Stop Giving Your Food Away When Your Business Is Starving – Start Saying No


Have you ever had this feeling?

After a long and hectic day at work, it`s finally time to get ready for bed.

Deep inside, you have been dreading this moment, even though you have tried to shake it off.

You know that it will probably happen tonight…all over again.

After the toothbrush has been giving your teeth some spa treatment for about 10 seconds…you stop.

The person in the mirror is staring back at you. The facial expression tells you that the person looks rather clueless…

…and you are.

The face that was rather good-looking 10 seconds ago, has now turned into a zombie looking figure who has been infected by rabies.

With the mouth wide-open and white foam all over the place, the thing starts to speak…

“Wa e ek di I aktly o oay?”

That can be translated to “what the heck did actually do today?”

You realize that you have entered the ranks of the living dead, who walks mindless through the day.

This can often happen when you are overworked, juggling too many balls, stressed and are suffering from lack of sleep.

Don`t panic.

I will now give you the recipe on how to take control of your life again.

The art of start saying no

We have all been given 24 hours each day, this means that we are operating in the same timeframe whether you are a homeless person on the street or Donald Trump.

Where you are in your life today, is a direct result of how you have been spending your 24 hours each and every single day, to this point.

If you feel like your business is not thriving the way it should, you`ve probably not been putting in enough hours of the correct activities.

Notice, I didn`t say enough hours. I said, enough hours of the correct activities.

In Norway we have an expression that is called to “spoon feed”. That means that you are explaining something to a person by simplifying it, just to make sure that they understand.
Now is the proper time for me to say to you, I`m sorry.

I`m sorry for spoon-feeding you that last part. But it`s THAT important.

So how can successful people get more time?

They are very good at saying no.

Note: I`ve created a Say No Cheat Sheet that has helped me to take control of my time.
Click the button below to get it for free (normally I just give them to my coaching clients).

Say No Cheat Sheet

Here are the 3 reasons why saying no can make you more successful…

1. Feed your own family first

You should spend your time on the areas in your life that is most important for you. This may of course vary from person to person.

My priorities in life are in the following order:
A. Sara (my better half) and the baby who will arrive in the start of June
B. Myself
C. Business
D. Family
E. Friends

Here I put my own family first. I would do anything for Sara and the unborn baby.

Next, myself. I do care that I`m healthy, happy and are having a good life.

Then it`s my business. Why is this so important for me, and why is it ranked even higher than family and friends?

Well, that is really a very simple answer. Because of point A and B.

Since I quit my six figure corporate job in order to start my own business, it`s crucial that I get it up and running.

Only by succeeding in running my business, will I be able to provide for Sara, the baby and myself.

Then it`s of course my family and then my friends.

2. By saying yes, you are saying no to something else

Many people are, how shall I put it?

I`ll just say it. They are too kind.

They say yes to almost everything, because they are afraid to hurt other people`s feelings, and they are afraid what people might think of them, if they say no.

To that I say: STOP IT!

If you have done this so far in life, that`s okay. But today is the time when you will change and start saying NO.


Because you probably have been prioritizing other people before yourself most of your life. You deserve better.

When you say yes to something, you are actually saying no to something else.

So, let`s say your neighbor asked you to drive him and his son to a football match, because their car is being repaired. Note, you were not invited to the football match, you were only asked to be the driver.

If you say yes to this, you will probably spend the whole evening driving them to the match, and picking them up.

If a good old friend is suddenly in town and asks you to catch up. You will have to say no to that, unless he thinks it`s really fun to join you and observe how you spend your free time doing charity work for your neighborhood. Don`t take it personal if your friend says no.

3. If you give them a finger, they will take the whole hand

Many people are selfish and they are often taking advantage of very good-hearted people (read: you).

If you start saying yes to helping people with chores or tasks that is not natural of you to do, you will most likely start to get requests from other people as well.


Because you have now gotten a reputation! You have become the go to guy or gal, who almost always says yes to weird and awkward requests, that no one else will help them out with (not even their own family). Congratulations!

There is an expression saying “if you give them a finger, they will take the whole hand.”

