To My Fellow Biz Owners : Let's Stop Bullshitting People

To My Fellow Biz Owners : Let's Stop Bullshitting People |

Today I’m making a call to my fellow biz owners about one particular thing way too many of us do : Telling people we're ‘fully booked’, when really, we know that a project or a client just isn’t the right fit for us. 

When I first started running my own biz, I followed a few other biz owners blogs, and this was thrown around a lot. It was (and still is) pitched as an 'easy' way to get out of projects. 

A couple of years on, and well, I think it's pretty shit advice.

I've used it a few times in the past, but I didn’t last long spinning that line until it just felt weird and gross, and I stopped. 

Think about it — if I was telling someone that I was booked, when in reality I know this project would never be a good fit for me — I’m leaving the door open for future possible collaborations, when really, I just want to close that door for good. 

When you say no to the things that aren’t lighting you up inside, you’re leaving space for bigger, better things to come.

And hey — people aren’t stupid. If you go telling them you’re ‘fully booked’, and they happen to follow your newsletter/social media, and you post that you’ve got space available, they’ll know you were full of it. 

There's so many ways this cop-out can come back and bite you in the ass.

There's so many ways that bullshitting in general can come back and bite you in the ass. 

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
— Mark Twain

A big part of this is learning how to say No. And I mean a firm ‘No’, not a little ‘Yeah, maybe’.

When I get an email about a project I know I’m not right for, I’ll usually say something like this: 

Hey ,

Thanks so much for getting in touch! 

After checking out your website and your questionnaire, I don’t think I am the right fit for this project, so I won’t be able to chat any further about it with you. I know for sure there’s another designer out there who would be able to absolutely kill it on this project for you. 

If you’re interested, here’s a few other designer recommendations:

I hope that helps! 

Stay awesome,


Keep it simple. Straight to the point. 

Alex Franzen is the master of scripts, check out a couple of her posts on Saying No here, and here

Most of the time, people will respect your honesty, and move on.

You’ll always get the odd person who gets shitty and decides give you a piece of their mind — but that’s life. Not everyone will understand the way you run your business. 

So, friends, let's cut the bullshit. Just tell it how it is.