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Delegation Skills: How to Craft No Policies in Your Business and Let Them (and Your Team) Say No for You

Delegation Skills: How to Craft No Policies in Your Business and Let Them (and Your Team) Say No for You

What We’re Saying No to Right Now in Our Company

Weighing every opportunity or request that comes across your desk individually is not a great use of your time.

If you want to preserve your precious time, energy, and attention for the things that matter most, having standard things you say no to will help.

You can dramatically minimize decision fatigue and make your and your team’s lives a heck of a lot easier by having Company No Policies.

What are Company No Policies?

A list of things you simply don’t do.

This list will not only help you preserve your limited decision-making power for the things that really move the needle, it will also:

  • Allow you to increase your delegation skills by allowing other people in your team to say no for you
  • Allow your decisions to not feel personal since they’re based on a policy (this is particularly helpful for the recovering people-pleasers in the room)
  • Clear tremendous amounts of time in your schedule because when you’re no longer saying yes and no willy-nilly, but in a strategic way instead, you’ll say no to a lot more so that there’s way more space for the things that are a true YES

Creating Company No Policies has saved us boatloads of time and created a lot more flow in our workday.

Here’s a list of some of our current ones:

  • We don’t participate in any event, media, or other collaboration that doesn’t feature diverse voices. (For example, if I’m invited to speak on a podcast that’s only ever had white guests, we decline and ask if they’d like an introduction to a Person of Color for that interview slot.)
  • We don’t participate in Online Summits that require us to send solo emails to our list.
  • We don’t promote anything as affiliates that we haven’t used personally and benefited from or that we don’t know the creators of well enough to vouch for their work.
  • We don’t do anything just for the money.
  • We don’t do social media posts in exchange for free products.
  • We don’t make introductions to people in our network without permission from both parties.
  • We don’t say yes to appearances without someone first filling out our request form.
  • Except for very rare exceptions, I say no to anyone who wants to “pick my brain.”
  • We do not do collaborations or partnerships with companies or individuals who participate in any kind of public defamation of small businesses or individuals on social media or otherwise.

And here’s one inspired by a conversation I recently had with Rha Goddess:

  • We don’t say yes to anything someone asks of us if they’re unclear on their mission, why they want us to be part of it, what the goal is, or anything else.

Trust me: We did not have all of these policies in place when I got started in business.

Each policy was put into place after doing the thing it relates to one too many times and/or as we grew and learned as a company.

Coming up with your Company No Policies will be a game-changer for you and your bandwidth.

Here’s the very first step to get started:

Ask yourself the following question:

When do I feel the most successful?

The answer to that question will point you in the direction of what’s in the highest and best use of your time, and then by default, anything that’s not that can go on your Company No Policies list.

Keep adding to the list and keep revising.

Rha Goddess told me she revises hers every 6-8 weeks with her team to keep current with her and her company’s constant evolution, and I’m so inspired by that!

In the Origin Membership, we walk Empresses (what we call our members) through the process of clarifying your “filtering questions” so that you can get clear on your Company No Policies. If you join us when we open the doors again in May, you’ll get access to that lesson right away.

(Join the Origin waitlist so we can let you know when the doors are open!)

When you make your no’s habitual, you have so much more room for your yes’s.

Come up with some policies and let them do most of the no-ing for you. Your schedule will thank you!


What are some of the things that you always know are “no’s” for you? Leave your ideas in the comments because we all need to learn from and be inspired by one another’s boundaries, and I bet we could get a great list going here! 

P.S. As part of The NO Challenge, we’ll be digging in and creating your Company No Policies together. If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s free and it starts May 3rd! Join The NO Challenge.


  • (Letting out my rant warning)!

    This is a brand new NO, and I may of just learned to say no!

    I said no to hanging out with people with dogs, which is mostly everybody but me! It’s gotta be some kind of energetic thing that the dogs pick up on because it’s been happening for years as more and more people get dogs that don’t learn boundaries. So, I give thanks that the doorway for me to learn to create no boundaries is first through the dog, but it’s really a no to humans who are mushy too.
    Dogs harass me, jump on me, bark at me, zone in on me to throw sticks,(which I don’t) even bite!
    From my experience, It is rare that dogs listen to their owners, kinda like their children, so now, I will not not accept it, I’m gonna stand up for myself, spray them if needed and decline if there are dogs at an event.
    Ha, looks like I may be walking the lone trail……

  • Thank you!!! These are golden. I particularly appreciate the clear deep commitment to values in alignment with racial diversity., not choosing to make decisions “just for the money” and the question to ask yourself what helps one feel most successful☺️

    i can add that i say no to decisions i’m my business that do not feel like a full body yes !!!! 🌀🌙❤️

    For those consider joining Origin, don’t wait. in my opinion after being in online space hiring coaches and running trainings for 7 years, this is the best conscious women’s business training community out there. Hands down . Thank you Kate!

    • Kate Northrup

      Oh Narayani thank you so much for that beautiful testimonial. I also love your no policy around not doing things that don’t feel like a full body yes!

  • Katia Bailetti

    This is freaking brilliant! What a time saver to have a living no policy that breathes so much clarity into the decision making! And love the quote about habitual no’s creating space for YESES!!

  • I appreciate this post so much. it’ s eye opening and your examples are fantastic.

  • Such a powerful reframe. The word “no” used to feel so closed off, but having practiced using it to find alignment in my daily choices, it’s incredibly expansive. Thank you for this!

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