The irony here, is that you said yes, because you don`t like to say no.

What happened? More requests have been coming your way.

What you focus on expands.

If you don`t start saying no, more requests will come. And trust me. It won`t become easier to say no further down the road.

Get out of your comfort zone, and grow some balls (sorry for my French, you know what I mean.)

Nothing worth accomplishing has ever been made without pushing yourself out of the comfort zone.

Start today!

Now is the time to finally take your life back, and stop being a living dead.

Disclaimer: I just need to say that I don`t mean that you should say NO to everything. I mean that you should become a lot more conscious of what you are actually saying yes to.

You could be saying yes to requests as long as they don`t interfere with your prioritized list.

What do I mean?

If you want to go for a run, and your better half, needs you to go to the store and buy some more diapers, because you are out. You go and buy the diapers, and then you go for a run.


Because you prioritize A before B.

Then it`s B before C, and C before D. You get the point.

Successful people share and are generous, but seldom with their time.


Because they only have 24 hours too. They are more likely to give a big donation to a charity fund, than giving a random person a free 1 on 1 meeting.


Because they have lots of money, but still only 24 hours a day.

Where do you find it difficult to say no?

Please drop a comment below.

Here`s what to do next…

I`ve got something special for you.  It`s a “Cheat Sheet” that will help you to prioritize your most valuable asset – your time.

This is normally something I only give to my coaching clients, but I wanted to give you some extra value today.

Click on the picture below to download your FREE Say No Cheat Sheet and start taking control of YOUR LIFE!

About Tor Refsland
I help online entrepreneurs NETWORK with influencers and position their BRAND so they can attract the right CLIENTS fast. Award-winning blogger.


  1. says

    Hi Tor.

    As I expected, this is just what I needed.

    I have always observed that the downside of being reliable is that people will try to take advantage of that. But as you showed, we need to look after ourselves before we can be in a position to look after others.

    Thanks for sharing those tips.

    Nathan Ambrose recently posted…Does My Business Need a Blog?My Profile

    • Tor Refsland says

      Hi Nathan,

      thanks a lot for stopping by to comment. I really appreciate it 🙂

      It`s like with most things in life. You need to feed yourself first, so you will be able to have the energy to gather more food, so you can share with others.

      I think it might be some kind of balancing law regarding that point in the universe.

      A sane person wouldn`t take financial advice from someone who is poor.

      The more successful you become, the more will you be able to help other people and give back to the community.


  2. says

    Hi Tor
    Great post. As a personal development blogger, I really vibed with this content and your insights. I really like how you made the distinction between spending time wisely rather than just spending more time. Simply putting in the hours can make us feel like we have accomplished a lot but much of that time is often wasted through inefficiency and preoccupying ourselves with things that are not that important. Learning to say no is crucial, but like you said, our ‘niceness’ can certainly interfere with that. But, once we start prioritizing our well being, it will be easier because we will realize it is a necessity.
    kelli recently posted…So You Wanna Be Happy? How to Get the Most out of Your Personal Development ‘Work’ Part 2My Profile

    • Tor Refsland says

      Hi Kelli,

      thanks for your great feedback.

      It`s the same with actions as with food. It can taste bad, average or good.

      The key is to focus on quality on whatever you do. This goes for spending your time, using your money wisely, being able to have a good conversations with people, and last but not least, to be present in the moment.

      By focusing on quality, you will get a much more successful and happy life.

      What would you rather have, 10 really good friends, 30 average friends or 100 bad friends?

      I don`t mean that everything you do should be perfect. However, if you are going to deliver a report to your boss and the quality of the report needs to be a 5 (on a scale from 1-10). Then it`s okay to give the little extra, making the report become a 5,5 or a 6. This will set you a part.

      By giving your all in the scenario above, and spending too much time making that report a 9 or even a 10, will be a waste of time.

      On the other hand, if you have a customer or client, it`s another story.

      If your client expect to get a product that is 5, it would be wise to put the extra effort, focusing on how you can (without spending too much extra time) increase the quality, service and over-deliver.

      This will make you stand out from the rest, and your customer will be awestruck by your awesome service and product.

