AMY PORTERFIELD: “I don't want to run a business where I have FOMO all the time. Like, ‘Oh, my god, I better say yes to this because I'm really going to miss out.’ Or I don't want to run a business that I say yes to things just to boost my ego, but at the end of the day, it's totally unaligned with where I'm going. And I hate to tell you that I have said yes to those things. I've absolutely been there—not too long ago. It's not like something I'm perfect at now or I'm, like, teaching it to you because I've mastered this. No. I just got to witness it at a really amazing level, and I wanted to bring it here to be like, ‘Ooh, my friend, maybe this is something you and I should work on a little bit more because I know it's not something that comes easy to most of us.’”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: Let's talk about a podcast I am loving. Inclusion and Marketing, hosted by Sonia Thompson, is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Inclusion and Marketing digs into important topics like belonging, customer experience, and diversity, and how you can practice inclusive marketing authentically. Because when you lead with inclusivity, you win the attention, the loyalty, and the trust of a broader group of consumers. I think one of my favorite episodes to date is when she shared about cultural appropriation and inappropriate use of a culture not your own. Such an important conversation. You can listen to Inclusion and Marketing wherever you get your podcasts.
Hey, there, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy.
So, recently I went to Napa for a mastermind—I've talked about it a little on the podcast. You might have seen some of my friends talk about it—and it was epic. It was incredible. There were some amazing people there. And Brendon Burchard was the one who put it together, and I'm just so thankful that I got to be a part of it.
Now, I also love when my peers will share with me some of the things they learned at experiences that I wasn't invited to, that I wasn't at. And so with that, I thought you might find it valuable if I share one thing from that mastermind that really stuck with me. And I think it's an important one for all of us to remember, or for some of us who haven't learned this lesson yet, to learn this lesson early on. And that is the power of confidently saying no. And you know I'm a people pleaser, right? So confidently saying no to opportunities that come my way is not the easiest thing I do in my business. But it’s something that we have to talk about because as I looked around the room—and there were people like Mel Robbins and Jenna Kutcher and Jamie Kern Lima and Jasmine Star in that room. And these are all people with baller businesses, doing really important work in the world—and what I noticed about all of them as they talked and shared in their hot seats is that they were really clear what they were going after. They were all on a mission, they have a really clear path, and because of that, they are clear when something is a yes or a no for them.
In fact, I won't tell the story because it's not mine to tell, but one of these people that was in the room, she recently said no to something really, really big that I would have had a very hard time saying no to, even if it didn't fit in my goals or my plan or my mission. But she said no confidently, even though it would have given her a lot of clout; it would have made her look really good. However, it didn't fit in the vision that she had created over the next few years for her business. That's a baller move, when you can put your ego aside, you can put your FOMO aside, and you can say no because you're very clear about where you're going and what you want.
But if you're anything like me, that little, small word no can create some anxiety or maybe some big anxiety. And so I wanted to talk about it here. I think so many of us grow up thinking saying no is a negative experience. My hand is raised right now. We forget how much connection and freedom are created when you say a firm no in a loving and respectful way. Yeah, I said connection and freedom can be created from saying no. It shows us around us that we know what we stand for, we know who we are, and that we believe in our mission.
And like I said, this is a theme I saw over and over again at this mastermind. All these really powerful business owners had no problem saying no because they were crystal clear on their mission, who they served, and why they were doing what they were doing. And because they did the work upfront to clarify their long-term goals and mission, deciding if a business opportunity was a “heck, yes” or a respectful “no” simply required them to ask, will this help me achieve my mission more effectively? Boom. Period. Done. Will this help me achieve my mission more effectively? Another way to say it: will this help me fulfill my vision more clearly or easily or faster? Or another way to look at it: will this help me get closer to my goals or derail me? Another question to ask. These are all just different ways to look at it.
So if you ask a question like that, it takes out a lot of the drama in the decision-making process. This way, when responding no to an opportunity, you're actually stepping into a positive experience. It allows you to add more value to the world as you work to achieve your mission. And by saying no to opportunities that do not align, your business has become a source of energy that lights you up every single day. I have been depleted in my business because I've said yes too often when I meant or wanted to say no. Can you relate to that? I have been depleted in my business because I've said yes to opportunities where I know I should have said no to them.
So I'm a goal-oriented girl. You already know that about me. And so I love how this question helps inform quarterly milestones and yearly goals, allowing me to wake up excited to work on solving hard problems in my business, because business is hard. Like, there are things that are really hard about running your business, right? So why complicate it more by saying yes and then feeling resentful and wishing you said no?
And also, I don't want to run a business where I have FOMO all the time. Like, “Oh, my god, I better say yes to this because I'm really going to miss out.” Or I don't want to run a business that I say yes to things just to boost my ego, but at the end of the day, it's totally unaligned with where I'm going. And I hate to tell you that I have said yes to those things. I've absolutely been there—not too long ago. It's not like something I'm perfect at now or I'm, like, teaching it to you because I've mastered this. No. I just got to witness it at a really amazing level, and I wanted to bring it here to be like, “Ooh, my friend, maybe this is something you and I should work on a little bit more because I know it's not something that comes easy to most of us.”
So my question is, what's your mission? What are you working toward that lights you up? What are the goals you've set for this quarter? each quarter this year? this year as a whole? Maybe you want to impact thousands of lives with your digital course, or you want to enroll hundreds of people in your mastermind this year. Whatever it is, I want you to get crystal clear on it. Then, use your mission, your goals, as a filter when deciding if you should say yes or no. So we're going to use our goals, our plans, our vision, as a filter to everything that comes our way. So imagine, if you're not clear on where you're going, if you're not clear on your goals this year, for the next few years, then you don't have a filter. So I want you to get that filter. That's where we need to start, right? I'm pushing you to clarify your mission today because since doing this work, my decision-making process has become so much easier.
