthwhile.

So I’m saying “no” to the 10,000 people.

I won’t learn anything new from speaking. It’s not fun to fly for a day, speak for 30 minutes, fly home for a day. And I have no financial benefit.

Hmmm, maybe this even applies to relationships? Who should I be with? And what do I offer? (So they don’t say “no” to me!)

So what should I do with all that free time? Maybe write a book?

Or binge watch “Billions” on Netflix?

I have to figure out what to say “Yes” to.

Or maybe just sleep. Mmmmm. I love to sleep. And daydream of all the things I will say “Yes” to.

Let me send you my best (and most controversial) stuff…

I’ve spoken to some of the top innovators, investors and peak performers in the world…

And I’d like to share what I’ve learned, and continue to learn, for free.

Every weekday, I’ll send my latest stories, ideas and exclusive interviews straight to your inbox.

Sign up below for Altucher Confidential, my FREE e-letter.

By submitting your email address, you will receive a free subscription to Altucher Confidential. This daily investment newsletter delivers free independent financial forecasting and commentary along with carefully selected products and services that we think might interest you. We will not share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Statement.

  • Billions isn’t on Netflix in the UK, sadly – you have to pay nearly $100 a month for Sky to watch it. If it was on Netflix here, I’d watch it with you, though.

  • Avery Horton

    When I was in the corporate world, I learned to say “NO”. In fact, it was joked that I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for being able to say “NO” the fastest. When someone would start to ask, “Would you…”, I said, “NO”, before they finished asking. Most would walk away. This freed up a lot of my time. Of course, some people considered me to be an @$$hole. The bottom line is my time didn’t get jammed with me doing stuff I didn’t want to do.

  • John Hall

    Just say, “Sorry, no can do. All my money is under management.” Works for me.

  • Yes, your right James…will I miss an opportunity, a friend, an advantaged, money..? At times it is a double edged sword. You don’t want to hurt, insult or deny yourself and others the right to the experience while at the same time you don’t want to become a victim to any possible buffoonery that can cause any unwanted feelings, thoughts and experiences. I like the way you put the “No” Rule in a perspective that can and will help everyone who see it, create a win-win situation for those involved. Who doesn’t want Knowledge, Fun and Money? Now when I’m in a situation that I need to say No to and don’t want to come off as some belligerent buff, I can counter the offer simply by asking myself and the parties involved whether these three factors are met. Great Perspective James….Good-Looking-In.

  • Santiago Bordagaray

    Agree, but how could you know if you´re gonna learn something or if it´s gonna be fun?