Sometimes it’s Necessary to say No

We may not realize how necessary until later just how important that move was to our well-being, our business, or our mental and emotional health. When we say no, or make a big change to move out of a partnership that no longer works for us, whether it be personal or business, the act of doing so can cause such great angst that we doubt we are making the right decision. We may waver for days or months, possibly for years, even though there is something deep in our core saying this isn’t working for us.

And why do we do this? Because of fear. Fear of the different. Fear of the uncomfortable, fear of the unknown, fear of being scorned for saying, “No, I can’t do that for you.” If we are trying to break a bad habit, or remove ourselves from a toxic relationship, or get out of a dead-end occupation, it’s hard, even if we know it’s the right move.

But if we don’t, we stifle ourselves from growing, or we fail to protect ourselves from future discord, maybe even possible harm.

Staying stuck when there is a way out is on us.

In the last two months, I have said both ‘No’, and have made a big change regarding business matters. Neither were easy decisions to make, but I’m very happy I made them.

Most of you know me as an author, a writer, and a storyteller. But since the year 2000, I have been working as a freelance bookkeeper for other small businesses. I have done bookkeeping for industries ranging from industrial pump and motor manufactures to retail stores and beauty salons, restaurants and rental properties, financial advisors, garden nurseries, truck drivers, and too many more to name. Working for all of these different industries I have had the privilege of learning from these business owners, and for over 20 years I have made a decent little income. But in 2020, COVID changed everything. I lost all but one of my bookkeeping accounts and three-fourths of my income.

Change was forced upon me, so I used it as an opportunity.

Publishing CURSE OF THE CHOSEN ONE and THE BLUE AMULET, the first two books in my MARK OF THE FAERIE series, was the outcome of this opportunity. Releasing my story to the world was scary, uncomfortable, full of anxiety, to the point I broke out in hives and spent too many hours crying in the closet. Yes, it was hard, but pushing myself beyond my comfort zone was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Surprising even myself, I accomplished more than I thought I could.

Because of my bookkeeping background, last year I made myself available and joined an online professional group looking for other business professionals to partner with. Who knows? The right client might be out there just looking for a bookkeeper like me. Since book sales have not yet replaced my bookkeeping income, a little help in that area would be nice.

After I received a contact through this online group, I met with the prospective client and spent two days looking over her documents. However, it became real clear real fast that this was not the right account for me to take on, for multiple reasons.

In all of my years of being a freelance bookkeeper, I can only recall one other time I said no to a potential client. This would be the second.

Though I felt a bit like a quitter, I tactfully let this person know I would not be able to take on the account after all. I made arrangements with her to return the documents, along with suggestions and advice when working with a bookkeeper. In retrospect, I now see this act of saying no as dodging the proverbial bullet. Again, for multiple reasons, sometimes saying no is necessary.

And the change I made recently was in my website management. Though it was something I had been wanting to do for a long time, I kept putting it off. Now that it is done, I’m mentally berating myself for not doing it sooner. What took me so long to make the move? You already know the answer. The lack of ease that comes with making a big change can feel as heavy as an elephant sitting on your chest.

But the act of pushing that elephant off and doing it anyway provides such an emotional release it’s like coming up for air after being stuck under water. Saying no, or making a change, or moving on, can be just what will save us from ourselves.

Instead of making New Years resolutions this January, maybe we could all benefit from pushing that elephant off our chest, and taking a life-giving breath of change.

Changing website management also gave my website a facelift! It has a new feel and a new look. Under the media tab is now a gallery, and I’m filling it up with photos from fairs and events I’ve attended, pictures of books I love, book fans, (take a look – you might be in there!), character quotes and great lines from great books. Please, jump on over and take a look at my new and improved website!

I’ll end this post with Frankie. She has been the change in our household this last year. She showed up a few days after the 4th of July, skinny, hungry, and very vocal, but very friendly. It was obvious she had been on her own for a while, and within a few days, Frankie made our home her home. It took a while for Leo to come around, but the two of them have become at least tolerable of each other.

Though it was not my intention to have pets again, I have heard it said more than once that when a stray cat ends up living at your home, it is because you need the cat more than the cat needs you. I have two strays now, so what does that say about me? Not sure I buy into that theology, but I’m keeping them around, just in case.




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