Figure this out before you go spreading the word about your business (or yourself.)

Though I’m a natural blonde, I have uncharacteristically intense eyebrows for my coloring.

After a few weeks without maintenance they start to look like caterpillars. And I start to mistake myself for Groucho Marks when I catch my reflection quickly.

Yesterday I’d had enough and I booked myself a last minute appointment with my badass hair stylist who also is a waxing queen.

She has a haircut just like P!nk, she goes to raves, and just generally doesn’t take any shit from anyone.

As I was lying in her chair grimacing every time she swiftly pulled a waxy strip away from my face, I decided to distract myself by talking to her about my wedding.

The Power of A Clear No

I told her I’d been dreaming of 1930’s style finger-waves. She stopped me in the middle of my vintage bridal ramblings to make it clear that she doesn’t know how to do finger waves. She emphatically added that wedding hair is NOT her thing.

She wanted to be 100% clear that she was not the woman I was looking for to make my nuptial do come true.

And, as I was leaving the salon, she introduced me to the woman who LOVES to do bridal hair to make sure I was in good hands.

Can I tell you something? I trusted her fifty million times more as a result of her mega clarity around what she’s not only not good at, but not even interested in delivering.

I’m going to send her more referrals and enjoy my cuts and colors even more than I did before because of her honesty and clarity.

Here’s what I learned yesterday:

When you’re clear and honest about what you don’t offer, your customers will trust you more.

How many times have you bent yourself into a tangled pretzel trying to do something for a customer that you either: a) didn’t know how to do b) weren’t good at c) didn’t like doing, or d) all of the above.

I can answer that I’ve done all of those things more times than I’m proud of.

Recently I got asked to do a speaking gig for an audience of mostly corporate women. You know what? I’ve never worked in a corporate setting. My ideas around money and freedom are kind of outside the box.

I pondered and then I said no because I’m not interested in setting foot inside that particular box. (There’s nothing wrong with working in a corporation. There are a lot of great ones. It’s just not my thing.)

It felt soooo good to turn down my full speaking fee out of clarity because I know what I don’t do.

One of the mistakes that dims the light of enthusiastic business owners everywhere is trying to be everyone to everybody. (And, by the way, that pretty much dims the light of all humans too.)

My wish is for us to all spend just as much time figure out what we don’t do as what we do do.

Start Here to Get Clear

In fact, if you’re feeling lost about your purpose, starting here:

1. List what you’re not good at.

2. List what you don’t like to do.

3. List what you have no interest in learning how to do or how to be good at.

Holy clarity.

Trying to be who you’re not, in business, or in life, will kill your progress, not to mention your spirit. (Click to tweet!)

Being exactly who we are in a purposeful way is but one of the key strategies for being a profitable business owner (and a self-actualized human. Cool how it works out that way, right?)

Over to you:

What are you ready to be a clear no about in your business, or in your life? Leave a comment below. Yay for boundaries!


  • Sometimes it feels like a post was written & published specifically for me.

    In the past few days, I’ve been asked if I can do some things that I definitely could do.

    However, I could either refer them to others who would do a better job or I would do excellent work but simply wouldn’t enjoy delivering that service.

    The power of ‘No’ is a strong one.

    Thank you & Happy Valentine’s Day!

    – Steve

  • Thank you for this clarity Kate!!! I have been waffling about dropping one of my jewelry lines because it didn’t seem congruent with the one I really enjoy making – this helped!! and I’m “in” for the webinar! Looking forward to it!! :)

  • This post was for me today!! I was thinking this exact thought as I was driving to work. I am a hairstylist and transitioning more into intuitive motivational work. I worked on a guest 3 weeks ago that just didn’t feel like a fit, and while she recieved some of what I said and helped her with, I realized she is not in any way my ideal client. She is a wonderful and deserving person, but what she needs I can’t/don’t really want to do with and for her. But… I had done for her because I was flattered she asked. Lesson: stick to what you are best at, most passionate about and obviously success will follow!

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