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When you give yourself to an important project, it’s not enough to say “Yes” to it – if you only do that, you’ll probably fail. There’s also a second commitment you need to make…

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When you say “Yes” to any project or business, you also need to commit to a thousand “No’s”. (Click to tweet.)

To create the life you want… you have to get really good at saying “No”. (Click to tweet.)

When you say “Yes” to your vision, say “No” to every distraction that presents itself. (Click to tweet.)

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94 Replies to “A Thousand “No’s”…”

  1. Awesome as always Jeff. Saying no is always hard when you are looking to make money but I totally get you have to be going in your own direction and not spreading yourself too thin. Thanks will definitely take it on board for 2017.

  2. Kyle Lougnot


    So true! For every opportunity you have to say no to a 1000 other things. Deal flow never heard of that one. Thanks for sharing!

    PS: Loved Launch!

  3. Hi Jeff,
    I actually never thought about it, but now you say it, it’s obvious: You cannot build and keep momentum for the one important thing, while you’re still mostly focusing on other stuff. Ha! You just gave me something to think about. Thanks!

  4. Thanks, Jeff

    This was a timely reminder just now as I am planning 2017 and tend to overly ambitious.

    I will now cut down on my intentions and be content doing more and more of less and less.


  5. Sebrina Rodriguez


    Thank you Jeff! I have never thought of it that way before thanks again!!

  6. Thank you Jeff,
    I find it rather fascinating that in the world of internet sales when we invest in a product that we believe will assist us in achieving similar successful results, ( like yourself for example, ) then I recognized a trend.
    The sales tactic that is being taught is by piggybacking off several other sales persons with similar material to profit a share there is “multiple streams of income.”
    Suddenly a consumer is inundated with all these other classes or courses to buy from other people whom your affiliated that have also a good pitch.
    Getting good at saying NO was challenging in my first couple of years but I realized that I was accumulating good “shelf esteem” but no time to complete these well intended self help courses. Eventually realizing I’m wasting thousands of dollars in consumerism.
    Please understand I love your vlogs and YouTube videos and gain great value and also feel a sense of trust allowing your email into my home.
    I wish that I didn’t have to be distracted / tempted by all these other sales from these “friends ”
    OR is that the first lesson of saying “NO” 😉

  7. Very important message Jeff – mahalo! Looking forward to seeing your next video on the “elegant no.” Wishing you and family i.e. Team Walker a beautiful holiday season. Mele Kalikimaka🌴😃

  8. Sandi Gordon


    As one who has “entrepreneurial ADHD,” this message is really important. I need to watch this more than once – thanks again for your wisdom, Jeff!

  9. Spot on, Jeff. Puts our path in context of the larger set of choices we need to make to succeed. A workable asymmetry. Thanks, John

  10. Nicolaus Simmonsyocius


    Focus, Focus, Focus! You got to have 1000% lazer focus on one thing and one thing only, focus all your energy on what you are doing with PLF!!

  11. Oh it so true! The plans I have for 2017 requires me to prepare now. It also means that I say no to taking holiday while EVERYONE around is taking time off. Just this morning at church I was wondering whether I’m not simply a fool. But hearing this gave me my perspective back. I pay the price now to make drastic progress in 2017 instead of battling for another 2 years to get things in place. It’s the choice I made to sacrifice short term comfort for long term progress. Thank you

  12. Please do a follow up video on how to tactfully say “No”. That would be great. Thanks in advance.

  13. As I’m listening to you, it made me think about how important it is to protect the lifestyle you set out to achieve as well. It’s kind of the cosmic joke – when you start out, no one knows you so you will to do all kinds of things to gain some traction; once you become well-known, everyone wants you at any price, but you are now in a position to be selective as you honor your private life – the one you set out to establish in the first place. I can see how leverage (impacting large groups of people at the same time) not only becomes effective, but satisfies the part of you that wants to serve.

  14. yeah, Kevin Trudea teaches in ‘Your Wish is Your Command’ to FOCUS on a CHIEF AIM. My chief aim is laser beam focused on getting my health/life back, slowly working on my book, slowly working on my art, slowly and something else. I have to say no A LOT because I also am learning to LISTEN TO MY INTUITION, which usually is right most of the time. If I put one more thing on my plate, what happens is I can’t focus and I get irritable, annoyed, angry, and in more physical pain. I have been de-cluttering for about 6 years, so that is a major FOCUS. Having a clean and clear environment helps to have a c lean and clear brain. My chief aim in money is so small right now, its like a tiny tiny penny to others, but that is OK right now. My next chief aim is PLEASURE IN MY NECK (the opposite of pain is pleasure)

  15. This was perfect timing for me. I am multi-passionate, which can be a great thing but also distracting. For me, I really need to figure out my “one thing” first to gain clarity on what my 1,000 no’s should be directed toward. I’m an artist, so I related not wanting to take custom orders to you not taking one-on-one clients, because it leaves me overwhelmed when I can’t focus on the things that will make my overall business efficient and giving me the freedom I want from it. Thank you for this!!

