In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about why you should practice saying “YES”!
We are so focused on saying “no” more often and building our boundaries and being really clear on those… but I think sometimes it costs us.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
Submit your application to be a speaker at Virtual Conference: tashcorbin.com/speaker
I’ve got a podcast episode for you today where I want to present the case for YES, and how practising saying yes more often can lead to some phenomenal opportunities.
Let’s dive in!
There are entire books and courses on how to say no. There are mentors you can work with on boundaries and saying no more strategically and strongly. I totally understand that we – especially in this community – can tend to be over-givers and we need to say no more often and practice better boundaries.
However, I also think that sometimes being so fixated on those boundaries and saying no can cause us to miss out on some opportunities.
I also think that we need to balance saying no and having those strong boundaries, with practising saying yes as well.
It could mean looking for opportunities where we can say yes to something that may be a little unknown, or where it may not be proven but there’s some potential there.
The reason why I’m doing this podcast episode is that I was on a group call a few months ago inside the Take Off program, and one of my students was talking about how she had set these boundaries around guest speaking opportunities and things that she was invited to participate in. She was being really structured with her time, but there was also this concern that she was costing herself good opportunities because she needed them to be proven.
For example, she would not be on a podcast interview unless the podcast had been going for over a year. She would not participate in a summit or any joint ventures that were free.
She had a blanket rule against summits and virtual events because she had participated in a couple of summits where it didn’t net the results that she had expected and been promised.
If someone wanted her to be a guest trainer in their membership, she would not accept it unless she was paid a minimum of $1,500.
There were these boundaries and strong limitations on what she would say yes to.
I do think it is very important for us to be clear on what is a great opportunity for us and what isn’t.
The challenge that this particular person had though, was she was taking those boundaries from a mentor that she followed who’d been in business for years longer than she had, had an audience 30 times her audience size, and spent a lot of money on Facebook ads to grow their audience.
All of these opportunities that she was saying no to because they didn’t meet these minimum criteria, were actually brilliant strategies to grow her audience at a very low cost because she didn’t have the marketing budget that her mentor had.
This is one of those examples where I think sometimes being so strict on what your boundaries are around some of those opportunities can actually be costing the potential of something doing brilliantly.
In this episode, I’m sharing with you five reasons to practice saying yes more often. I also have some examples of how something that may not look particularly attractive in the early stages, can end up being something really amazing.
The one thing I want to say before we dive into five reasons to practice saying yes more often, is that I wouldn’t go giant straightaway.
It’s still practising discernment… just with a little bit more flexibility.
I still don’t do podcast interviews if it’s the first 6-12 months of that podcast. But for me, it’s because I get invited onto podcasts so consistently.
I’m not looking for lots and lots of podcasting opportunities because I can’t get them. I’m actually invited to podcasts quite consistently. It’s easy for me to have a boundary there because having that boundary doesn’t mean I have no opportunities, it just means that I’m being far more strategic with my time in those opportunities now.
Whereas when it comes to in-person speaking events, I am looking to expand and do a few more of those, so I’ve been saying yes to in-person speaking events recently at rates where previously I probably wouldn’t have.
I just want to get back out to events, so I’m happy to say yes to those for a little bit more of an extended period of time right now because it aligns with my existing priorities.
I’m not saying blanket yeses to everything. I’m just looking for some reasons why we might be open to the possibilities a little more.
Reason 1: We learn how to discern through action
It was only through doing free introductory sessions when I first started my business, that I was able to be really clear on why I didn’t want to do them, and be discerning about why it wasn’t a fit for my particular business.
I was in a group program where one of the strategies suggested for getting new clients in startup was doing free one-hour coaching sessions, and just offering them across the board for free as much as you could on socials so that you could get practice and upsell them into working together further.
But then I also followed someone whose advice was to never give away free sessions.
The reasons not to give away free sessions were very logical, so many people decided that they will never give away free sessions.
But some people decided to have a play with doing free sessions, and it was a really good strategy for them.
They made their first $10k within that six-week program (which wasn’t even teaching strategy… it was learning how to grow your audience on social media).
