It's okay to say 'no'


"Are you sure you don't mind driving me to the airport THAT early?"

"Can you come round to mine instead?"

"You're okay with this right?"

"Are you ready to order because I am..."

"Could you do this for me?"

When did you last deliver a solid "No" to any one of the above questions? That "No" you delivered with a respectful but final tone to let the asker know you definitely didn't plan on changing your mind anytime soon. If it's been a while since you declined someone's request for you to do something for them, and if at the same time, you felt super stretched from all corners of life, you may want to take a step back to reconsider how you're approaching certain aspects of your life.




What you may not realise is you're actually making someone else's life a hell of a lot easier, and in the process making yours a lot tougher to handle. Why do we feel like we can't say no? Why have we almost been trained to automatically answer yes to most questions or requests? And perhaps a more personal question to myself - why am I so afraid to disappoint all the time?




I used to admire people who were brave enough to admit when they weren't comfortable or in total agreement with an arrangement. I'd sit there in admiration, wondering how they made it look so easy, yet I continued to stay in my uncomfortable space, with my yeses and head nods when all along, I was fuming at them from behind the scenes.


 

I've spent the most part of my life saying yes to things, even when it meant I was being taxed more than necessary. I stopped progressing because I was so busy pleasing friends and loved ones and I would often find myself on my last few pennies when people needed favours or simply wanted to splurge with me on a night out. Despite knowing I was in no position to offer up certain parts of myself, I went against my instinct and succumbed to the requests to avoid any disappointed faces.


Looking back, I realise now that I could have saved myself a ton of time, money, energy and disappointment if I had only learnt about the art of saying 'no' all those years ago. But this isn't supposed to be a punishing session, but more a moment of realisation that we shouldn't feel pressured to do anything in life. In fact, you start realising who your real friends and supporters are when they prove how much they accept you for YOU... that friend who doesn't mind delivering a big fat 'no' when it's necessary.

I quit my full-time job to become an entrepreneur!



If there was anything career related I ever believed I would be typing onto a computer screen at this stage in my life,  it definitely wasn't anything along the lines of 'this is my formal letter of resignation from the position of Marketing Manager'. As if resigning from my dream position wasn't bad enough, to then tell you I did not have a 'back-job' job lined-up sounds absolutely insane coming from my mouth, of all mouths. That is, career-Jade, climbing-up-that-corporate-ladder Jade, major-key-success Jade.

But do you know what the funniest thing is? Position-hungry Jade is surprisingly not sitting here shaking over the realisation that she has in fact given up a well-paying job. Why? Because for the first time ever, I now feel more liberated than I've felt in my entire life.


'... reaching second and third stage interviews, then almost getting my heart broken via a brief rejection email explaining that ' the other candidate was just that little bit stronger'





I decided I was going to quit my job after finally realising I was searching for career satisfaction in the completely wrong place - my full time job. The last six months leading up to me leaving my job were spent being notoriously headhunted by agencies and in-house HR consultants for superb property marketing positions, reaching second and third stage interviews, then almost falling apart after receiving a brief rejection email explaining that ' the other candidate was just that little bit stronger'. I have tried the casual approach, the motivated approach, the ultra professional approach, you name it. But for  some reason, I was facing a ridiculous barrier in my efforts to step over the threshold from 'Manager' to 'Senior Manager'. On the other hand, my friends in financial services were (and still are) financially killing it!




At first, my grudges were directed at the successful candidate (all in my head of course lol), before diverting to the agent and/or consultant. Eventually, I became angry with myself and my inadequate CV and level of professionalism which inevitably made me almost loathe the time and passion I had invested into building a career company directors were now reviewing, and for some reason, seeing absolutely no value in. I know it sounds neurotic and a little overemotional, but if you're anything like me, you will understand my thought process. Some of us are able to not take it personally when you ae putting your all into a role, producing outstanding results, but getting no recognition for it. I am sadly not part of the 'some'.

I couldn't imagine helping build someone's brand up to millionaire status whilst I sat there with dying dreams and lost ambitions until retirement age...

I was beginning to realise that my efforts were in vain simply because I wasn't in a faster moving sector of marketing.  I couldn't afford to drain myself, putting a hundred in, when I was getting nothing more than 25 back. As a result - despite me having my doubts about the general recruitment process for a number of years - it was only after my last 'headhunt moment' on LinkedIn that I vowed it would be the last job I agreed to put my CV forward for.



'every few months my passions for music, business and fashion kept resurfacing and it was making me so unhappy not being able to do anything about these urges'

As much as I truly respect any man or woman currently climbing that corporate ladder within the industry they are in, I personally, feel I have already  worn myself out. The amount of energy you put in just doesn't make sense when compared to what you actually get out of the whole race. I've sacrificed late nights, relationships, energy, creativity, drive and heart to companies I now see were incapable of giving the same back to me. I tried start-up companies and large corporations to no avail - every few months my passions for music, business and fashion kept resurfacing and it was making me so unhappy not being able to do anything about these urges. I couldn't imagine knowing I had killer ideas in my head, yet I was sitting there, helping build someone else's brand up whilst my dreams and ambitions were wasting away in a basement office until retirement day. I couldn't wake up and watch the morning go by, I couldn't go on a lunch date during the week, I didn't know what some of the shop's on my main high street even looked like because I was never local during their operating hours. My weekends were pretty much spent trying to get back to my happy place - was that really all there was to life?

I loved a majority of my time spent working in a secure, full time job - and might I add, my salary was juicy and regular! - but I very quickly reached a turning point.



I loved a majority of my time spent working in a secure, full time job (and might I add, my salary was juicy and regular!) but I very quickly reached a turning point. Whether you are working full time or as a business owner, the hustle is real. Hard work, sweat and dedication is essential to ensure you stay ahead of the game and I would never in my life tell someone to quit just because I felt it necessary for me to do so. But it all just depends on where we decide to place our energy and essentially, we need to be doing what makes us truly happy and content.

I took the plunge and became the Director of my own handbag brand back in November 2016. I also kick-started the UK's 1st soul food take away service in London.

I understand that this topic is a very complex one, subject to opinion and circumstance - but what I will say is after years of anxiety about whether I would reach Director status at someone else's company, I took the plunge and became the Director of my own handbag brand back in November 2016 whilst working full-time at a property investment consultancy. More recently, I kick-started the UK's 1st soul food take away service in London - one I am particular proud of the progress of so far! Alongside this, I have picked up exciting marketing projects from a handful of clients I will now be working with remotely - with occasional review meetings or events pencilled in when needed
 

I can't wait to share the ups and downs of my entrepreneurial journey with you in the hope that you can learn from (or laugh at) some of my experiences!


I decided to start this blog as I needed a platform away from my diary (which is already completely jam-packed full of thoughts, joys and stresses!)  on which I could share my journey with others who may also want to take the plunge, or who may perhaps find my quest interesting to read about. I can't wait to share the ups and downs of my entrepreneurial journey with you in the hope that you can learn from (or laugh at) some of my experiences! I'm on the following social media channels, so don't hesitate to get in touch!

Instagram: @jadefgeorge
YouTube: Coming Soon!
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