      If people where to connect over-delivering and awesomeness with your name, congratulations!

      Then you have built a successful brand 😉

      Tor Refsland

    • Tor Refsland says

      Thanks for stopping by to comment, Sue.

      I`m so glad that you found this post useful.

      We have to realize that people are different. Even though WE know where the boundaries of good human behavior lies, other people might not.

      Some people are like small kids. They will push the boundaries repeatedly, until they meet a strict ‘no’ from their parents. It`s also important to say ‘no’, and let that be the final word in that matter.

      Some people say ‘no’, and then they do the action anyway.

      What does that teach the child?

      He or she will learn that a ‘no’ is a ‘yes’.

      For yourself and for your own business` sake, let`s set the boundaries and give people the lessons in polite behavior, that their parents didn`t teach them 😉


  3. says

    Hi Tor, this is excellent food for thought. My comment is an aggravated sigh that, I wish I could say “no” more often, but the surprising thing I’m finding is that – IT’S EMOTIONAL. Sometimes, putting hours in the “correct activities” as you say, is totally a function of our emotional state, our belief in ourselves. We often know what we need to do, but because of fear and a lack of belief in oneself, we say “yes” to the thing that is not in our businesses interest. This is why books like the Secret and the Law of Attraction find their popularity among entrepreneurs and sales people, and also why I use (and recommend) emotional freedom techniques EFT) for my colleagues and clients…. emotional work it rearranges our internal structure that stops us from believing in ourselves and thus enables us to say “NO” more often! Blessings to you for your work, it has been delightful to hear your comments in ej-insider!

    • Tor Refsland says


      thanks a lot for your great comment.

      Yes, emotions will override logic (and win) every time. You can read my post about that topic:
      In my experience, the more emotional you become (meaning you don`t FEEL like doing something), that you logic tells you is the best – the more important it is to actually go through it.

      Doing the right decisions is never easy, and they never will be. However, the more you trust yourself, and your logic, then it becomes a little bit easier the next time.

      Most of this lies in self-confidence. To have the ability to do something that you KNOW is right for yourself, despite what other people might think about it.

      I have been doing some really tough and big choices in the last months, so I can relate. However, I did follow through. It felt like crap before I did the action, and even more crap when I performed the action. However, in retrospect, after the storm, it was all a bliss 😉

      Sometimes you have to do hard choices in order to give yourself a better situation in life.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  4. says


    Thank you for writing this post — I appreciate your asking about my challenge, and then approaching it with your insight. Clever and appreciated!

    First, our saying here: “Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    For me, these were mainly reminders. But a good time spent in reading, absorbing, and considering new ways to consider.

    At my stage of life, my daughter is in college, my husband has been unemployed for an extended time period, and my business, I’ve managed to build……much more slowly than wished for, as my income must go for only family expenses.

    I know that my lists and structures would be prioritized differently if my family was not in “emergency state” at this time. It worries me that I’ve been much too honest in this comment box.

    My curiosity from here is how you would answer these questions with more life experience. Yes, the number of hours in the day do not change, but the dynamics of requirements do. At what point is saying “no” all the time detrimental?

    Please know that I appreciate your writing this article more than it will may be evident here. I hope we can collaborate in productive ways in the future.


    Keri recently posted…How To Delete Facebook ReviewsMy Profile

    • Tor Refsland says

      Hi Keri,

      thanks a lot for sharing, and it`s okay that you get personal. It gives me a better opportunity to know your situation 

      First of all, let me say that the prioritization of the list, was how I wanted MY list to be based on my current situation.

      This will of course vary from person to person.

      The most important thing here, Keri, is that you do the following:

      1. Make your own list of the most important areas in your life
      2. Prioritize your activities according to that list

      Second, let me just make it perfectly clear that I did not mean that you are going to say ‘no’ to any requests that aren’t a part of your most important areas. I suggested that you should prioritize your areas fist.

      Let me give you an example.

      Let`s say you put your family first and then your business.

      Then the following scenarios occurs:

      Scenario 1:
      If your are having a quality time with your family, and your neighbor suddenly rings the doorbell in order to borrow some sugar, you will of course lend him/her the sugar.