Quite a few people had significant income coming in from giving away free sessions.
Due to my niche being in very early startup, my experience of giving away free sessions was not the same.
When I was giving away free sessions, I was really struggling for people to say yes to them because they were so used to seeing free sessions offered where the entire session was pretty much just an hour-long sales pitch.
When people did sign up for the free sessions, I had a very low show-up rate. More than 40% of people who signed up for a free session didn’t show up. They just blanked on me.
I was blocking out so much of my calendar to do those free sessions, and so often that time was wasted.
I also had people who came to these free sessions and immediately told me that they were never going to buy anything from me, they just wanted to free coaching.
It felt quite awkward and uncomfortable as a way for us to start our working relationship. It also meant that when I asked important strategic questions about how big their mailing list was or how much income they were bringing in, they would often be very cagey with their answers because they thought I would use that information to upsell them.
I obviously wouldn’t do that, but it meant that I wasn’t able to be very strategic in those sessions with them because they weren’t bringing everything to the table.
I then experimented with low-cost sessions and discounting my hourly rate for those first sessions with people.
That was a super successful strategy for me!
Again, I had worked with a mentor who said to never offer discounts because it would devalue me. But at that point in time, I didn’t care if I devalued myself. I had a teeny tiny audience, and I would rather work with a bunch of people at a discounted rate than have no clients whatsoever, so I said yes to experimenting with a different style of strategy.
It’s really powerful for us to recognise that sometimes you need to just take action and do it a few times to really see that it’s not for you.
Another example of this is when someone came to me and said they were never running webinars. They hated everything about webinars. They hated listening to webinars, they hated doing webinars, and they hated the sales pitch at the end of webinars.
To me, all the reasons they said they didn’t want to do webinars were really more the reasons why they didn’t want to do terrible webinars.
I made a deal with them that they would run two webinars using my structure and strategy, and then they would make a decision.
This is because we decide better through action.
They agreed to do this, and after their first webinar, they said that they could understand all the reasons why they had resisted doing webinars… but that webinars were amazing!
We learn and decide by taking that action and seeing how it works for us. I always say to try it twice because the first time you’re learning and things can be clunky, but then the second time you can really hit your stride.
I think that we learn and decide better through action, so that’s a case for being open to saying yes, rather than just taking some person’s hard and fast rule about why to say no.
There are very logical reasons to say no to discounting your work, but that logic can be fuzzy depending on:
- How established you are in your business
- The number of people who are going to see your offer
- How publicly you offer the discount
They are all factors into what extent it has a “devaluing” impact on your business.
There’s a strategy to make sure that we reduce and minimise the “damage” that that does, compared to if we were to just go and offer it publicly and not have a strategy behind it.
Reason 2: Opportunities and wins can come from the most unexpected places
Sometimes I’m presented with an opportunity that I’m uncertain about, but when I look at it strategically, I know that I’ve already got my main strategies working and I have the capacity to try something else, so I decide to just give it a go.
Some of the most amazing things have come out of the most random places.
One of the big ones for me was when I participated in Elizabeth Goddard’s Christmas party in 2022.
I hadn’t really seen a lot from Lizzy at that point in time but I loved her Facebook community (she’s got a community for people who’ve ever purchased anything from her). She’s always on the cutting edge of technology, she has a very engaged audience, and it’s a really great place to go and ask questions about anything.
I was seeing a bit more of Lizzy’s content towards the end of 2022 and she had this opportunity to give something away for free in the party bag for her Christmas party.
I thought about it and I realised I had the time and space to explore that opportunity.
Towards the end of the year, I don’t do my own launches. I do my Planner launch in October, then I usually do the last launch of one of my programs for the year in November, and then I have nothing in December except Tashmas (which is pretty much just a bunch of giveaways).
Saying yes to that opportunity ended up resulting in over 1,000 new people joining my mailing list, some big momentum because I put really cool things into the party bag (and will continue to do so for as long as Lizzy runs her Christmas party), and a bunch of people giving me shoutouts and great feedback.
It had so many flow-on benefits for my business, and I was glad that I made the decision to practice saying yes.
