Connect with us

Success Advice

8 Questions to Ask and Answer Before Saying Yes to a Good Idea



Image Credit: Unsplash

If you’d like to learn how to stop saying ‘yes’ to every little thing so you can take control of your life, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of, Joel Brown.

It sounds counterintuitive to kill off good ideas, but chase too many of these darned things and you will find your business moving nowhere quickly. In the article “If You’re the Boss, Start Killing More Good Ideas,” it credits Steve Jobs with the following theme at a management conference at Yahoo: “Jobs advised them that killing bad ideas isn’t that hard. He insisted that what is really hard—and a hallmark of great companies, is killing good ideas. For any single good idea to succeed, it needs a lot of resources, time and attention.”

You should repeat that last phrase daily.

When consulting with a major retailer a few years ago, one of the most visible signs of the culture was a frenetic energy around moving ideas off of the whiteboard and into formal projects.

It was widely understood that the best way to catch the eyes of senior management was to either lead and gain approval for a project, or to find a way to attach yourself to the big ideas and expansive project teams of the firm’s fast-trackers.

Ideas were everywhere. Projects multiplied like rabbits. It was chaos.

The result of this idea-fueled project culture run amok was a classic case of too many projects chasing too few resources. There were dozens of great ideas being pursued by project teams, yet few finished and even fewer made a difference to the firm’s results. 

At the height of the firm’s success in the market, the internal engine charged with refreshing, renewing, and sustaining success creaked and groaned and eventually failed, opening the doors for some much more focused and disruptive competition.

The word “no” is one of the most powerful management tools in your toolkit. It is also one that is under-utilized. 

“Don’t say maybe if you want to say no.” – Paulo Coelho

Here are 8 questions for you and your team to ask and answer before saying “Yes” to yet another interesting idea:

1. Does the idea support our core strategy? 

If not, kill it. If your strategy is not clear and it is not providing a mechanism for filtering ideas, solve this problem first. In the absence of a clear strategy, all ideas seem viable.

2. Is there a customer experiencing significant and visible pain that this idea resolves?

If you are focusing on benefits only, beware. Be careful attempting to justify a new initiative because of all of the perceived benefits it delivers. At the end of the day, burden relief typically outsells benefits. 

3. Is the idea a “me-too” initiative in direct response to a competitor?

If yes, work harder to find a way to differentiate your offering or firm from your competitor. Playing “follow the competitor” is typically a formula that guarantees you will lose.

“You have to change the set, stay ahead of the curve.” – Carson Daly

4. Are your current customers screaming for this feature?

Remember Henry Ford‘s famous advice: “If we had asked our customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Customers are notoriously poor at articulating their true needs. Before blindly working to meet their needs for a particular feature, spend time observing your customers and strive to understand the underlying issues or challenges leading to the request. Chances are, there’s a genuine need lurking somewhere under the surface request.

5. Will a customer have to change his/her operating processes to adopt this idea?

While this alone is not an idea killer, beware of banking on ideas that require clients to quickly change behaviors. That almost never happens.

6. How will we evaluate whether this idea is successful or unsuccessful?

Or, for longer range initiatives, how will we measure progress and know that the idea is on track to contribute? Establishing the criteria for success or failure helps identify whether something may just be an interesting experiment versus an initiative that quickly contributes to revenue and profits.

7. What is our time horizon for this idea?

Well-managed firms treat ideas and projects like a portfolio of stocks. Some are intended to deliver results immediately and others require patience and nurturing. Beware of overloading the short-term portion of your portfolio and underfunding the longer-range initiatives.

8. How will our team members respond to this initiative being added to their “To Do” lists?

Audible groans from the people responsible for the work is an indicator of potential overload. Be careful!

The Bottom-Line for Now

In our fast-changing world, we are bombarded with the need to be agile and adaptable. The risk in all of this adaptability and agility is that we rationalize taking on too many ideas at any one time, starving all of them for the much needed care and feeding. You most definitely want a culture that generates a lot of ideas. You also want to create a culture that optimizes the odds of your best ideas becoming successful in the market. Learning to say “No” is a critical part of success. 

How do you determine whether you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to someone when you only have a certain amount of hours in the day? Share your advice with everyone below!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

4 Key Areas for a Successful Marketing Strategy in 2023

By creating a cohesive experience across all channels, businesses can build customer trust and loyalty



Image Credit: Unsplash

As we head into 2023, the marketing landscape is constantly evolving. To stay ahead of the game, it’s essential to understand the key trends and strategies that will shape the industry in the coming year.  (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

7 Tips to Becoming a Successful Networker

Making yourself more memorable means you’ll have a better chance of making connections



Image Credit: Unsplash

Corporate events have long been regarded as an important tool for broadening professional networks and expanding business. Yet it’s tough to stand out from the crowd when it comes to networking at these events. You’re not the only one at the event, which means you’re competing for attention with other attendees who are also trying to make a splash. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The 2-Minute Rule: The Secret to Habit Success

By starting with a small, manageable task, it becomes much easier to build consistency



Image Credit: Unsplash

It’s a given fact that we all want to build habits, goals that we want to achieve, and things that we want to change in our lives. However, on the other side of the coin, it can be hard to sustain motivation and consistency.  (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

Continue Reading