      Scenario 2:
      If a new contact you recently met at a networking conference (not a friend), is calling you during your work hour in order to do some sparring of future business ventures, you can do the following:
      1. If you do have the time to talk, you`ll go through with the conversation
      2. If you don`t have the time to talk, you will politely explain that you are very busy at the moment, and you ask if you can call him/her back later

      Scenario 3:
      There is this person at the work place who is a very chatty. He/she walks around and talks to other colleagues, including you, about non-work related topics all the time.

      When this person shows up at your desk, if you want to be productive, you should say: hey, X, nice of you to stop by. I`m kind of busy right now, it would be great if we could chat later.

      This would result in that the person would leave you alone, letting you focus on your work, while wandering on to ruin someone else`s work time.

      The scenarios above are examples of different actions that will occur in your life.

      Scenario 1: the request from your neighbor takes so little time, and it`s such a nice gesture, that you will do it right away.

      Scenario 2: if you don`t have the time, you know that the call is important, so you will call back later.

      Scenario 3: in some situations you just have to politely say ‘no’ (even though, you might not say no literally – the consequence is that the event that is about to occur is avoided).

      Let me finish by saying, I do believe in helping other people, in fact, I love to help other people.
      I will help other people when it I`m asked, but it`s very important for me that I spend my hours right.

      I believe that you will reap what you sow. Being generous and scratching other people`s back are a good way to build relationships and to get more success in the long-term.

      My point is, that it`s easier to spend your time correct and become more productive, if you block your time for important activities in your calendar, and don`t let less important areas interfere.

      If you are going to drive your husband for a doctor appointment (the situation is critical) at 10 am, and there is a good old friend ringing the doorbell, you will most likely drive your husband first, and reschedule the time with your friend.

      You don`t necessarily say no to requests, you reschedule them.

      However, there may be some requests from certain people you know, that will make your stomach twist, and only the thought of the request is draining you for energy.

      That might for instance be an acquaintance that only calls you to talk trash of other people, and only to complain about all the things in his/her life. When you try to give advice, they are completely ignoring it. The person is never interested in what goes on in your life, just want to call you and throw the shit in your lap (ruining your day and draining you for energy.)

      You should probably say ‘no’ to those type requests / situations 😉

      Does that make sense? 🙂

        • Tor Refsland says

          Hi Keri,

          we are indeed jugglers 😉

          As with all skillsets, we will become more proficient the more we train.

          Our most important focus should be spend the most time on the balls(areas) that are most important for us in our lives.

          The pleasure is all mine.

          Thanks for stopping by to comment again, Keri.


    • says

      Hi Julie,

      thank you for stopping by to comment. I really appreciate it 🙂

      Yes, it`s important to know where to draw the line and say no when it`s right.

      Being too goodhearted and saying yes to too many requests, only steals away time which you can spend with your family or other things that you would love to do.


  5. says

    Hi Tor,

    This is such a much needed post!!! So many people don’t know where to draw the line and there are so many opportunities to help people but we have to think first about our own needs before we can think of other people’s needs.

    Help where you can, I agree 100%, but you can’t help everyone or you’ll never focus on helping those who can afford the help and provide for your needs and your dreams.

    I love this quote from your article: “If you feel like your business is not thriving the way it should, you`ve probably not been putting in enough hours of the correct activities.”


    It’s not about effort or work, it’s about being smart with the time you have.

    Great post Tor!!!

    I hope you had a wonderful week! I really enjoyed Skyping with you earlier in the week.

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted…Admitting Your Faults As a Business OwnerMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks a lot for your awesome comment, Don.

      Those words mean a lot to me, especially coming from you 

      My week has included a lot of work, which again means a lot of brain activity, and sometimes it`s hard to fall asleep when I should. However, I managed to sleep like a baby (a quiet one) last night, and it was lovely.

      Zig Ziglar said: “Money isn`t everything, but it ranks right up there with oxygen.”

      Many people misinterpret his quote, because it`s taken out of context.

