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Self Development

Don’t Be A Negative ‘No’ Person: The Benefits Of Saying ‘Yes’

To be successful, we have to learn to say no. But there comes a time when you need to start saying yes again too. Here’s why.

Allon Raiz




I have witnessed myself transition from my early years as an entrepreneur, as someone who would say ‘yes’ to everything, to someone who has slowly started saying ‘no’ to more and more meetings, opportunities and functions.

At one level, this is the right thing to do. There is a well-known saying that states that we are defined more by the things that we say no to than those that we say yes to, and this is true until we find ourselves saying ‘no’ to everything.

From a systems theory point of view, systems remain healthy if ‘fresh information’ is integrated into the system, and closed systems, without the continuous flow of fresh information, ultimately die. I can apply this theory to my own business practice — the more I say ‘yes’, the more access I have to ‘fresh information’, and the more that I say ‘no’, the more I close myself and my business off to opportunity.

One day, I had an out-of-body experience, watching myself say ‘no’ to what, just a few years earlier, would have been an opportunity that I would have given my right arm for. I had become too cynical, too critical, and probably too complacent.

The saying that we are defined by the things we say ‘no’ to served as a comforter and excuse, allowing me to ignore the opportunity without any feeling of guilt. However, in the same meeting I changed my mind and told the shocked entrepreneur, who was sitting in front of me, that I was willing to give it a try.

Although that particular opportunity did not result in a successful outcome, it was this failed opportunity that exposed me to an even bigger opportunity, which was an enormous success and a massive contribution to Raizcorp’s strategic direction.

Related: The Hard Truth: How Devon Brough Learnt Saying “Yes” Every Time Will Cost You

As I look back to that time, I am grateful that I became cynical early on in my entrepreneurial journey, and was able to extract myself from the milieu of the convenience of so easily being able to say ‘no’.

The rule I share with those I mentor, and adhere to myself, is to listen to every opportunity and every conversation with an open mind, and with an opening mindset of ‘yes’, only to become a ‘no’ should the logic not stack, the values not match or the return on effort not be suitably high.

Logic Must Stack

In order to say ‘yes’ to start a journey toward an opportunity, listen carefully for the logic. If something doesn’t make sense, ask questions until it does and if, after exhaustive questioning, the opportunity still does not make sense logically, it’s okay to say ‘no’.

Values Must Match

If the opportunity presented makes logical sense but contradicts your personal values, or if, in order to exploit the opportunity, you feel that the people with whom you need to work also do not match your values, it is alright to say ‘no’. 

Return on Effort Must be High

When the logic stacks, and the values match, but the level of effort required relative to the return generated is low, it’s also okay to say ‘no’. Many opportunities, when properly scrutinised, require an enormous amount of effort to precipitate the opportunity and, once precipitated, the opportunity only produces relatively low returns.

In a time-starved and opportunity-rich environment, always choose opportunities that have the highest return relative to the effort.

Related: Persistence Can Beat Any Odds Says The Founder Of Rebosis Property Fund

While saying ‘yes’ implies bold promise, it’s important to remember that, if the logic stacks, the values match, and the return on effort is suitably high, the opportunity promises massive contribution to the success and strategic direction of your business. I encourage entrepreneurs to say ‘YES!’ and approach the opportunity as a system that needs fresh information to remain healthy, operational and sustainable.

Allon Raiz is the CEO of Raizcorp, the only privately-owned small business ‘prosperator’ in Allon Raiz is the CEO of Raizcorp. In 2008, Raiz was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and in 2011 he was appointed for the first time as a member of the Global Agenda Council on Fostering Entrepreneurship. Following a series of entrepreneurship master classes delivered at Oxford University in April 2014, Raiz has been recognised as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. Follow Allon on Twitter.

Self Development

(Infographic) How 9 Creative Minds Got Their Ideas

From doing headstands to drinking 50 cups of coffee a day, check out the quirky things that these nine creatives have done.




Coming up with new, creative ideas can be tricky. That’s why it’s important to find a way to get inspired. After all, it’s our own unique rituals that can bring mental clarity and creativity. That could be a quirky habit or routine such as doing headstands or wearing lots of hats.

Igor Stravinksy did headstands, which he believed helped to rest his head and clear his brain. Author Dr. Seuss felt that wearing lots of crazy hats helped inspire his creativity and overcome writer’s block. However, those aren’t even the strangest routines that some of the world’s most brilliant minds have utilised. Steve Jobs bathed his feet in toilet water to reduce stress levels while Honore de Balzac drank up to 50 cups of coffee a day.

