by | Sep 14, 2020 | Business Building Musts, Marketing Strategies, Small Business Help

Today I wanted to share with you something that just might give you a nudge.  The nudge is for you, although what I am writing may seem all about me!

But it’s really not, yes these are my stories, but the message is 100% for YOU my faithful blog audience!

I have to say, straight up, this blog post completely put me out of my comfort zone.  I am always ALL about my readers, or my podcast listeners, my customers, or YOU – so writing about me gives me that uncomfortable rolling tummy feeling….!

But I wanted to share and hopefully even inspire you to think about what you’d like to achieve during the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 and, just maybe, committing to “saying yes” just might get you there (wherever it is that you want to go).

BUT what this story isn’t about is being busy.  I’m not telling you my story about “saying yes” to every opportunity to encourage you to book up your calendar with “stuff” that isn’t meaningful.

It’s about saying yes to opportunities that align with your values or your business values, with your hopes and dreams, but may have always been outside your comfort zone and therefore you wouldn’t normally say yes to.

So, again, this isn’t about being busy being busy, it’s still about alignment and strategy, it’s more about comfort zones.

Ok, so the story starts about three years ago, on News Years Eve.

I’m at my besties house, it’s very late (way past my bedtime) and we were outside watching the stars.  We’ve consumed a bit of wine, ok a lot, and we are starting to get, well, DEEP!

For me, the coming year was either going to be EPIC or horrid.  My choice right?

About a week previously we had listed our retail business for sale and we already had a purchaser.  I know right, insane!!!

I was selling my baby.  Something I’d built up, nurtured, poured my heart, soul, and salty tears into and now it was going to be someone else’s baby.

So, my bestie turns to me, keeping this in mind, and also keeping in mind that we were pretty cloud 9-y by now, and says “Jenn what are you going to do this year with no shop”?

I said, “I don’t know, I really don’t know, but I’m not going to say no to opportunities”

Bestie said “No, ok, me either”

And so, this became a drunk pact of having the year of not saying no!!

Just an edit here – why not the year of saying yes you might be asking – wine.  Wine is the answer to that question.

So here I am, basically unemployed because I sold my business, feeling just a wee bit lost but determined to make this work – I just didn’t know what “this” was.

Sometimes we don’t have to have it all worked out – we just need to trust the journey.

Here’s what the year of not saying no gave me/did to me!

I went wayyyy out of my comfort zone. Now this one is not business wise, but that very bestie used this “not saying no” against me and signed us up to do a 20 mile race (32 kms) from one side of King Island to the next.


It took me almost 5 hours, it was emotionally draining.  The footage of me crossing that finish line will never see the light of day.  Oh, the crying, not just normal crying, ugly face crying – everything hurt.

But the lessons I learnt about myself and business from that day make a fabulous Keynote presentation.

I knew going forward I would never had said yes to anything like this… EVER.

(And on another non-business note – sometimes I think I need a new bestie, because that year she also made me do a half marathon – she really took advantage of me!!)

I landed my dream role in a business.  I’d always had a mentor, a marketing mentor, in my business so it was like Christmas when my mentor rang and said “hey, want to come work with me – you’d make an amazing business coach”.

Umm, heck yeah – I’m in!

Although, there was bumps and some which couldn’t be overcome in this partnership, those 2 years, 110% changed me and gave me the confidence to do what I’m doing now and freaking loving it.

I am beyond incredibly thankful for that time.

Again, I would never have said yes to an opportunity like that if I had time to think about it – but there was no time to think about it – the answer simply was yes, because it was the year of not saying no.

I got my first ever paid speaking gig! You may not think that’s big, but for me that was HUGE!  Only 12 months beforehand I was a deer in headlights when it came to public speaking.

I never thought, NEVER, that I would have a business that involved speaking to audiences.

And although before that very first speaking gig, I was in the toilets bringing up lunch, because I was so enormously nervous – there was no choice – the answer was yes.

I started networking.  Again, a deer in the headlights when it came to networking. It was another thing that was so very far outside my comfort zone back then, and something I’d never done before.

I was asked to attend the Professional Speakers Association night, which made my tummy roll, but I said yes.  I wasn’t networking with my own kind here; I was seriously up levelling my networking.

But there was no choice.  I had to say yes.  On the night, I found some other newbies attending and they made wine – so I was set – they talked wine – I tasted wine – it was perfect!

I could go on and on about all the different parts of my journey to here, today, that were bought on by the “year of not saying no”.  But I’m hoping that just those few above might just inspire you.

So, when you sit down and think what might be coming up for the remainder of this year, and into 2021, seriously look at having a year of saying yes (or not saying no!) to those opportunities that align with your business goals or personal plans, and see where the yes takes you!

Commit to it.  It’s the only way.  When someone asks you to do something that is an opportunity – don’t hesitate, say yes!

Of course, I mean in reason, it’s got to be safe of course.

But I’ve found in my life and many of those around me, that fear takes over and they say no to opportunities because saying yes is too scary.

Embrace the scary.

Be bold!

Have the year of not saying no – I promise you it will be the best year of your life.

Oh, but word of warning, watch who you tell about this little “saying yes” thing, because people will take advantage of you – umm 32 kms – say no more.

And another thing about this little personal challenge – I didn’t really tell anyone! Not until the year was almost done and people would say to me, wow you’ve had an amazing year haven’t you and I would say, yep, it’s because I said yes.

Who’s in?  You in?

Send me a message or email or head into the Facebook group, Like Minded Business Owners and commit to everyone in there that you’ll challenge yourself to a time period of not saying no!  Or of saying yes!

If you’re not a member of Like Minded Business Owners, simply click this link and it’ll take you right there: www.facebook.com/groups/LikeMindedBusinessOwners


Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners.  Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.

With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)

Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This