      Zig Ziglar means that the more successful you become, the more you can help other people and give back to the community.

      The more successful you become, the more money, resources and last, but not least, the bigger network you have of influential people – which you can spend to actually do some good and make a big change in people`s lives.

      Would you have taken fitness tips from a fat person?

      – No

      Would you have taken life lessons or tips that can dramatically change your life for the better, from someone who HASN`T achieved it themselves?

      – No

      So If you want to help a lot of people, start with yourself first.
      I hope you have had a wonderful week too, Don.

      Skyping with you was really great  I learned a lot, and I love talking to my awesome friends on Skype.

      Thanks again.


    • says


      thanks a lot for stopping by to comment.

      It means a lot to me 

      Thanks a lot for your great feedback, man.

      Yeah, Don is awesome, and I`m honored that he shared my post.

      It`s true, that some people try to take advantage of you in some way or another.

      The thing is, if you let it happen, it`s your own fault.

      Because you are LETTING them taking the most valuable asset you have, TIME.
      This makes you no better than them.


      Because they don`t only steal time (and perhaps resources) from you, which you can spend building your dream life, but they steal from your business and family as well.

      In other words, start saying no to unreasonable requests 😉

      Have a great day!


  6. says

    Hello, Tor,

    What a great article you’ve written, and I could really resonate with what you had to say.

    Wow – The art of saying no. This works in my personal life as well, where I probably struggle with it more than in my business.

    Congrats, by the way, how exciting that you and Sara are expecting – I’m sure June can’t come soon enough. 🙂

    Yes, glad you included the disclaimer because there does need to be a balance. Yes to one thing and no to another…

    The three big rocks for my early morning productivity power time are definitely IPAs (income producing activities), and these are determined the night before.

    So glad you’re following your dream, Tor – that’s fantastic that you get to work from home now, very happy for you.

    Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.
    Carol Amato recently posted…Why I Switched From AWeber to ActiveCampaignMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Carol,

      thanks a lot for stopping by to comment.

      I really appreciate it 🙂

      Yes, I`m really looking forward to June. This also means that there probably will be less sleep, focus and time for my business when the baby comes. In other words: I have a real reason to step up my game and put in some massive action now 🙂

      With every good advice or “rule”, there are always an exceptions. As you mention, the most important thing is that you are aware of when you should say no. Awareness is the key in order to be able to keep a healthy balance on the “No” vs. “Yes” subject.

      Thanks a lot for your support, Carol.

      I hope your weekend was wonderful.


  7. says

    Hi Tor,

    Indeed, we have to put our family first! Then ourselves, then business. This sets a strong foundation for us to be able t say no. When we have our own business it is us. I have a saying I have lived by for many years being an entrepreneur “I am the tool of my business, and that tool needs to be sharp” When you think of it, we need to take care of ourselves as much as we can mind/body/spirit to be able to be sharp!

    I used to have a problem a long time ago saying “No” to people. But I did learn quickly that setting up boundaries for myself gives me the time I need to prioritize my life and my business. One has to be very clear to others that want things from you. They can pull and tug your energy away and you just cannot let that happen.

    Years back in my offline consulting business, I learned this one the hard way….give them a finger and they swallow you up! So I started saying No. It did give me room to take care of my daughter and keep my business flowing.

    When it comes to my business here on the internet, there are plenty of people wanting something for free. I tell them sure…I have many things for you that are free…just go to my blog. End of story!

    No is a powerful word that can be used in a positive way.


    • says

      Hi Donna,

      thanks a lot for stopping by and for your great comment.

      I really like what you are saying “I am the tool of my business, and that tool needs to be sharp”. That is so true.

      I actually have a similar saying that I have been living by in my career and as an entrepreneur “Your skillset is like a toolbox. It`s important to have the necessary tools, and knowing when to use them.”

      Great minds think alike, right? 😉

      I also had problems saying no to people.

      Do you know where it took me?


      Only by saying no to some requests, will you be able to say yes to some high priority opportunities.

      And after all, saying no isn`t egoistic at all, if done the right way.

      What is my ultimate goal?