  16. LaShaundra Caesar


    Thank you, Jeff! This will a helpful video on just being able to say “No” so I can Focus on my business.

  17. I’m quite sure that this is my core constraint to serving as many people as I possibly can. Interestingly, most of the times that I have said yes without considering the noes, was out of a deep-seated desire to help more people, not simply the need to increase revenue. You have shown me the way to serve thousands (perhaps more) where I once thought it possible to only serve a few. Great post. Also I love the videography.

  18. The first thing I did when I joined PLF was to unsubscribe from all the emails that were offering new shiny objects. I am also winding down my one on one coaching clients so that I can focus on PLF totally. Thanks for the video Jeff.

  19. So true! And it also applies to all realms of life, so same thing if I want to focus on family or on significant friendships, I can’tell goto all possible social events i’M invited to. Thank you but no…is hard to say for people like me, with a huge network, being something who generally carries joy so that people want to be around, but who also wants to spend time with the most important pple in my life WHILE building my side business while working full time for the moment. … Difficult choices to make but need to make them if I want to see progress! Your video reminded me of that and when the no”s have to be said, it is not anymore an obligation, a “I must focus” but an intentional “I will focus and say no when it is not worth my attention in comparison to other opportunities that arise”! Yes to that in 2017″!!!

  20. Jeff, Great advice although saying nos keep being an everyday exercise to which we need to commit to.

  21. I nearly jumped with excitement when you said the first thing you do is remove dust jackets from books. Me too, always have 🙂 And as for the 1,000 “no’s,” I did learn this from selling life insurance door to door many moons ago in rural England. The manager kept saying, “knock till you find the one who’ll say yes… who understands and wants what you have.”

    Jeff, your video reminded me, thanks.

  22. Sharon Burch


    Wow. Exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks for being so transparent. Thank you, Jeff.

  23. Frederick Hann


    Hi Jeff, My favourite word used to be yes. Until I said yes to an outlier bespoke, super wealthy client who is not my ideal prospect. It nearly killed my business. The level of personal attention and time that this big ego centric person demanded of my time and my staff was over the top and it took us away from our central purpose! My favourite word now is … NO. The first few times I said no to people and specific opportunities it was hard. The little guy on my shoulder whispering in my ear saying, “but Fred are you nuts; what about this, or what about that; are you going to pass this opportunity up? Think about it Fred”. And I did, and I gave myself permission to say NO once, then a second time and very quickly got easier and to the point that I actually “free” and it helped me to maintain my focus. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the benefits of saying NO and maintaining focus. Onward!

  24. Jeff: This is a brilliant insight! I have always said “yes” to almost anything and everything that came my way. Sadly, I have nothing to show for all those times I said yes. The hardest thing for me has always been knowing what to say no to. After listening to your video, however, I think I’ve got a pretty good idea now! Thanks for sharing this, and happy holidays!

  25. Jeff, this so brutally true. It’s one of those things that we have to consciously reprogram in our brains. I know for me, I’ve been brought-up to believe that I should say yes to any “good” opportunity that comes along. But, as you point out, that’s absolutely and completely wrong! Great book, by the way… I found Essentialism by Greg McKeown even better. Awesome video!

  26. I just said no to a book offer, I keep thinking about it, should I say yes? This video came just in time. Nope, just stay focused on what I am already doing….

  27. Thanks Jeff! Completely agree…hard to say “no” but it is a MUST to be successful!

  28. Rita R Stevens


    Target hit the Bull’s Eye, for me. Thanks for the words of wisdom!

  29. I totally agree that when you know you are travelling your right path, “No’s” are extremely significant! Otherwise, your goals are taken off on the wrong instead of the right path! Ever since I h ave changed careers in August 2011, I have had many honors bestowed unto me! However, like yourself, the opportunities that have presented themselves are not going to take me down my right path! We are definitely on the same page! I really believe you’re a great “Mentor” and I really believe in you and what you have to say!

  30. This video showed what I just did in my life this week. I said NO to an interesting job offer because if I said yes I should change my plans about my personal and professional life, leaving my dreams behind. Maybe in the old days I would say yes and a few months later I’m sure I would regret. Say NO is VERY IMPORTANT. Thank you Jeff.

