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If it’s not a "Hell Yes," then it’s a "Hell No"

Learn to make successful gut calls more quickly

by Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin  |  4063 views  |  0 comments  |      Rate this now! 

If it’s not a Hell Yes, then it’s a Hell No. When you adopt the Hell Yes principle, you’ll find it an effective and efficient way to make business decisions quickly. Next time you’re faced with a choice to make for your company, or need to set priorities to get things done, ask yourself one simple question: Is it a Hell Yes? If not, then let your answer be Hell No. This question acts as a razor to cut away everything in the gray area – and allows you quick access to your intuition.

1.) Identify your big Hell Yes for the day. What’s the one most important thing you need to do today? It could be something you’ve just had in the back of your mind, like the nagging thought that you should check in with a client who hasn’t seemed pleased lately. Or maybe you’ve had an idea for a way to increase sales, but haven’t yet taken the time to sit down and develop your thoughts. Make that task a Hell Yes, and get it out of the way as early in the day as possible.

2.) No one knows your business like you know your business. It’s great to have a trusted team of advisors, like your banker, your lawyer, your CPA or even other business owners you trust. But when it gets right down to it, nobody understands a company like the person who’s running it every day. Take others’ input, but in the end you have to trust your own gut. Only you will know what constitutes a true Hell Yes for your company.

3.) Say Hell No to high maintenance clients. Even in this economy, there are times when it’s good business to say no to certain customers. If you have a strong feeling that a client is going to be unprofitable, slow to pay, or just not a good match for your company, summon up a polite thanks but no thanks. It will leave you more time and energy to pursue the client who would be a real Hell Yes.

4.) Don’t hire someone who isn’t a Hell Yes. In a small business, every employee is a huge investment. Sometimes a job candidate looks good on paper but doesn’t feel like the right fit. Other times, you might find someone with the qualities that make you know in your heart that this is someone you want on board, even if their resume doesn’t show all the experience you’d like.

5.) Turn on a dime when you discover a Hell Yes. One of the biggest advantages of owning a small business is that you can make a decision in the morning and implement it by afternoon, without going through all the necessary approvals and consensus building of the typical corporate environment. If a new direction suddenly strikes you as a Hell Yes, pursue it right now, with everything you’ve got.

6.) Feeling energized is a sign of an approaching Hell Yes. Pay attention to how a business opportunity or potential project makes you feel. If you feel excited and energized, that’s a Hell Yes. If you have to struggle to make yourself get going, something’s probably off. You might want to say Hell No to that one, and create room for something that makes you say Hell Yes.

About the Author

Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin is the CEO and Creative Director of Tribe, Inc., and the author of the "Start Your Own Company" deck of Starter Cards. She blogs on entrepreneurial issues at

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