      To help as many people as humanly possible to change their lives through productivity and time management.

      How will I be able to do that?

      Do build my create killer content, awesome products, engage with the community and to constantly over-deliver.

      How can that be achieved?

      By spending my time wisely.

      And again, helping others and giving awesome value, will results in me being able to provide for my own family as well.

      So it will be a win-win 🙂

      LOL, I like what you are talking about the “I have many things for you that are free…just go to my blog. End of story!”

      Well said.

      There are too many people trying to get as many things as possible for free.

      What is the true law of success?

      To give value first and expect nothing back.

      When you have planted enough seeds, the harvest will grow, whether your try to stop it or not 😉


  8. says

    Hi Tor, this is my first time on your blog, thanks for stopping by mine today.

    First of all wow, that used to be me right there, the Mr go to guy! That’s what I’ve became until I met my partner, because in the past I’ve never ever wanted to let anybody down, I’m not just talking about friends or the neighbour, but from family members too, who sometimes just take advantage of a good situation as much as I love them.

    This post was just a real reminder and very thought provoking, now I’m going to look at saying yes to something as saying no to something else, like spending time building my business or my blog.

    The thing I’ve noticed though, is no matter how many times you say yes you’ll help someone out, the moment you turn around and say no, it’s a crime, they look at you like as if you’ve cursed them or something, I laugh at that all the time.

    Anyway, great uplifting post mate, just what I needed to read to fire me up.

    Fabrizio Van Marciano recently posted…Reduce Bounce Rate And Increase Earnings Or Email Opt-ins With Zero Bounce WordPress PluginMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Fabrizio,

      I`m so glad that you took the tour.

      Thanks for your great comment.

      I have to admit that I also used to be the Mr. go to guy, and that kind of sucked.

      Who will get their best results when it comes to their person life, their business and dreams?

      Well, I can at least tell you who arrives last in the race. It`s the “I say yes to everything”-guy.

      In my experience the reason some people say yes to everything, is that they are afraid as being perceived as impolite and they lack self-esteem.

      The thing is, if you start saying yes to low priority request for everyone, from the postman to your neighbor`s second aunt, people will start bombarding you with even more inappropriate requests.


      It`s the law of attraction. What you focus on expands.

      In addition, by saying yes to everything, you are saying that you are not an important person, and that people can throw their low priority tasks to you, and you`ll fix them because it seems that you have nothing better to do.

      When I realized that, I started saying no.

      But, I didn`t just say no.

      I said (with confidence) “Hey, I would love to do that, however, I`m extremely busy, so I don`t have the time. Sorry.”

      That is a polite rejection, and they will feel like they were bringing me an unreasonable request, since I`m a super busy person.

      How do they perceive me in the future?

      As the polite and super busy person who shouldn`t be bothered unless it`s a request that might save a life.

      That last line was a bit humorous, but you get the point.

      And the best part?

      It works.


      Because how you value and perceive yourself, and if you act like it, the world will value and perceive yourself in the same way.

      How can someone buy that you are a confident person, if you are not?

      So if you act like a confident, smart, warm, open, successful and super busy individual, do you know how the world will perceive you?

      Yup, as a confident, smart, warm, open, successful and super busy individual.

      It`s funny how the world works.

      But then again, if you believe you are X, and you act like you are X, and then people perceive that you are X.

      Well, the secret is…. then you are X.

      Well, I guess I got a bit passionate there. I have seen how personal development has literally changed people`s life from night to day, myself included.

      So it`s a topic I know a lot about and that I`m really passionate about 🙂


  9. says

    Thank you Tor for sharing these great insights.

    You over delivered in this one. I cannot agree more with the need to saying no when other priorities need more of our focus.

    Your replies as well as the other comments are worth ten more posts.

    Time to leave this place and back to work. I couldn’t help myself but say yes to give some positive feedback to your hard work.

    Keep them coming Tor! You have a new follower.

    Jean recently posted…4 reasons why I love content curation and 5 free tools you can use.My Profile

    • says

      It`s great to see you here, Jean.

      Thanks for your kind words. It means a lot to me 🙂

      Providing true value and giving your best, is the best way to stand out in a crowded space. That is true content marketing 101.

