“I don’t know if this pump will fit the valve on my tyre, you see. It’s a type only used in Holland. Can I just quickly try the pump, and see if it works?”
“The young woman looks at me and says: ”No”.
“Really? I just want to try it before I buy. My bike is right outside”.
“No, she says. ”You could just pump up your tyre, and then you wouldn’t need to buy the pump anymore”.
Clearly, she mistook me for someone with nefarious intentions.
So I smiled at her, and said “Que no, tonta!” – Of course not, silly! – and put a 20-Euro note on the counter.
She understood I was ok and started rummaging round for a boxcutter.
I tried the pump, paid, pumped the tire to 5 atmosphere, and rode off into the sunset.
Later that day, I’m in a bar having a beer, doing some writing on my novel.
Comes time to pay, I notice that one of the coins in my hand isn’t a 2-Euro piece – $3.50 or thereabouts – but a Turkish coin of almost exactly the same size and no monetary value in Spain.
I think back and remember where I received it – a guy gave me change earlier that day and I pocketed it without looking, I remember clearly.
So this morning I go back to his shop and say: “You made a mistake yesterday with the change – you accidentally gave me a foreign coin”.
He takes the piece from me, barely even looks at it, and walks to the till. The coin disappears somewhere and without any objection at all, he gives me a 2-Euro piece.
I tell him: “You need to get rid of that you know, the next guy who gets it might get angry”. I don’t even have time to tell him that passing counterfeit money is illegal, when he answers:
“No, I’m keeping it, for myself”.
Riiiight… for himself. As a souvenir – of course.
Bollocks: someone played him a bad coin, and he’s going to put it in someone else’s hand, and hope it won’t get noticed.
Two experiences, two results: The guy, I now know I can’t trust him.
The woman – well I could have been offended at how she misjudged me, but I prefer to respect her for running her business with a bit of care.
And, I respect her for having the balls to tell me why ‘no’, when I asked her. Many people would just oblige even though they’d rather not.
And hey, she’s got every right to refuse.
Sometimes you have to.
A few weeks ago a guy got in touch wanting copy, but before he could tell me anything – even the name of his company – I’d have to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Yeah, that just don’t work for me – so I had to decline. Even though it was a sizeable project and the money would have come in handy.
No is a useful word in business. It should be used any time you feel someone invades, or very likely will invade, your own personal territory, your space, your truths, your peace of mind or your ethics.
You have every right to decline.
You can, for example, decline to take up my new LEAP Marketing Newsletter, once I finally get the sales page ready this week. (Today? Is there a copywriter in the house?)
Not that I recommend it – it’s a pretty solid piece of business training, the way it’s shaping up.
More about that in the next few days…
Meanwhile, go here if you already know how to run a successful business, but you just want to learn how to write daily emails that keep bringing in sales –> http://www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/