So, earlier this week, we talked about saying no…and you heard from 5 people who really no a thing or two about saying no and making it work…well. If you missed that post, go there now and learn how they said no when it mattered the most.

Before we get to today’s featured experts on the topic of saying no, let’s dive into the question you might be asking yourself right now.  Why say no? What about staying positive and saying yes?

Saying no doesn’t mean you are a curmudgeon or Debby Downer squashing people’s dreams right and left.  

Saying no doesn’t mean you’re the perpetually annoyed mom saying no to her kids (even if you do say no alot).

Saying no is about making a choice.  

Saying no is about choosing a yes.

Saying no is about NOT saying yes to others all the time and neglecting yourself.

Saying no is about rejecting the ideas you’ve been fed your whole life about who you SHOULD be.

Saying no is about being at peace with your yes. 

Saying no…is about allowing yourself to be the yes.

Ok – now that I got that out of my system…let’s get to it.

Today’s featured Nay-Sayers are just as inspiring – here’s a little bit about them:

Lisa Valuyskaya, I’ve had the opportunity and joy to collaborate with Lisa on several design projects.  Her ability to turn an idea into a piece of art – still amazes me and I’m excited to work on some White Space projects with her in 2012!  After seeing a poster on her site about white space, I knew she must have at least 1 story of how she made room for opportunity and success in her life….and I was right! She’s lovely lovely lovely.

Laura Roeder, Many people know Laura’s story of firing her web design clients in order to start her business….but not many know how she got started BEFORE that.  Even though I work with Laura every single day, I continue to learn and grow and be challenged. The LKR team is amazing and her intuition really does bring superstars together.  Plus, she indulges my super geeky side by sending me web analytics reports and SEO reports.

Lisa Wilder, I’ve known Lisa for a few years now and she helped me through a particularly stressful time in my life — reminded me of my ability to juggle, balance, but that I could also say no to things and people that took me over my limit.  I am forever grateful for her guidance.  She gave me the gift and permission to say No.  Lisa – I’m still blocking time for myself like you taught me!

Erin Giles, Okay – so I met Erin early last year and was immediately taken by her down to earth excitement.  In the fall, I re-discovered her “sudden” emergence and website, I got sooo excited to find out how she’d made the decision to start the business. I don’t want to give away any more, but let me just say…she shines.  She’s one to watch and I’m beyond excited that she took part in this post!

And…A Surprise … but you’ll have to scroll down to read that…


Lisa ValuyskayaDesigner & Branding Expert at

I would not be doing what I love right now if I hadn’t said no to an easy opportunity. I wouldn’t be making my own schedule or choosing my own clients.

Instead, I would probably be stuck in a 9 to 6 job, doing my best to collaborate with people who simply don’t care about anything but watching the clock, producing pretty but bland flyers and brochures for clients who wanted them exactly that way — and burning out in the process.

I have never been afraid of saying no.

I wasn’t ready to start out on my own yet, so I had applied to the only listed position that appealed to me, in an in-house advertising department for a big children’s apparel chain. (This was a pretty big name in Italy, and the applicants were already over a hundred by the time I had sent in my portfolio and resume.) Amazingly enough, a week later that position was mine.

This was the complete opposite of my previous workplace. Creative, collaborative, easy-going. A place I didn’t want to leave at the end of the workday. Yet, a year later, when the company had decided to move the creative department to its headquarters in another city, I said another no.

I had no idea yet what I was going to do, but this time I was ready to try something on my own. This was the first step to getting where I am today.

Of course, it didn’t happen overnight, and of course I made mistakes in the beginning. But if I hadn’t said no to the safe option, IdeaStylist would not exist today.

Looking back, it was the best choice I could have made, even if it was scary at the time. And to me, that’s a great reminder that saying no to something always means having a possibility to say yes to many other opportunities.