      I do my best to deliver great value every single day 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Jean.


  10. says

    This was a really good article, and it came to me in just the perfect time. I really really needed this, regardless of how much I knew I had to say no, but the title did it, “Stop Giving Your Food Away When Your Business Is Starving”.

    Now I’ll put it to practice.

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by to comment, Juan.

      I`m glad that you found my article helpful.

      As Napoleon Hill says in his book “Think and Grow Rich”; Knowledge is not power. Application of knowledge is power.

      If you know of the best tips in the world about a specific topic, but you don`t apply it, the knowledge is useless.

      I`m glad that you will put it to practice, Juan 🙂

      Have a great weekend!


  11. says

    Hi Tor,

    I never knew saying YES to everything was BAD for me until few months AGO when things started turning out bad which even cost me few of my clients, that was when i woke up from my LONG term dream of saying yes, after reading this post i realize what “If you give them a finger, they will take the whole hand” really means.

    Saminu Eedris recently posted…Influence of English Language on Mass Failure of Nigerian StudentsMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Saminu,

      thanks a lot for stopping by to comment.

      Yes, many people are trying to push the limits as far as they can.

      If you say yes to one unreasonable request…

      you will most certain get MORE OF THOSE.

      And the MORE you say yes, the harder it is to say no.

      So just start saying no to unreasonable requests in a polite way. People will get used to it and respect you in the long run.

      However, it`s can be very challenging and uncomfortable in the start.

      Have a great day!



    • says

      Thanks for commenting, Sneha.

      Yes, saying no to unreasonable requests will definitely make sure that you are able to protect your time better, so you can become more productive or just spend it with the people you love 😉


  12. RP says

    Hi Tor,
    Great article and excellent tips.
    Just one thing though. I tried to download the Say No Cheat Sheet and a page came up saying that my email already subscribed, with no link to the sheet.
    Any way to get around this?

    • says

      Hi RP,

      thanks for letting me know.

      Even though you are subscribed, you should get an email with the downloadable document.

      It might take 5 minutes, though.

      If you haven`t received it yet.

      Send me an email, and I`ll personally send it to you 😉



  13. Christopher says

    Very well resounding message anyone in leadership or interested in entrepreneurship needs to read this. Thank you.

    • says

      Thanks a lot for commenting, Christopher.

      I really appreciate it.

      Yeah, once people start to respect their own time, they will become more productive and be able to create a bigger return on investment for the company they work for / their own business…

      …and then again have MORE time to spend on the things they live (like family and activities).



  14. says

    A hard lesson for many Tor, and one I was not 100% on a while ago (and still struggle with myself daily).
    But learning to focus on the right things each day, the things that either pay the bills, or bring in new clients, is crucial. Of course we also have to take care of ourselves and family as you said.

    Which reminds me, I think I broke a filling in my tooth, gotta book a dentist! damn
    Ashley Faulkes recently posted…More Email Optin Ideas Than You Can Eat! (And Some You Never Heard Of)My Profile

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by to comment, Ashley.

      Yeah, it`s a constant struggle. That being said, once you start doing it over time, you will become more comfortable doing it.

      The most important thing is that when you say no in a nice way, people really do understand your situation. In addition, they even feel sorry for bothering you.

      It`s all about controlling the endless tide stream of incoming requests.

      Sorry to hear about your tooth. Go to the dentist! 🙂



    • says

      Hey Amrita,

      thanks a lot for your kind words 🙂

      Yes, in order to become more productive so you can become more successful, while working fewer hours, it`s important to always work on your most important tasks 🙂

      “I think the 24 hours in a day makes us all really equal.What we do sets us apart.” Well said, Amrita. I totally agree with you.

      Have an awesome day!



  15. says

    Hello Tor,

    Thanks for sending this post to me. The comments and replies are just as informative as the post itself.

    I work in the restaurant industry so I have a lot of time during the day. Once I take care of my family, I usually take time to care for myself with a bike ride.

