[How to say an elegant "no"]


Burnout is more common than ever. Why? Because we say ‘yes’ to everything.

That extra project. That event. That coffee chat with your friend’s nephew who wants to learn about your job. We try to pour from our cup, even when it's empty.

Make sure your cup is full enough for your most important priorities. How? By setting healthy boundaries.

But saying no is hard! Especially when we care about our relationship with that person.

Here are 3 scripts for an elegant and graceful ‘no’:


1. Open with appreciation instead of an apology

👉 "Thank you for thinking of me! Honestly my time is spread too thin right now, so I can't take on any extra responsibilities. But I’m grateful that you reached out."

Gratitude sets the tone for respecting the relationship.

Btw, that is true for more than just saying no. (For example, instead of “Sorry for rescheduling,” say “Thanks for being flexible!). I wrote this post about the 9 things I’ve stopped saying at work. I can’t believe it got 17,000+ likes after just one day. 🥹

2. Suggest another option

👉 “I can't give this the attention it deserves right now. But I know someone who might be a great fit! Would you like me to put you in touch?"

Whenever I receive an InMail about a job opportunity, I try to think of at least one other person who I could put that recruiter in touch with. It helps the recruiter. It helps my friend. Win-win.

3. Give them a 5-minute call

👉 “Hey! I’m in back-to-back meetings, but I have 5 minutes until my next one. What can I help with?”

I love this one. Here’s why. If someone asks you for a 30-minute meeting, they probably have 1 specific ask. Immediately call them.

They’ll be grateful that you responded, and you’ll both avoid a 30 min meeting.

CEO Matt Mochary says, “I put them on my ‘call list’ and call whenever I would otherwise be listening to a podcast (i.e., in an Uber). This call usually occurs within 24-48 hours of their request. Again, they are honored by the speedy connection. And once again, the call need only last a few minutes.”

Matt actually gives away all of his best scripts in this free, 4-page Google doc. (He covers how to decline informational interviews, group meetings with no agenda, and more.)

Side note: I loved Matt’s interview on the Tim Ferriss Show. If you’re looking for a podcast about reclaiming time, delegating better, and getting your energy back— this is it. 🙌


A firm no is always better than a “wishy-washy” yes that you later back out of.

2024 is the year of doing fewer things, better.

Until next week,


P.S. I get a lot of questions about how to grow your brand online. I’ll give you the full system that grew my audience from 1k - 370k in 1 year. Book your coaching session now. (February got booked up so fast! There are only 7 dates still available!) You can read tons of client reviews here. 🔥

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P.P.S. Sending a warm welcome to everyone who joined The Quiet Rich community since last week! Learn more about The Quiet Rich here. 🎉