21. The Art of Saying, “No”

Early on while writing this book, I approached hundreds of incredibly successful individuals, many of whom denied my request for an interview. When someone has become incredibly successful, it’s often easy to get a big head or make others feel insignificant or unimportant. Below is a reply I received from a successful author, who told me “no.” He did it gracefully, without being dismissive but instead leaving me honored. Saying “no” without making someone feel like you rejected them as a person is a valuable skill! We could all learn a thing or two from the reply given by Will Edwards.

Will Edwards, Author of “The 7 Keys to Success”

Will Edwards has mastered the art of saying, “no.” This successful author denied my request for an interview but did so in a way that left me feeling valued and respected. I’ll include a copy of my email to him, and his reply below to show how tactfully he handled the interaction.

The following is an email I sent to Will Edwards

Mr. Edwards,

I just finished reading your book, “The 7 Keys to Success”. I wanted to tell you I thoroughly enjoyed it! I plan to read “The Deepest Desire of Your Heart” next.

I know you’re very busy and I completely understand if you don’t have time to respond to this email, but I would love to feature you (and your writings) in a book called “Success, Motivation & Inspiration*.” The book will highlight successful, motivational, and inspirational people like yourself. I’d love to have a chapter about you if you’re interested…?

Our Facebook group (linked below) already has 5,500 members** and has several successful entrepreneurs and athletes who we’re going to feature. I’d love to include your accomplishments and words of wisdom if you have time to do the online interview. (Feel free to include references to your books in the “Short Bio” section).

In the interview section, you can save and continue later. I know you’re very busy, so I thought that might make it easier to answer questions as you have the time.

Thanks again, Sir!

M. Curtis McCoy,

Success, Motivation & Inspiration

Here is the courteous reply I received from Mr. Will Edwards

Hi Curtis

Just at the moment, I don’t have the time to dedicate myself to writing you a really decent set of answers to your interview questions; and that’s what you need for the success of your book. So regretfully, I will have to decline your offer.

However, I do wish you well with your project.

Best wishes,

Will 🙂

Will Edwards is an author who has numerous books published about Self-Help, Business, and Spirituality. Of course, he likely has an incredibly busy schedule. Still, he took the time to reply in a manner that made it sound like my project was important. He expressed that he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to dedicate the time necessary for him to create a good enough response. Very classy!

People are drawn to success. I mentioned in an earlier chapter that people would contact you as you achieve your goals, looking to associate with your accomplishments. If you have to turn someone down, turn them down politely. Don’t burn bridges, but follow the example set by this author who turned me down early on, without being rude. Even when saying “no,” you can still motivate and inspire others!

*”Success, Motivation & Inspiration” was the working title when I started writing this current book.

**At the time, our Facebook group was tiny.