    My challenge has been to figure out which areas to concentrate my time to give me the best results. I’m turning this paradigm on its head. So instead of treating my “spare time” as time to waste, why not treat it like a business. How can I leverage that time to give me greater results?

    Yes, your basic needs have to be met. Your method of prioritizing is spot on. That may be offensive to some (shouldn’t you be there for your friends any time of the day or night? Well, no.)

    While saying no may be difficult for a person like me (I am habitually too kind) in the long run, such a practice will not only help me feed my family first, it will help nourish me.

    Thanks again,

    GeraldRhodes recently posted…When the Weather Takes a Turn for the WorseMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks a lot for commenting, Gerald.

      I really appreciate it.

      The main difference between very successful people and those who aren`t, is how they spend their 24 hours 😉


  16. says

    Love the terrific article Tor!

    As a working mother I absolutely agree that family is priority number one, but this is also something that tends to trip a lot of parents up. It’s only natural that your own needs take a back seat when you have small kids who need you day and night, but as they grow I think it’s vital to reclaim time for yourself.

    I have to admit I sometimes feel guilty about leaving my family to go to the gym, but I know it’s for the best. They’re much better off with a mother who’s healthy, happy, and productive than someone who tends to all their needs.

    I have no idea who came up with the saying “Protect the Asset”, but it’s my favorite.

    • says

      Thanks for your kind words, Hilde 🙂

      Yes, even though family is priority #1, the keyword is balance.

      As you mention, it´s hard to be a good parent if you are not getting the time to take care of your own health and feel good about yourself.

      They say that in order to love other people, you must first be able to love yourself.

      The same goes for taking care of your family.

      The better you feel about yourself and the better your own health is, the better are you able to take care of your family.

      “Protecting the asset” is a good saying. Your mind and your body is your asset. Take care of it 😉

      Have a great day.


  17. says

    Hi Tor,

    Great point here!
    When you give out a finger, you whole arm will be taken. Just as the saying goes “Charity begins at home” I think taking care of yourself and your needs first are ones priority. Sometimes we do not have to be so kind, we ought to learn how to say NO so as to enable us accomplish all our goals in business.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Chinedu Ngwu recently posted…Submitting Your Next Job Application – 6 Things to KnowMy Profile

    • says

      Hey Chinedu,

      I appreciate you commenting.

      Yeah, at first you might be thinking that you are kind if you say yes to unreasonable requests…

      but you are NOT.

      That just means that you have LESS time with your family and building your business, which again provides for your family.

      Family first 😉

      Have a great day.



  18. says

    duuuuuude! I just read “Essentialism” by Gregory McKeown a few months ago and it totally convinced me of the power and necessity of saying “No.” Plus, he gives some tips for how to refuse politely.

    Hey, my wife and I are expecting our first baby this summer, too. So exciting! Have you found out the gender yet? Ours is a boy we just discovered this week!

    One more thing – when I tried to get the cheat sheet it said I was already subscribed. Is there a one freebie limit? 😉

    • says

      Hey Jacob,

      thanks for your great comment.

      Congrats with your baby boy. That is HUGE 🙂 That post was a few months old. My baby daughter Luna is soon 11 months old 😉

      Thanks for letting me know about the cheat sheet. Aweber is kind of weird that way. That is also a reason why I am in the middle of changing to ConvertKit.

      You should have gotten the cheat sheet sent to your inbox, regardless of Aweber giving you the “you are already subscribed” message.

      If you haven´t, let me know, and I will personally send you the cheat sheet 🙂

      Have a good day!


  19. says

    Wow, Tor. It’s amazing that I’ve found your stuff just as I really needed these insights. Thanks so much for the Cheat Sheet Share. That is awesome too.

    This is awesome stuff! Definitely bookmarking your site and happy to be on your list (not many lists I can say that about!).

  20. suze says

    I agree , there was a time when i didn’t get my priorities right and was guilty of neglecting myself and my family . I’ve learned it the hard way that its okay not to help others, that my priorities deserve more attention than the mundane stuff and now I never over work myself ( delegate the excess work to my Virtual Assistant-Habiliss) , make sure that i spend some quality ‘me-family-time’

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