Why Saying "Yes" is So Important


I have a new pet peeve, and I was talking about it today with one of my girlfriends. This friend of mine is a florist in the wedding industry and we both jumped into the industry around the same time. Our first year in the industry, the answer was always “YES.”  We seemed to always be on the same events together, and knew that we were both in the same boat, wondering if we should have said no. However, my answer is still always yes. And here is why:  

I recently told this friend about some business podcasts she could benefit from. (Be on the lookout for my list of podcasts! This post is on its way!) When chatting today, she said, “what is it with these business podcasts talking about the art of saying no? Why are people telling everyone to say no to things?” I have been feeling the exact same way, but just thought I was crazy and kept my thoughts to myself; until now. So, let me break this down for you.  

My first year in the event industry under my brand name (feeling pretty legit) was 2017. I did thirteen styled shoots that year. That’s thirteen sets of free work for photoshoots, with deadlines, and meeting the aesthetic needs of the planner and photographer. I did events where I wasn’t paid anything. I said yes to literally everything under the sun. If I was asked to do something and I wasn’t sure how to do it, or if it was slightly out of my comfort zone, it didn’t matter. I still said yes. There is growth in the challenge. You meet new people along the way. Styled shoots = Instagram tags and new followers. Saying yes puts you in front of people who you would have never worked with before. 

There is so much power in the YES.  Now, in my 2nd year under my brand name, I’ve done 18 styled shoots. I’m still saying yes. I’m still accepting challenges. I’ve had a few newbie photographers reach out and say, “I’m sure you don’t have time but…would you be willing to participate in this styled shoot?” YES! Having said yes so many times, I now have a list of photographers, event planners, florists, etc., that I’ve worked with that would jump at the opportunity to return the favor, which is such a great feeling when I need the help.  

What are these podcasts telling us as creative entrepreneurs? These influencers are speaking a lot of about the power of saying no. The no goes hand in hand with the value of your time, which we can all understand. As the old saying goes, time is money. This trend talks about the fact that as women, we tend to automatically be yes people and people pleasers. And that it hard for us to train our brains to stop, think, and then say no. I get that. However, I’ve also heard friends and colleagues say, “I don’t get out of bed for less than $___”. But then I ask, are you busy enough to even be saying that? You guys, you literally can’t put a dollar amount on relationships or what a referral might look like down the road. 

I just don’t have that mindset and it’s hard for me to grasp, because yes has always in some way or another, been a benefit for myself, my brand and my business. I don’t understand the preaching of no unless you are a baker and someone asks you to fix their iPhone screen. Ok, fine, then it is okay to say no. 

So, in this conversation with my friend, she brought up a good point: saying no is the easy way out and the trend is that you are justified in saying no; you don’t have to get your hands dirty; and it’s easy to preach, easy to hear, and easy to implement. The masses don’t want to hear the GRIT behind the GLOSS, and it’s hard to comprehend sacrifices and what it really takes to become a successful business, so it’s easier to influence with self-care and the notion that time is money, whether or not these statements are in fact true with practice.   

Everything I’m talking about here is referring back to my calligraphy business and being a creative entrepreneur. So, I ask you this: If you are working in a corporate setting and had the goal to move up within the company, would you say no to your boss who gave you the opportunity to do something above and beyond your job description? NO! My point is, with everything mentioned above, I encourage you to say yes. YES will push you and your business to places you never thought and open so many doors down the road. 


Claire White is a thirty-something year old Nashville native. She’s an attorney and calligrapher. That’s right, using both parts of the brain.  She currently practices law in the public sector and Claire owns White Ink Calligraphy, providing calligraphy services nationwide.