Laura Roeder, LKR, Social Media Marketing Expert,

When I wanted to start my own business, I decided to ask the company that I worked for if I could go part-time. This seemed like a win-win, allowing me to have time for my new venture while still getting a reliable paycheck. The conversation went well, and my boss agreed.

Then a few days before I was supposed to go part-time, I got called into the owner’s office.

She told me they had changed their mind, and no longer felt OK with me working part-time. It was all or nothing.

So I quit.

That big “no” gave me the push I needed to go after my dream of running my own business full-force.

It wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the time, but without that no I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.

Lisa Wilder, Coach, Catalyst and Amazing Goddess at

My life completely transformed when I said no to continuing to attempt to live according to the standards set for me by others, and began living my life according to my own values, passions and dreams.

I stopped settling for being less than I knew I was capable of, stopped trying to be who I thought others needed or wanted me to be, stopped settling for a life that was far less than I’d once dreamed, stopped setting limits on what I thought I could or couldn’t do, stopped living motivated by should, and started living inspired by possibility.

I’d spent so many years hiding behind a facade to maintain the status quo that when I finally woke up and took a stand for myself it wreaked havoc on my life, and for a time it felt as though my whole world had been turned upside down. But as one of my favorite quotes says:

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

I won’t lie…letting go of the life I had and many of the people I loved, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and that time in my life was one of the most challenging.

It was also, hands-down, one of the best things I ever did. It transformed my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe.

The life that opened for me, that was waiting for me, was so far beyond my wildest dreams because it was so far outside my previous experience.

I went from coasting through life on auto-pilot to living a life I genuinely love, doing work I’m passionate about, and it opened the door for a truly healthy, supportive, and unconditionally loving relationship.

What I learned was that it’s impossible to experience true joy, love, passion or well-being while suppressing parts of yourself, and it’s impossible to have healthy, unconditionally loving relationships while suppressing any part of who you are. There’s simply no substitute for living your life, full-out, no-holds barred.

While it can be uncomfortable while you’re in the midst of it…there is nothing more rewarding, fulfilling or worthwhile.

Erin Giles, Small Biz Coach + Consultant for Women,

Last year I had the opportunity to interview for a position with Laura Roeder. I was beyond stoked, felt like I nailed the interviews…yet, three weeks after my third interview I didn’t get the position.

I was beyond disappointed.

This job was my ticket to coming home full time to be with my daughter, work with an incredible group of women, and finally get out of the small thinking organization I was working for.

Going to work the days following the big NO, I racked my brain for ways to get out of there. While doing this one question that Laura asked me kept plaguing me.

She asked, “Do you ever forsee yourself starting a business?” She asked because of the qualities that I said were my strengths and also because of a business that I failed to start in 2006.

I drew a blank to this question, it was as if I was struck with stage fright and said, “I’m not really sure.” This answer played in my head repeatedly for days.

But it lead me to the answer for my intense desire to come home full time.

The reality + craving of starting my coaching business again suddenly overwhelmed me, and I turned Laura’s no into my YES.

Within months I wrote the copy for my website, took on several free clients, and launched my business. Although I would have loved and thrived in the atmosphere of working for Laura I know that no was meant to be. My business is growing and I am on the path I am meant to be on.

Danielle LaPorteAuthor, Speaker, and Rock Solid Mama,

If I’m to realize my intentions, what I stop doing is just as important as what I start and continue to do.

Stopping = the white space.

Stopping = room to run free and create from the deepest place of being without restraint or compromise.

Stopping = more time for what matters most.

I know how to go, go, go.

Stopping, I’ve learned is the stuff of mastery.

Danielle wrote two posts which I think exemplify what I’ve learned and know about saying no.  I feel like Danielle is a beyond perfect way to end this 2-part series.

Read the posts and l swear you’ll be on the path to knowing what to say to starting today.

What’s Your Stop Doing List?

Stop Doing List Part 2

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 2 part post on how to start saying No when it counts.  But guess what…I want more stories…

Leave a comment below sharing a big no from your life that opened up a big opportunity.