Check out Business Backers infographic below to learn the weird ways that nine creative minds got their ideas.


This article was originally posted here on

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Self Development

15 Traits Of Unstoppable People

Unstoppable people keep their inner fires burning by developing the characteristics necessary to become successful.



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Unstoppable people are like warriors. They are always ready to take on the world. They are guided by a light from within, full of boundless energy and unwavering in their goals. They have learned to activate their natural talents and develop the skills necessary to achieve whatever they aim for.

How do they do this? Where do they find the stamina and strength to keep going? Unstoppable people keep their inner fires burning by developing the characteristics necessary to become successful. Here are 15 traits that will help you go from being a solid achiever to being a truly unstoppable person.

Do you have any yet?

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Self Development

Why Confidence Is So Important In The Workplace

If you are not sure on how to gain confidence and are curious as to why it is so important in the workplace, read on for some helpful advice.

Amy Galbraith




Confidence is not something that everyone has. Not all of us are able to walk into a room and exude charisma and panache, but confidence is a trait that can help immensely in the workplace. It can help you to interact with your colleagues, keep you motivated during stressful times and can also boost your productivity during the working day.

If you are not sure on how to gain confidence and are curious as to why it is so important in the workplace, read on for some helpful advice.

Why is confidence so important?

Assertiveness gives you an edge

Being assertive does not mean that you are aggressive or arrogant. Assertiveness means that you are able to take initiative on tasks and handle pressure without too much stress. It also means that you are willing to take on new challenges in the workplace.

Being confident and assertive will help you to reach new heights in your career. Your employer will notice that you are able to handle stressful tasks with ease and that you are able to create solutions to problems using your own ideas. Confidence will help to boost your performance in the office and this could, in turn, lead to a possible promotion as well.

Effective communication works wonders

Being able to communicate clearly and effectively is a major asset to have in any office. Having confidence allows you to do this easily, enabling you to effectively get your message across to colleagues and clients.

Putting forward an air of confidence when communicating might sound difficult at first, but if you practise, it will become easier. Communication skills are at the top of almost every employer’s list when it comes to recruiting new talent, and being self-confident will help to build these skills. A confident person believes in their communication abilities, which shows in their verbal and written language.

Productivity levels are boosted

If you are confident in yourself and in your work, you are more likely to be more productive. This is because you will not have to second-guess your work and you can complete tasks on time and on budget.

Productive workers are highly valued in any company, and confidence goes hand-in-hand with producing work. You will be able to take on more projects, challenge yourself to move out of your comfort zone and reach new goals for your company. Your employer will notice that you produce high quality work and this could lead to new challenges, a role change and even a promotion.

Related: Entrepreneurs And A Politically Neutral Workplace – Finding The Perfect Balance

How to gain confidence in the workplace

Shift your views

Confident people rarely think about how others impact them, rather they think about the impact they have on others. In order to gain confidence, you will need to shift your views and think about how you can and do impact your colleagues.

This shift in view will empower you as you will realise that it is what you do that matters and not what others do to you. You should also look at how you handle pressure. If you are usually someone who needs guidance in difficult situations, try to change your viewpoint to seeing yourself as someone who can give advice in stressful times. A simple shift of view can help you to feel more self-confident, and others will soon follow suit.

Tell people you will finish the task

Feeling confident starts with stating your goals. Let people know that you will finish a task at work, and go on to finish that task. By voicing your goals to your team, you are holding yourself accountable, which will help to boost your confidence.

Saying your goals out loud will give you credibility and people will take note that you always stay true to your word. You must be sure that anything you take on can be finished by the deadline, otherwise incomplete tasks and a huge workload can diminish your confidence. Be sure to manage your time wisely and you will be able to finish any task you set your mind to.

Improve your knowledge

You can easily build your confidence by improving your knowledge and learning more. This can be done easily, by watching TED Talks on topics that interest you, attending seminars on how to build self-confidence or taking online courses in your field.

Confidence grows when you learn more about a topic that you enjoy or when you gain more skills in your field. You will also have new knowledge that can contribute to your position, which will help to boost your confidence too. It is never too late to learn something new and you should never let your age prohibit you from taking courses or going to seminars.

Final thoughts

Being confident can help in many ways in the workplace. You will be more productive, you will be able to communicate effectively and you will become more assertive too. These are all traits that employers look for in potential talent, so building your confidence is a win for both you and the company. Improve your knowledge, shift your views and hold yourself accountable in order to boost your confidence and enjoy work even more.

Read next: 3 Ways Workplace Gamification Can Backfire – And How To Avoid Them

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