  31. So true!! As the “yes” grows, learning to say no becomes more and more important. Great food for thought… thanks Jeff 👍

  32. I have “The One Thing” on audio, listened to it 3 times already, the no’s are probably the hardest for me as I think I am this super being that can take on everything, good stuff Jeff

  33. Well-said, Jeff. Tough for me to do, but the absolute right thing to do. I needed that. My son who works with me will thank you over and over as he is regularly trying to keep me focused. Be blessed and Merry Christmas!

  34. Mark Lawton


    Hi Jeff,
    A perfect example of a piece of a great piece of advice. Put these all together and your tribe will become collective world changers. Keep ’em coming!

  35. JEFF: best analogy is MARRIAGE.
    You say “yes” to one girl -for life – then have to turn your back on all the “other opportunities” that tempt you for the next 50 years!

  36. Hi Jeff-
    such an important post! I really think this could be THE key to success wherever , whenever, for whatever: if you decide to take or do one thing you naturally have to let go of many others, even if they are beautiful, interesting, ect… And it is amazing: these “no’s” are not negative- because, as you say so clearly: they defend the big “Yes”. I’m also often in danger to be distracted because I don’t want to be selfish, and I have to learn to do this – of course not in an offendig way but honestly and -as you call it: elegantly. thank you so much!

  37. Listening to this video I must conclude that saying yes to promote Michael Hyatts course means that it really must be fabulous.
    And yes I only signed up because of your words, because I trust you.
    Thank you for this great video in saying no. I have a long way to go on that front as I m normally always there for everybody who needs help.
    Still 2017 will be changing a lot. Thank you!

  38. Larry winfield pelley


    Hi Jeff
    Great information…. I see myself in this picture…taking on way too much and not really focusing on the one thing…ends up doing nothing of any substance….
    The year will go by, and not much achieved…not reaching a goal I had in my head to achieve.
    now, I’m miserable, must get myself together and make something happen:)..
    As always, you give good advice.

    Best regards
    Larry winfield pelley

  39. Tuff Gartin


    So true Jeff! I’m a “pleaser” by nature. I want to make everybody happy if possible. And early on, when I’d say “yes” and was able to come through, it reinforced to me that saying “yes” and being helpful was the way to go. I felt good. And I made other people happy. Until i could no longer keep up! As I became more and more successful and helping others, and as the word got out about my skills and my love for helping people, more and more people started approaching me. I had always heard that i needed to learn to say “No”…that “it’s OK to say ‘No'”…and all the variants…but had never had to do so. In fact, my life seemingly proved those people wrong for awhile. But it caught up with me. I became overwhelmed. There were not enough hours in the day. I felt terrible I couldn’t come through for these people. That’s when I learned to say No. It’s still not easy to say No. But the small “pain” I feel from telling someone No doesn’t come close to comparing with the pain associated with the disappointment of telling someone Yes and then not being able to fulfill your commitment.

    For all of you “pleasers” out there, I urge you to listen to what Jeff is saying in this video. Learn to say No now. it’s the best thing for you and it’s the best thing for the others you might say Yes too. I never looked at in the light of “focus” as Jeff point out in this video, but that is so true. For me, it was the lesser of two evils. So i thank Jeff for putting it in that context because that is exactly what it is about.

    Thanks Jeff!

  40. So true, Jeff, especially in my role as a mom it feels like we need to say “yes” to everything, when in fact by attempting to be “super mom” we just leave ourselves in a hurried state with no clear direction. What does THAT teach my children? Thank you for a timely and spot-on video.

  41. Excellent. Very clearly stated. I think, I’ve finally got it. It’s the way you described about the thousand “NOs” I have to say to. thanks you.

  42. I love your laser focus Jeff! I can see how it can keep you keep you on track toward the life and business you want. I’m grateful for your insights and hope to incorporate laser focus into my life and business too!

  43. Hey jeff, that’s a really powerful message – I had never thought about it like that, thank you

  44. Thank you, Jeff

    It was a confirmation of the path I am beginning to follow and I have been successful with the NO’s 75% of the time….a big improvement. The needs of daily life and earning a living still have to be Yes’s but my thought of buying the book, One Thought, has to be NO!

  45. Love the radical simplicity. Reminder that priority is singular. I prefer the a single YES requires to to COMMIT to 1000 Nos or every Yes needs to be SUPPORTED by 1000 No’s. That “defended by” language feels narrowing rather than expanding. Counter-intuitively I am finding saying the 1000 No’s is creating a sense of flow and freedom not a war of deprivation. Tx for another drop of wisdom.