Sometimes those wins come from the most unexpected of places.
Reason 3: It may go nowhere, it may underperform, or it may blow you away
Nowadays, I don’t do podcast interviews for new podcasts. I prefer that people get a few episodes under their belt first so that I can make sure it’s actually going to see the light of day and they’re going to stick around.
But when I was wanting to do more guest podcasts a couple of years ago, I said yes to everything. Sure, some of those podcasts never went anywhere or they hardly made it onto the internet.
But some of them blew me away!
I was on a podcast with someone who had a fairly new podcast and was still finding their stride, but they were so prolific in sharing that interview that I did get new followers.
She was tagging me and getting a lot of comments when she was sharing it on Instagram, and I ended up being invited onto a more established podcast by someone who found me through her.
That was really fabulous as an opportunity as well.
That being said, sometimes it will go nowhere.
This is where I think sometimes we create those hard-and-fast rules that shut us down to new opportunities.
Maybe you were on someone’s early-stage podcast once, and it didn’t go anywhere, so you painted every early-stage podcast with the same brush.
Instead, we need to recognise that sometimes it does do nothing.
I’ve been a participant in virtual conferences that went pretty much nowhere. But I’m still open to being a speaker on virtual conferences because I know that they can have quite a lot of potential, especially if they are paid tickets instead of free.
I would call a free virtual conference a summit, and I don’t do free summits unless it’s someone who’s a very big name. I’ve got some discernment, I’m not a never-ever person, but I am still willing to try them out.
I know sometimes they don’t go anywhere. And that’s okay! I’m not putting all of my hopes and dreams on that one thing paying off. It’s one of a number of things that I’m playing with and experimenting with, as part of my strategy moving forward.
Sometimes it’ll pay off, sometimes it won’t, but you don’t need it to pay off 100% of the time for you to consider it as a good experiment.
Reason 4: Are you really better off by knuckling down on what you’ve already planned?
Yes, there’s something very good about seeing your plans through and there’s something very auspicious feeling about being someone who’s very strategic and has a clear plan.
But sometimes, that plan is so narrow that knuckling down on your own and working your way through your plan will take up so much more time than is needed.
Remember Parkinson’s Law: A project expands to take up the time that you give it.
Instead of simply saying no to other opportunities because you’re set on your plan and will expand the time you spend on that, there’s sometimes a case for us to experiment a little more and acknowledge that our current strategies will only get us so far.
Are you really better off staying home and working harder compared to buying a ticket and going to an in-person conference?
Sometimes we’re so fixated on all the tasks we haven’t done yet, that we feel like anything else is a distraction.
I don’t think it’s that straightforward.
Yes, I want to make sure that I’m nailing my basics and my foundations as much as possible. But I don’t do that to the exclusion of everything else 100% of the time, because I’m open to seeing what those new possibilities might be. I’m open that there may be something fresh that could really scale up what I’m doing.
Again, it’s never really a hard-and-fast rule for me. And that’s what I’m trying to plant the seed about.
Reason 5: We build discernment by exploring opportunities and measuring results
One of the reasons why I am comfortable and confident to say I don’t do start-up podcasts anymore is because when I did do podcast interviews with everyone a few years ago, I actually measured the outcome of that strategy.
I would look at:
- How many people were commenting on the posts that person shared?
- What was the engagement when I shared about that podcast?
- Were there spikes in visits to my website?
- Were there spikes in signups for the freebie I promoted?
I had ways to see if the strategy was actually delivering results.
Similarly, when I did the free introductory sessions, I measured how many people:
- Signed up each week
- Actually showed up to the sessions
- Were engaged in the sessions
- Converted into paying clients
It was through actually doing it that I was able to measure some results and see that compared to the paid sessions I was doing, the free sessions were actually not a good use of my time.
Saying yes to something fresh and something new can teach you to be discerning if you measure it against something you’re already doing.
I have my core client attraction process and core strategies that I use, and every quarter, I have one new thing that I’ll play with so that I can explore if it will add value to my client attraction process. If it does then I will replace some part of my client attraction process with that strategy, and if it doesn’t then it will simply solidify my tried and true strategies.
