5 Business Moments to Never Say No To

So imagine yourself working on a few variations of a blog post headline when your editor says one of them, perhaps not your favorite, would be better for SEO (search engine optimization). That’s what we call a no brainer. Never say no to better SEO. Period.

I was in a conversation along those lines yesterday. It reminded me of one of my favorite little life-advice snippets has always been “never say no to an offer of a breath mint.” If you don’t immediately see why, think about it.

I asked around, got some help from friends, and came up with the following “never say no” list:

  1. Never say no to better SEO. This is about websites and blog post headlines. If you’re not sure what’s going to give the best SEO, that’s one thing. But if you know, or somebody who has reason to know tells you, follow the SEO.
  2. Never say no to free publicity (even the bad stuff generates interest).
  3. Never say no to product or business or customer feedback. And, taking that to a broader scale, never say no to free advice. Digest it, analyze it, decide for yourself whether it’s good advice or not, and act on it or not. It’s your choice. But first, listen.
  4. Never say no to your IT people. The computer you save may be your own (our IT guy suggested that one).
  5. Never say no to an opportunity to learn something new and useful.

Honorable mentions: these last two are a bit off the small business and entrepreneurship setting as a target, but I decided to include them both, one because it’s good life advice and the other because, like its author says, “it’s in the manual.”

  1. Never say no when your own child asks: “will you play with me?”
  2. Never say no to a hostage taker. It’s in the manual.


  • woody cohen says:

    i have read these items above and fully agree with them——if i still had my stores –i would follow them to a tee——- in my sporting goods era the customer was always right.. Woody

  • Ed Martin says:

    Great list! As an IT guy, I would have some reservations about never saying no to IT. I recommend to always ask why first. You might learn something and IT better have a good reason for wanting you to do something. If it ain’t broke, what’s the reason for fixing it?

  • Michael says:

    Good points. I disagree with #2 however. We have some issues online with disgruntled ex-employees writing lies about us in a blog. I spoke to a so-called expert who told me “all publicity is good publicity” but i certainly do not agree. It has hurt our sales. We have defamation suits underway but in the meantime, we get hurt. It is a negative about the internet, anyone can do what they want with little or no repercusions.

  • Jennifer Rai says:

    I agree 100% with all points of your article! Thank you for a great read.

  • The Blog Week in Review — 11/19/09 | Business in General says:

    […] Blog Week in Review — 11/19/09 5 Business Moments to Never Say No To — Tim Berry provides business, and life, advice about times when “yes” is a […]

  • Paul says:

    Great article. Number six always seems to hit home as we are in such a fast lane type lifestyle. I think we all need time to play with a kid and smell the flowers along the way. thanks for a great article and commenbt

  • Andee Sellman, One Sherpa says:

    My favourite Tim is number five:
    “Never say no to an opportunity to learn something new and useful.”
    I’ve found that if I shut myself off from new things then its not long before I’m feeling really stale.
    Life for me is much richer when new and useful things are cascading through my world

  • Dave Young says:

    Great story. With all due respect to valuable IT people, sometimes you have to say no to them. At the college where I worked in another lifetime, we called them our BPU. Business Prevention Unit. Even our 3-letter acronym was quite brief for an environment where 5 and 6-letter acronyms are the rule. The IT folks at that college have kept the place in the dark ages for 20 years and rule the place with an iron fist. They’ve shut down marketing blogs and twitterers…refused to support smartphones…and generally handcuffed an entire organization.

    On the other hand, there are certainly far-sighted IT people out there, but if you give them total authority to protect the status-quo with unchallenged authority, you’re asking for trouble.

    AMEN on item 6. My daughter dragged me out into the cold last night to watch meteors. We didn’t last long in the 24° wind, but we spent time together talking about father-daughter stuff. Awesome.

  • themadpeacock says:

    I have to disagree with your first “never say no”.

    SEO is about bringing random people to your content. That’s great and it will get a well-titled post a readership boost but the conversion rate from surfer to repeat reader is very low compared to the conversion rate of personal recommendations.

    I would advocate staying true to your voice (its what your readers want), don’t worry about SEO. One referral is worth one hundred google generated hits.

    The other items on your list are spot on, especially number 6. Thanks for sharing.

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