So let's say I catch myself saying, “Well, maybe this could help me reach that goal.” When the word maybe enters the conversation in my head, it's a signal the opportunity is likely not the right fit, and I would only be saying yes to make somebody else happy or to not miss out or to boost my ego.
Make someone else happy, I haven't talked about that enough here. I say yes to things or I have said yes in the past because I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. I know, I hate to admit that, but I'm a sensitive girl, and it happens to come into play in ways I love and ways I don't love, but I've said yes so that I can make someone else happy. But then I'm resentful, and I feel like that's very unfair to that person. Like, don't say yes unless you mean it.
And I also love when I have friends that I know if they say yes, they mean it. I know if they say no, they mean it. I always know where I stand. I want to be that person. And so I have to be very careful with how I navigate these yesses and nos.
So since becoming more crystal clear on my mission, I can find the courage to say, “No, thank you,” more easily so I don't take up precious time and resources on projects that don't align with what I'm after or what I'm going after. And when I need to muster up a little more courage to say no, I like to lean on a quote from the author Alain de Botton, “What kills us isn't one big thing but thousands of tiny obligations we can't turn down for fear of disappointing others.” Do I need to read that one more time for my people pleasers like me? “What kills us isn't one big thing but thousands of tiny obligations we can't turn down for fear of disappointing others.” I don't know about you, but that one hit home for me. So if you ever hear yourself thinking, “I never have time to do the important things in my business,” remember those wise words. Start evaluating where you said yes out of fear—fear of disappointing others or fear of missing out—and then make a plan to do better and say no the next time.
Now, here's where this “saying no” business gets a little bit tricky. So if you start saying no, you focus on your projects, you start seeing amazing results, and you'll likely start connecting with amazing people on your journey, then, you'll look around, and these people are going to want to work with you, you're going to want to work with them, you're going to want to promote them, and there's this thing that happens where the guilt of saying no will start to creep in again, and you'll run the risk of saying yes for all the wrong reasons. And in my experience, this leads to having a very transactional business on your hands.
So stay with me here so I can kind of unpack what I mean. So if you've been tuning in for a while, you know I had a goal to deliver one hundred podcast interviews to promote my book Two Weeks Notice. And while I am eternally grateful to every host who shares their audience with me, there's no way that I am able to swap interviews with all of them. For one, not all of them are a good fit for my podcast. But more importantly, I just can't do that many swaps. So is it easy saying no to someone who just helped me share my message and further my mission? No. But I remind myself that I have also shown up for them and their audience. So I do a ton of prep before every podcast interview, and I offer as much value as I can. I show up with energy. I do my very best. I pour into that interview to make it really good. So I can't just say that they just did me a favor, and I did nothing for them. So I had to kind of change my mindset around that.
And also, when it was appropriate, when I could do it, I did say yes to a swap. And so I don't want to be transactional, but I also don't want to be a taker.
So this has been on my mind a lot. I don't want to just ask for a bunch of favors and never give in return. So I need to play my part. But I also don't want everything I do to be transactional. So you promote for me, I'll promote for you, because that means, then—does that mean that just because you're not doing something for me, I'm not going to do something for you? I just don’t want to be that person. So I want to be so grateful for everything that's come my way. And I also want to be sure that I'm giving back where it feels appropriate and where it feels good.
So my friend Glo, who you might know on Instagram as Glow Graphics, she offered to do this really cool Reel to review my book. And so when she told me about it, I sent her a note back, and I said, “Glo, I really appreciate this, and just know that I am here to support anything that you are doing in your business. You let me know what project you want me to promote,” because Glo’s a good friend of mine, she was at the Napa retreat, and she is someone that I could absolutely see fitting into what I talk about on my platforms.
And she wrote back, and she said, “Amy, I'm not a transactional friend. If this feels good to me and I have the time and space to do it, I will do it, with asking nothing in return. But thank you so much for offering.” And I was like, “Boom, That is baller.” I want to be that way as well. I want to do stuff for people and not expect them to do anything for me in return. Not always easy. I've struggled with that, for the record. I'm human, right? But I also hope that people will approach me that way as well. And the only way that that happens for me is if I'm an example of it.
So I hope I haven't gone down a little rabbit hole here. It kind of feels like I have. But my point being that I don't want to be transactional in my business both ways, and saying yes and saying no, that creates a little trickiness in there. But again, it still always comes back to, what is my mission? what are my goals? and only say yes to the things that are going to get me there, because I created these mission and goals, not to make a bunch of money, but to change lives. So I know that my reasoning behind my goals, the reasoning behind my mission, is to change lives. So saying yes to something that will get me closer and no to something that will take me off track makes perfect sense. That feels right in my heart, and so I hope that you really see the value in that, and you might want to navigate your business that way as well.
All right. So to wrap this up, I want you to come on Instagram. So if you're not following me, I'm just @amyporterfield, and I want you to send me a DM and tell me what’s your mission this year, what’s your goal, or what's that one thing that's going to keep you fully aligned? Like, what are you going for? So the reason I want you to do this is to keep you accountable. If you haven't figured it out yet, you need to get clear so that you can DM me. And if you already are clear, let's reinforce it. Keeping your eye on the prize. What is the prize for you? What are you going after? What are your goals this year? What is your mission? so that we know that when we say yes or when we say no, that we're fully aligned.
All right, my friend. Thank you so much for tuning in. Thursday, I'll have a longer episode for you, where I get a little bit more into the step by step or interview somebody who I know will bring you insight and value. But until then, I cannot wait to see what you create. Bye for now.
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