It’s rare that you get a clean slate in your working life – but with a new job or a new business you can break free of unnecessary complexity and live a bit more simply. All it takes is learning to say one little word – the ability to say “no”. Setting up FB2 has given us the chance to use the word quite often, and we love it!

Say “No” to managing IT – we have a simple cloud-based accounting system (Xero) that talks to our bank account and keeps entries to a minimum, and a clean, uncluttered website built on WordPress. We use Google Apps for email, calendar and docs – so no more email or file servers to distract us, and going to use a cloud-based CRM for sales and customer management.

Say “No” to the wrong type of work – we only take on work where we can add genuine value for the customer. Sometimes that means walking away from lucrative opportunities where we could do it, but maybe it doesn’t feel quite right. Not so easy, that one.

Say “No” to complex contracts – we have one, simple contract for all of our customer work. No special terms. It’s fair, easy to understand, and if a customer wants us to change it for them we respectfully decline, unless it improves it for everyone. So we don’t have to remember what agreement customer X has compared to customer Y.

Say “No” to time-wasting – nice lunches, promising meetings, mutually beneficial synergies, one-sided partnerships, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and re-inventing the wheel. At least, choose them very carefully. You can probably justify most things to yourself if you really want to do them, but be discerning.