Love Hearing NO for Great Success

bernadette-boas“Love Hearing NO for Great Success” is guest post from Bernadette Boas, who publishes LEADERtipsâ„¢ every Tuesday and ignites leaders from within worldwide. She has some great wisdom and tips to share about hearing the word no. I know I used to cringe when I heard that word and it used to take a long to recover, so I hope this post helps you change your perspective and future responses to that word.

Do you believe you have to fail to succeed? Even look to fail in your pursuit for success? Or do you see it as plain failure and avoid it, every chance you get?

Truly understanding your response to those question is the difference between you exceeding your goals or just meeting or falling short of them.

Thomas Edison proclaimed: I didn’t fail 10,00 times inventing the light bulb; I eliminated 9,999 ways that didn’t work!

It’s all perspective, right?

Well then, what if I told you that you could be far more successful pursuing rejection, failure and NO; then you would by chasing YES! Putting it simply, instead of focusing, even setting goals, around the number of Closes/Yes you get, instead define goals focused on the number of No’s you get. Let me explain… and remember, this applies to all areas of career, business and life.

GoforNo!Up until a few minutes ago, I too would have questioned my own sanity in that concept. For years, I both feared failure and chased YES; as that is what I was taught to do. Then, in just under an hour, I read a small but powerful book, Go For NO! YES is the destination, NO is how you get there, by coauthors Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz .

I’m not going to repeat what their book talks about, as you will want to read the mere 80 pages yourself. No, I am not a salesperson for them either – it is a great read, one that could change your life.

What I want to focus on is why we are so afraid of rejection and those two infamous letters – N, O!

After finishing the book, I immediately sat down to ponder my own fear with rejection and No. I asked myself things like; What was it that scared me or made me anxious? What are the impacts if I continue to fear it versus embrace hearing No? What would be different in my life if rejection was a motivator instead of a deflator.

Here is what I captured in a 60 second ‘popcorn’ exercise (writing without thinking or editing). Feel free to do it yourself:
I asked myself:

What Fear/Anxieties do I have about rejection and No:

  • It means, I’m not good enough
  • My product or service isn’t valued
  • No one wants what it is I have to offer
  • What are the impacts in my believing that:
  • No new clients
  • Unmet sales/income goals
  • Can’t pay my team
  • Won’t achieve my goal
  • Won’t want to ask tomorrow.

Do I truly believe in those FEARs (False Evidence Appearing Real)? No. Sometimes. Not really!!!!!

What I have learned over the years, and Andrea’s book reminds me of, is: No doesn’t mean never… it simply means Not Now, Not for Me, Maybe Next Time, etc. When it does mean Never, it doesn’t mean it’s not; For Everyone or Anyone. And it certainly does NOT define one’s self-worth and value. It simply means No.

One of their key concepts that really jumped out at me is: ‘get rejected and get rich plan’…. how?

Thomas EdisonConsider this for yourself, a team member and even your manager, and keep in mind, this can be applied to any career, business or life goal – NOT just one focused on sales, though that will be our example.
i.e. You have a goal of 3 sales. Though you are a salesperson, you can make the calls, but don’t like it and look for any out as soon as possible. This month you’re lucky, you’ve made 3 by mid month.

What do you do? Most people, greater than 80%, stop working so hard. They have reached their goal. Can you relate?
Now, say, regardless of your goal of 3 sales, you have a monthly goal of 50 No’s (based on your conversion rate). At mid month, though your quota is met, you have only received 30 No’s. Well, you have no choice; you have to keep pushing until you get 20 more No’s. Based on your conversion rate, just think what that will do to your goal – simply based on the numbers… you will exceed it – greatly. How motivating is that!!

Being rejected or hearing No allows you to push forward; to keep moving and failing fast, instead of spending time with people/activities or tasks that won’t generate a Yes; at least for now. Learn more here in my interview with author Andrea Waltz.

This small book, Go for No! , in its mere 80 pages turns old beliefs and perceptions on its head; forcing you to think and act differently.

To wrap up my exercise; I asked myself,

What if I loved and chased No’s without fear, anxiety or hesitation, what would that mean to me?Arrow up

  • Exceeded Sales/income goals
  • Career, Business and Life goals achieved and possibly exceeded
  • Team healthy and happy, and growing!
  • Opportunities expanding
  • Stress eliminated or minimized
  • Fear, not fully eliminated, but managed through practice, discipline and faith
  • Overtime, the fear of rejection, failure and NO becomes extinct.

Wow, love the ‘popcorn’ exercise — never heard that one before. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, and leadership tips, Bernadette!

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1 comment for “Love Hearing NO for Great Success

  1. August 27, 2014 at 4:22 am

    When I get frozen in fear, I tell myself: “If you don’t ask, the answer will be No … so go ask!”

    Very inspiring post with an actionable exercise, thanks Bernadette! Going to get some popcorn now. 🙂 Kathy

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