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Media Rules!: Mastering Today's Technology to Connect With and Keep Your Audience by Dan Solomon, Brian Reich

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Chapter 6. Be Choosy

Innovative thinkers and doers instinctively say yes. But "no" is a necessary option.

Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, is a billionaire, world-class traveler and adventurer, and, a global business genius. Despite all the things he does well and has had success doing in his life, there is something he struggles with: saying no. In fact, he told Business 2.0 magazine the key to being a successful person was to "Learn How to Say No (Even If You're Known As 'Dr. Yes'). He said he turns people down with extreme difficulty sometimes, becasuse the people he is saying no to "are people I don't want to discourage." He adds, it should be difficult to say no, and you have to be good at it to be successful. "I often used to dodge doing it myself, and hide behind other people and delegate it, but if you're the boss, that isn't the right thing to do," he wrote.[19]

The Business Culture of "Yes"

Whether it's out of politeness, fear of rejection, the desire to seize every opportunity, doers and connected people have a habitual need to say yes all of the time. We've even created a business mythology around it.

When you walk into the flagship store of Stew Leonard's, the "World's Largest Dairy Store," located in Norwalk, Connecticut, the first thing you see is the company's corporate policy carved into a piece of rock. It reads:

Rule #1: The customer is always right!

Rule #2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread rule #1.

The origin of this concept that ...

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