Eliminate the Two Most Anti-growth Words to Ever Cross an Owner’s Lips


“Yes, but”

“Yes, that’s a great idea, but I don’t have time.”
“Yes, I see that has value, but it won’t work here.”
“Yes, we need to do that, but it will have to wait until we finish what we’re doing now.”
“Yes, I’d love that, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.”
“Yes, I never thought of it that way, but I want to do it my way.”

Yes X, but Y…

There is one obstacle to business growth that is entirely of their own making: saying “yes, but…”

Here are a few recent responses from business owners that make the point. See if you recognize yourself in any of them.
“Yes, I like the idea of marketing value to decision-makers, but I feel much more comfortable talking about our technology.”
“Yes, I know you can help us, but I have to take care of a few things first.”
“Yes, we need to increase profits, but our business is too complex for your recommendation to work.”
“Yes, we need to meet more prospects, but I can’t do that and complete client work.”

“Yes, and”

What if instead you think—and say—”Yes, and…”

Why does this change in language make such a difference?

Because when you follow “yes” with “and” you’ve already begun the process of new and fresh doing. Your actions follow your words. “And” is the first step on the forward-moving path. You’ll explore the option or idea as far as you can take it. Your mind is open to seeing where your train of thought leads. You might ask others for their contributions. You allow excitement to build.

Ever wonder what the expression “a train of thought” means? I love thinking of it as a long, long train, with car after car carrying new options and ideas; new actions and new results. When you say “Yes, and” you’re putting your train of thought on the fast track. Momentum builds as the ideas come fast and furiously. Others around you get excited too. They want to hop on board. They’re excited about what’s around the next curve.

The Extraordinary Value of Other People’s Insight

About 18 months ago I told my “soup story” at a gathering of business owners. The organizer of the event, Mark LeBlanc, gave all participants 4 minutes to tell a story. I chose to tell my soup story. Mark loved it and when I asked him what idea he took away from it he said “tinker.” I had not used that word in connection with the experiment and results that the soup story recounts.

If I had said “Yes, that’s interesting but…” I would not have Tinker, my powerful book out in the world that is already helping many business owners find their own “soup story.”

And just this weekend, a close friend and fellow creative business owner showed me how she would use some of my own material in a unique way. I immediately said “Yes, and I can see how helpful that will be.” Listen for it the next time you hear me speak.

Business Growth Requires Pro-growth Language

Listen to your responses to other people’s ideas, suggestions and comments for the next few days. How often do you say “yes, but”? Once you’ve increased your awareness of your anti-growth language, start deliberately saying “yes, and.”

Track the outcomes for the next 60 days. You will be delighted with your business growth and committed to “yes, and” forever after.

What do you want more of?

“I never would have thought of that” is a comment and compliment I’ve heard hundreds of times from business owners and executives I’ve worked with for the past 19+ years. Their point is that they are so deeply immersed in their day-to-day activities that they don’t have or make time to think creatively. They value my ability to come in, see what they don’t see and create new approaches and more success.

If you’re wondering what you could do that you’re not doing, let me know. We’ll set up a Listening Call to talk more about your company and what you want more of for your business and your life. Reply to this email or call me at 703-790-1424.

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