The Power Of Prioritizing And Saying No

Since turning my blog into a business all while maintaining a full time job, I’ve had to learn how to do one of the hardest things: Say no.

The Power Of Prioritizing And Saying No by NYC blogger Pink Champagne Problems

THE LOOK | dress, hat, sunglasses

Saying no never came naturally to me. I don’t know why, but I’ve always just been used to saying yes to people in hopes of pleasing them. Part of me feels like that’s just in our nature as human beings: We want to please others. From a young age, the word “no” has had a negative connotation. No, you can’t go to your friends house. No, you can’t stay out until midnight. No, you can’t get a new pair of jeans. No, no, no, no. And what about when you have to tell somebody “no”? For me, I”ve automatically felt like I was letting someone else down or even threaten a potential relationship.

But what happens when you are constantly saying yes?

As we get older, and begin taking on more responsibilities, the word “no” becomes extremely important. If you’re saying yes to everyone and every opportunity, you might be overwhelming yourself. We have to give all of our time and energy to multiple things instead of focusing on important opportunities. In a sense, saying no helps you take control of your own life. Saying no can be extremely empowering.

Realizing You Have To Say No

Managing two full time jobs has definitely helped me say no more often. And in return it’s helped my business grow.

When I first started my blog and connecting with brands, I was saying yes to anything and everything. Because I thought I needed to. It was really cool that brands wanted to work with me. I thought that in order for me to grow my blog, I needed to work with a ton of different people, brands, etc. Now, almost five years later, I can tell you that’s far from the truth. Once I started thinking of my blog as a business, I started seeing a change in myself and the projects I was taking on. When I was constantly taking on every project that came up, I was feeling extremely burnt out. I noticed that I was just worried about deadlines when I should have been worrying about the quality of content I was producing for brands that wanted to work with me.

This raised a HUGE red flag.

How I Changed My Approach

Between 2016 and 2017, I started changing up how I worked with brands. I realized my self-worth (which I’m going to be writing about soon), and I realized that I was essentially working FOR these brands. It wasn’t fair to either side that I was half-assing collaborations because I simply put too much on my plate. So I decided to take a new approach: SIMPLY SAYING NO.

I always respond to well-thought out pitches because I definitely am not trying to burn any bridges. It’s important for me to explain to a brand why I’m saying no too. There are typically three main reasons why I decline a partnership:

  • The brand cannot pay my rates
  • The brand doesn’t fit in organically with Pink Champagne Problems
  • I am currently working on too many projects

If I decline a partnership with a brand because of the third point, I always ask about a future collaboration. I explain that I want to be able to fully dedicate myself to the content I create for the brand, and hope that we can work together in the future. For points one and two, I still like to explain why I charge the rates I do or why the brand isn’t the best fit for an organic partnership. Although I’m saying no, I feel like I still owe it to a brand who took the time to reach out to me. It’s very flattering and always surreal when brands want to work with me, so I definitely feel the need to show my appreciation.

Focusing On What’s Important/Prioritizing

By saying no more often than not, I was really able to hone in on what was important for myself and my brand. I needed the free time that I was getting to focus on really important campaigns and collaborations.Now that I’m able to dedicate much more time (with the little time I already had) to brands, I feel a lot more confident in my content. I love talking with brands/PR reps after a campaign is done and hearing that they loved what I produced. I owe it all to saying no more to opportunities that just didn’t fit right.

I was also able to shift my priorities around and focus on those. Many of you have noticed that I’ve been writing much different content on Pink Champagne Problems. And responding SO well to it. To be honest, I used to write just outfit posts because I was so overwhelmed. I felt like I had NO time to just sit down and write. Since I’ve begun streamlining what types of collaborations I take on and how many I take on, I’ve found it a lot easy to just write. That’s a big reason why these types of posts are possible!

What are your thoughts on saying no and prioritizing? Do you think it’s a good thing?


