No is a complete sentence

Written by:

Katie Mehnert

The room was packed for our recent member council meeting where we asked Dr. Vanessa Patrick the Associate Dean for Research, Bauer Professor of Marketing, Fulbright Specialist (2019-2022) and Lead Faculty for the Bauer Executive Women in Leadership Program at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston to speak about her new book.  


The book is a page-turner for anyone who needs to evaluate what's important in business and In life.  In it, Vanessa examines and provides:

  • Why empowered refusal is a valuable super skill that helps us say no in a way that does not invite pushback from others.
  • The toolkit of three competencies you need to develop to effectively communicate an empowered no response.
  • A framework to help separate the "good-for-me" from the "not-good-for-me" activities and engagements that come our way.
  • How to establish and implement personal policies that empower your refusal.
  • How to use "empowered refusal" to manage difficult askers, strengthen your relationships, and realize your full potential.

My takeaways

This was a timely topic because it has come at a time when I am evaluating some of the relationships I’ve agreed to. Here’s what I’ve known but needed to be reminded of.
  • Life is too short to work with people who have negative energy and can’t find the good in anything. Stop working so hard to fix something that won’t get fixed and just say no

  • Don’t tolerate mean. Period. Just say no.

  • People are more important than any money in the world. Don’t be held hostage ever by money or perceived positional power. Just say no.

  • Stand on your values. When it smells fishy or wrong, be confident and enact your intuition. Just say no.

  • Trust but always verify. The people who say they want to help you the most sometimes aren’t right for you. Say no and walk.

  • My favorite —? NO is a complete sentence. Most of the time that’s just exactly what you need to say.


You don’t owe the world anything but your best self. And your orbit is the most important thing you will create. Protect it every day with YES to the right things and be fine to say NO to a lot.
It's more important than ever to protect your time, focus on your top priorities, and use the power of saying no to reach your goals at work and at home. Empowered refusal is a unique, positive, and meaning-filled approach to managing your energy and ambition effectively, allowing you to make lasting, positive changes in your life.
Get the book now and connect with the author.  This is something you need to say YES to.




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