From the desk of Shaun


“Focusing is about saying NO” – Steve Jobs

Hi family!

The happiest people i’ve come across have one thing in common: they know when and how to say ‘no’.

Here in Korea and in Japan, saying ‘no’ is the norm when it comes to protecting identities and investments (more on in a bit).

In western culture, saying ‘no’ is seen as ‘rude’ or ‘blunt’. Those that refuse to say no are often left unhappy visually, emotionally, and sometimes financially.

Business owners are keen at saying no when something doesn’t look good or seem right. Saying no to bad ideas or a personal request is okay. However, saying no to a court order is another story.

It wasn’t until recently I found saying no is a sign of respect

Growing up, I was taught to delay ‘no’. Overtime, I found that being forced to do what I don’t like was overwhelming. When I started saying no, I was respected more by people in the work force and outside of it. One of my mentors taught me the power of no by saying it to me when I asked her if she could do something for me. I didn’t get mad; I actually got INSPIRED.

At my current job, I was told that I was going to dress up for a special day. I told them no twice. No more after that. They talked me into at least wearing a hat and that was acceptable. I’ve had no issues with anyone since.

Certain cultures like to “beat around the bush”. For my non-Americans, that means “to avoid answering a question; to stall; to waste time.” Time is precious and I hate wasting it.

The American drama “The Good Wife” had a moment where the main character wasted someone’s time. She told someone she’ll “let them know in 24-48 hours” on a decision. The character didn’t want to do the request so she made that person wait.

In real life, that would infuriate me and I would never do business with that person or establishment ever again. It wouldn’t matter to the other person cause was their plan all along. The consequence of that is the person looking to do business could spread the word and things might fall apart.

One such example I can think of is a Youtube couple that had to deal with media giant SM Entertainment. They (SM) LOVES to wastes people’s time with their artists. They tell them yes, look at what was created, then says no to it. Unless it’s on a major platform, SM will be fickle on how their artists are presented. Such actions have caught up to the record label in recent times (members leaving and suing for example).

Something like that DID happen with me recently.

I went to an establishment to see if I could film. After talking things out on what I could and could not film, they agreed to it. When it came time to film, they gave me excuses as to why I couldn’t film. Apparently, not everyone was on board with what I was doing so the boss came in to save face.

After wasting four hours of my life, I left pretty heated. Being who I am, I decided to not make a big fuss over it publically (at least right away). I talked to the right people and cooled down. After all, making decisions in the heat of moment can have dire consequences.

Long story short, say no.

If you feel something isn’t right, trust your gut and say no. If you don’t want to do it, just say no. If you want to make sure no one is wasting your time, ask them and make sure you talk to the right people.

Cultures avoid saying ‘no’ to avoid trouble. The ironic thing is by not saying no, trouble DOES occur.

Something to think about for the new week!
Peace and love!