“No” Can Be Good

Did I mention it has been a busy summer?

Well it has.

What was designed to be a summer of nothing, turned out to be exactly the opposite. Please don’t mistake that statement for complaining however. Although our expectations and reality didn’t quite line up this summer, I feel that I have been productive and have demonstrated to myself that I can adapt and perform well under various pressures: certainly better than I ever have before.

Additionally out of the craziness I have some stories I would like to share.

Last year, my wife and I embarked on a new venture by investing in Real Estate. The first year has been rewarding beyond our expectations, both from a personal development perspective and a business perspective. One tiny aspect had been nagging at me since soon after we took possession. A small section of concrete at the back of the house had sunk significantly. It had gotten to the point where water would pool by the foundation of the house: never a good thing. Thankfully it was not causing any issues beyond a slight puddle, but I wanted to address it sooner rather than later.

Late last summer I reached out to a well recommended contractor to provide me with a quote. He was prompt in meeting me, semi-prompt in providing me a quote (a week later), was reasonably priced and communicated a plan of attack very clearly. All good signs! However the weather did not cooperate and it soon became late September before the work could get done. We decided to hold off until the spring.

Fast forward to April when I emailed the contractor to re-connect and ensure he still planned to do the work, and if his quote was valid. I received a response saying mid-May would be the ideal time to get it done. Mid-May came, and I received no contact. I reached out to him again, only to discover he was on vacation and would contact me upon his return at the end of May. I’m still waiting for his call…

In the meantime, I contact several other contractors, received several other quotes and ultimately decided to move on. The remainder of the story can wait for another post, as it has a message of its own.

I have no doubt that the original contractor does great work: we would not have been recommended by so many if he didn’t. I also strongly believe he had the best of intentions to complete my work, but other jobs and obligations got in the way. Unfortunately for him, I have a sour taste in my mouth and I won’t be calling him again.

I can’t help but think what would have been if he had said “no”. If the contractor was up-front with me, saying something along the lines of, “Chris, I appreciate your call and I would love to provide you with a quote to do the work. At this point however, I am stretched a little thin with other work and I would really hate to damage our future relationship by not being able to deliver in a timely manner.” I would have to respect that.

I would have called others and the job would have been completed by someone else, but guess who would remain near the top of my list for the next time. Instead I’ve deleted his name and number from my phone; because I won’t be using it again.

How often do we say “yes” because it’s a job or a project or a favour or ___________________, when it is our (and other’s) best interests to say “no”?


7 thoughts on ““No” Can Be Good

  1. Had a similar incident with a pool refinisher. Highly recommended, took the job, set the date, but couldn’t communicate. We knew weather would be an issue, but in Florida, rain comes and goes in a nanosecond, so we waited and waited and waited, left messages with no callback. All they had to tell us was that even a little rain will delay. Communication seems to be where businesses shoot themselves in the foot.

  2. A lesson I had to learn when starting my own business. The need to bring in revenue, pay bills, meant that sometimes, I took on training gigs that fell outside of the topic area I am truly passionate about .. customer service. It’s not that I did a bad job on other topic areas; I just didn’t do as great a job. Plus, the time spent developing and facilitating sessions outside of my preferred topic area meant that I wasn’t building my brand. An honest “no” is better for everyone involved.

    • Tim, Thanks for re-blogging this to your followers! It was a welcome surprise this morning, and is greatly appreciated. Hope all is well with you, now that September is beginning to act like September. Take care and chat soon!

      • Hey my pleasure Chris! I really enjoyed that post. Glad to help any way I can. Hope September starts acting like August again soon 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your week. Chat soon Tim

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