People undermine the power of an empty inbox. I’ve spent the last year trying to get my business and my mental health initiative off the ground; and its hands down the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. I’m not talking about the work, I love it; I enjoy writing the proposals, choosing the products, working the books and meeting with clients. As a storyteller, I enjoy designing solutions with my clients, making up the follow ups and watching people grow confident in their stories.

However, the hardest part of the job is the empty inbox. Being startups (the business and the initiative), I have to spend a lot of my time ‘asking for work’, and it gets ugly the moment I hit the send button. There are the people who outrightly ignore the email, and its okay, it is part of the business and I am not entitled. And then there is a special group of people; mostly people you’ve already met or know. They will ask about your business, they will ask for details, ask for a quote, ask to negotiate and then ghost you. I know you know them, maybe you are them or you are sited on your computer waiting for an email from them, trying to calm your anxiety.

You see, the way my anxiety is set up, I consider this as the worst form of someone leading you on. My business is young, and customers few and far apart; it’s a jungle out here. See, nobody is obligated to respond to an email, but if you are going to make people revise their rate and offer to suit your needs, its only courteous for you to take a few minutes to give an official NO, and if you can, throw in a one-liner giving your reasons.
As a young business owner, I’m at that stage where I believe in my ideas well enough to share my works with people for money but still insecure enough to associate an unanswered email with a rejection of my work (and me).
So, for the sake of our collective mental health (ayeee entrepreneurs), please indulge us with a NO, I promise you we can handle even the hard Nos.

Njeri Ndonga.