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  1. 8.24.17
    Natali said:

    Oh yes… Those are things I was struggling with a lot and still sometimes I have issues with knowing how to prioritise where I give my time and energy to as well as the magic and that it’s OK to say no. Also, I totally lovey our dress, it looks great on you! 🙂

    • 8.25.17
      Dana Mannarino said:

      It’s definitely okay to say no! It’s your life, be in control! xx

  2. 8.24.17
    Rachel said:

    I think saying no is so important! Especially when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, it’s important to have the best content! Love all of your posts as of late, too.

    Rachel /

    • 8.25.17
      Dana Mannarino said:

      AGREED! And thank you so much, I’m so happy you are enjoying them!

  3. 8.24.17

    I definitely agree with all of what you said in this post! Saying no needs to happen sometimes…you’ll never be able to take on everything and still give it all 100%! It’s really interesting to read about your own personal experiences in terms of blogging and working with brands!

    Mia |

    • 8.25.17
      Dana Mannarino said:

      Thanks so much, Mia! I really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment! xx

  4. 8.24.17

    Totally agree with this entire post! It’s not a bad thing to say no, especially if you can do it in a graceful manner and not burn any bridges. Not every collaboration is going to work out every time. I need to get better about the whole not “overworking myself” bit, even though I now do this full-time I still find myself taking on too many projects!

    • 8.25.17
      Dana Mannarino said:

      I know, I see some people really disrespect brands in their responses back when they’re declining a collab, and it makes me annoyed. Definitely not a good look for us! And I’m on the same page as you — I need to learn to stop working at some point, it’s okay to just chill! xx

  5. 8.24.17
    Lauren said:

    Love this post, Dana! I’m learning and have started to say No more often, as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts on rates & charging as a micro influencer. I have so many companies/brands reach out to me, asking (and expecting!) me to create content and promote their product for a gifted item. While getting free stuff is fun, it doesn’t pay the bills or help me to continue to grow my blog.


    • 8.25.17
      Dana Mannarino said:

      Thank you so much, Lauren!
      I’m definitely in the process of writing a post on working with brands, which will include rates and fees discussion. And I’m totally on board, working for free is NOT cool.

  6. 8.25.17

    What about if a brand offers product? Sometimes paid opportunities don’t always come my way but I have a great brand I’m working with next month that fits perfectly with my blog. I would love to know your thoughts on this?

    • 8.25.17
      Dana Mannarino said:

      Thanks for your comment, Alexa!
      I typically say no to free product or I’ll tell the brand there is no guarantee I’ll post this product. When I was in the process of growing my blog, I would accept free product for collaborations all the time. Now that my blog is a business, I’m really focusing on sponsored collaborations. I’m in the process of writing a post about this so stay tuned! xx

  7. 8.25.17
    Brittany Steinkamp said:

    More recently, I’ve noticed just how important this is. Not only to stay sane with the work load, but I also feel like the blogging world has attracted this idea of saying yes to anything/anyone just for the sake of saying you’ve gained collaborations or simply to get free product. In the last few months, I’ve turned down multiple opportunities simply on the basis of not fitting with the brand/image I want to create and I hope others do to. I have a tiny following compared to most and appreciate anything that comes my way, but want to stay true at the same time. It can be a struggle!

    • 8.26.17
      Dana Mannarino said:

      Staying sane is definitely important 😉 And I couldn’t agree more with you, Brittany! It’s definitely hard to turn down collaborations, but staying true to yourself and your brand is most important! Thanks for stopping by! xx

  8. 8.25.17

    I’ve really, really been enjoying your content lately! It seems like you’re doing a great job prioritizing. The posts are really interesting and fun to read, and really honest, too, which I think a lot of people struggle with.

    • 8.26.17
      Dana Mannarino said:

      Thank you so much, Heather! I really appreciate that – I’m trying to do my best with juggling everything. Your sweet comments always make my day! xx

  9. 8.26.17
    Stylequeenie said:

    I absolutely love this…I have a hard time saying no myself, so I am going to follow your advice and become more proficient at it. I know my worth, I just need to let others know it too 🙂 THANK YOU

    • 8.29.17
      Dana Mannarino said:

      Love that – everyone else DESERVES to know your worth! Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts! xx