Most quarters, I will stick with tried and true.
But some quarters, I will decide to swap something out because the new strategy works way better for me at that point in time.
We build our skills in discernment by experimenting with new strategies and measuring results.
Another example that I want to talk about here in terms of saying yes, is my experience creating the Heart-Centred Virtual Business Conference.
When I created the Heart-Centred Business Conference back in 2016, there were a lot of people who asked me to do a live stream of the conference and sell it as a virtual ticket.
As an extroverted person who is very mindful of holding space at my events (regardless of whether they’re online or in person), I felt it wasn’t the right thing for me at that point in time. I wanted to just focus on the people in the room.
For the 2017 and 2019 conferences, we did not have a virtual live stream.
I was pretty adamant that I wouldn’t do a virtual live stream from the in-person conference.
As an attendee at virtual live streams from in-person conferences, it just didn’t work and it’s rare to see it actually done very well.
From a provider perspective, I was not comfortable with dividing my attention between people in the room and people in the virtual room.
I wanted to give my full attention to the people in the room.
But during COVID, the opportunity presented itself to run a purely virtual conference because we had to delay the in-person conference.
It was the perfect opportunity for me to have a go at running a virtual conference to see what needs to happen to make it work well.
It was also the perfect opportunity to show me that no, a live stream of the in-person conference would not work. But I do love hosting virtual conferences, I just need them to be separated!
I ended up running two virtual conferences in 2020 and 2021. Both of them were amazing, they were super profitable, and they grew my audience and my reach really brilliantly.
They created so much rich connection and networking amongst the people who attended. We had raving fans, and we even broke the internet at one point. It was just absolutely spectacular.
What it did was it solidified for me that I’m not going to livestream the in-person conference. But I absolutely am open to bringing back a virtual conference (wink wink) at some point in the future.
2023 is the year that we bring back Virtual Conference!
Now that the 2024 in-person conference is sold out over a year in advance, it means that I have the capacity to run and promote Virtual Conference because I have zero promos to do for the in-person conference between now and September 2024.
I know running a Virtual Conference is a good strategy because I did it when I had the opportunity.
Virtual Conference is also far more profitable than in-person conference. It allowed me to see how to maximise the profitability of a virtual conference, and how virtual conference can help fund some of the things that we do at the in-person conference, because there are some limitations to how profitable the in-person conference can be.
There are limitations on attendee numbers because the room is only so big, and there are limitations on how much I’d be willing to charge for tickets.
There are some lesser-known speakers who I wouldn’t necessarily invite onto the in-person stage without having worked with them or seen them present before. But seeing as there are more speaker slots available for Virtual Conference, I can invite them to speak there instead.
I love putting members of my community and listeners of my podcast on the stage.
There are only so many spaces at the in-person conference, but there are more of those spaces for Virtual Conference.
I’m treating Virtual Conference as another opportunity to platform you as my audience and get you speaking opportunities.
I’m really, really grateful that I decided to practice saying yes, even though my experience of being a virtual conference attendee in the past has been quite poor. But I knew why, and I knew what I would do instead, so that was really powerful.
Hopefully, I’ve presented a fairly strong case for you to practice saying yes to a few more things. Maybe try some things out with those boundaries!
I’m not saying you need to just say yes to everything… we’ve seen the problematic side to that in the movie Yes Man.
But just being open to more things can bring so much amazingness into your life and business.
I hope that’s been really helpful for you.
I also have a special opportunity for you…
If you’re reading this before the 5th of November 2023, Virtual Conference is happening from the 5th of November and I am actively looking for speakers.
Even if you’re not selected, I will be keeping that list for future virtual conferences, in-person conferences, and other speaking opportunities that I have coming up.
It doesn’t take much for you to pop your application in. If we need any further information, we can be in touch.
As always, feel free to slide into my DMs on Instagram or Facebook. I would love to hear if you have any questions, or just want to share how you’re saying yes to more things as a result of reading this episode.
I’m so excited to hear all ways that you have begun to practice saying YES!
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the podcast.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.