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Life & BusinessTop 20 of All Time

Top 20 Business Posts of All Time: #20 How to Say NO

by Grace Bonney

If you had asked me 15 years ago if a section of Design*Sponge about business would be where my greatest joy would come from, I would have said, “No way.” But that’s exactly what happened. It all started with a wine and cheese party at Rena Tom’s house, which turned into our first free Biz Ladies meetup in 2007, which turned into an 8-city tour (also free) around the country. That tour then turned into a weekly column (first called Biz Ladies, then changed to Life & Business), a weekly podcast (After the Jump) and then a book, In the Company of Women. That book inspired our new magazine and podcast, Good Company, and inspired a new book project I’m working on as well. My love for the people behind creative projects knows no bounds and I’m so thrilled that my interests grew in this direction.

So today I’m excited to start sharing the 20 most popular Life & Business articles that we’ve ever posted on Design*Sponge. Whether you own a business, are starting one, or have a dream to one day be your own boss, these articles ARE FOR YOU. There is no wrong way to start a business if you are leading with your heart and listening to the advice of people you trust in your community. So let’s get started with the countdown! xo, Grace

Updated Rosie the Riveter by Abigail Friedman

#20: The Importance of Saying NO!

  • Who Contributed This Piece: Grace :)
  • DS debut: March 2012

This is a piece I return to every now and then to remind myself to take my OWN advice. It’s hard to turn off the part of me that wants to say yes to everyone who needs or wants something from me and it’s been a lesson I have to learn and re-learn every year. I hope this personal story will inspire anyone reading to speak up for themselves and set boundaries when they need them.

If you take just three things away from this post, I hope they’ll be:

  • ONLY EMBARK ON SITUATIONS THAT ARE RESPECTFUL OF YOUR TIME, YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND YOUR HEALTH.
  • OPPORTUNITIES ARE RARELY LUCK — THEY ARE OFTEN THE RESULT OF HARD WORK AND PERSEVERANCE — TRUST THAT YOU CAN CREATE THEM AGAIN.
  • YOU CAN’T CONTINUE TO INNOVATE IF YOU’RE TOO TIRED TO DO YOUR BEST WORK. LEAVE TIME TO REST, RESTORE AND BECOME INSPIRED.

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