  46. David Zaenglein


    Jeff: I watch a lot of your videos and always get something from each one, but this one was special. With the new year approaching it was a much-needed focus message. Thanks again.

  47. Hi Jeff!

    I ‘ve read this book the “One Thing” and I totally agreed on everything you said. All of us are bombarded by things to do, unstoppable ideas popping out to our mind and focus is the key to get everything done by closing each loop before jumping to the next task. This is the key ingredient that I personally applied when I finally launched my product with ClickBank just last month. This really works if you focus on your most important task on your most productive time.

  48. Thank you Jeff for your reminder! Stay focus is the key to success in anything.

  49. hi JEFF many thanks looking forward to amazing new year .setting goals etc. . I HAVE TOTALY ENJYED EAH VIDEO AND UNDERSTAND I ALWAYS SAID YES TOO MUCH I NOW LOVE NO SO DO APPRECIATE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING .

  50. Totally agree. I’ve heard it a few places and I believe you’ve said in your PLF program that time is a zero sum game. We only have so much time to do things in our life and each time we decide what to do, we are saying no to so many others. Plan the important things, your “rocks” from one of your previous posts!

  51. Thanks for reminding me of this… it made me think about an opportunity that I’ve been struggling with lately… it just doesn’t feel right… I think I need to put the brakes on it and focus…

  52. Thanks for the message. My problem is, how do I say “NO” to my 8 – 4 job?? I will try anyway.

  53. Hi Jeff, Thank you. It has been a long time since I first heard about how often I need to say no to the things I have already said yes to. And right now it is so important to be reminded of this. Too many opportunities do come my way, and I was feeling guilty about having to say no, but after being reminded by you of how many no’s are required to stay focused on my yes, I no longer feel guilty.

  54. Hi Jeff,
    I really enjoy your videos, and so far this one is my favorite. I recently left a part time job where I was doing marketing for someone else’s business. They had promised exposure of my fledgling Energy Medicine business if I would take their marketing on, but a year later that still hadn’t happened. So, I said a belated “no”, and left to focus on marketing my own business. This video reaffirmed the importance of full time work on my business, and my belief that I was right to leave that distraction behind. So, thank you for explaining the power and necessity behind a thousand no’s! Much love and light to you and your family, Jeff. 😊

  55. Just had a chance to list to your video. Spot on! Will pass it along in business network. Chris

  56. Saying, ‘no’ is a gift. This perspective is a gift that I received from Marshall B Rosenberg, PhD.

  57. Hey Jeff, my name is Geoff Woods and I run the company behind The ONE Thing. Great video and thanks for the endorsement of the book. Would love to feature you on The ONE Thing podcast and blog talking about how you’ve applied “saying NO” to your business. Have someone on your team email me at



    Thank you , Jeff for this great advice. When i look your videos in your free workshop, my wife look at you and she say ” This is very good person with good heart.” I ask her : what do you mean my love … She say ” I look him eyes ” … And of course I am agree with my wife 🙂

  59. Hi Jeff! Thank you for your insights and sharing your knowledge. I have been referred that book before but haven’t gotten to it. I might just pick it up now. I have also had to say no more now as I come into my authentic self. I recently resigned form a job as an Academic Dean so that I can be home more with my baby boy and build my business (showing people how to be authentic and take actions that match). My first big no was to that Academic Dean position. It was no far from who I am that it was an easy no, but a big one since it was our main source of income at the time. Saying no to that has allowed me to say yes to my first “virtual” course that I’m running as kick off to the new year. I’m super excited! Thank you again for all that you do. You are helping people that you will never meet in ways that you will never know and that is an amazing accomplishment! ~Sincerely, Tara

  60. Thank you! I needed that for 2017. 🙂
    On another note . . . I usually get annoyed with other sites I’ve signed up with because they send me way too much stuff. Although I’ve done a “total unsubscribe” at times, I always come back around to your videos & advice. They are totally worth my time.
    Saying “Yes” to JW stuff in 2017!

  61. Jeff,
    Someone sent me your link. I think what you have to say is fascinating. The whole business world is very much a new concept for me, I have found it very hard to navigate and it has been very frightening at times. I love what you are offering and sense such heart wisdom. Many thanks.

  62. Amen. And thank you! Incredibly validating.

    Loved your, “Let’s go get ’em this week!” at the end. 🙂

    Pure, unadulterated, encouragement for the journey.

  63. Great video! Also something applicable to our personal lives too. If we’re wanting to be xyz type of person, going to such and such event out of obligation or just to be ‘nice’ is not necessarily useful. Otherwise we don’t get to where we want to be as a human.

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