There is an old sales saying of ‘Go for No’. The idea behind ‘Go For No’ is that you will get to the YES through hearing the no’s. Going for no is about learning through your mistakes and accelerating to the result. As we have all taken time to reflect this year, some of my most successful moments come from asking the right questions and not being afraid to hear the word ‘no’. And when you do hear the word ‘no’, learning how to course correct and find a different angle to get to the ‘yes’ you need.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
How many times have we heard this famous sports quote? Think about it. Really think about it
1. Ask the Questions You Would Ask If You Knew The Answer Would Be Yes
My first job out of college was a pretty big title that led to global travel and high level responsibilities. While my work experience during college allowed me to jump past an entry level role, it was my tenacity and eagerness to make it happen that landed me the job. There were candidates that had much more experience than I did and candidates with better resumes but I went for it. I didn’t shy away from the list of experience needed on the job description and I didn’t crack under pressure when I got asked interview questions I frankly didn’t know the answers to. I just kept going after it and eventually my leader at the time took a chance on me. That chance turned into a success that has set the tone for my career.
9 times out of 10 are you going after something you really want? Or are you waiting? Are you shying away because you don’t feel adequate to someone else’s standard? Are you afraid of hearing no? Remember the worst you will ever hear, is a two letter word. You are only as good as your own confidence level.
What about a small change that would make a big difference? Perhaps you want to ask your spouse for a little more ‘me’ time, but feel guilty. Maybe it’s one small scheduling change would make a big difference for your life if you could only ask your boss. What are the types of things you truly want to do and would be doing if there were no obstacles? Identify those and start asking questions. If the answer is no, what’s the next work around?
Also see, How to Handle the Mean Girl at Work.
2. Start Before You Are Ready
This is one I cannot stress enough. While I do believe in strategic planning and being prepared, there comes a point you just need to let the cannon loose. Life is one giant band aid and it’s a short one, rip it off! If you are waiting for perfect conditions they may never happen. There will never be enough time or enough money. The early bird sometimes really does catch the worm. Stop saying no to yourself.
Think of those who got Twitter or Instagram handles early on. They most likely had no idea what they were going to do with them or what the social media world would become, but they got in early and secured a handle. Did you know the beautiful account @newyorkcity belongs to one person, Liz Eswein? Not the city itself. She has grown the account tremendously. (Liz if you’re reading, would love to hear your story!)
One of the questions I often get as a blogger is, how much content should be up before a blog is launched? Once you have structured and designed your site, launch it. Start collecting subscribers and email addresses. Toss up a ‘coming soon’ if you need to but get going. Content can continue to be created along the way, but a strong base is what’s going to get you started.
Having the confidence to follow your gut and being on the cutting edge can go along way. The development phase will come. Start now!
3. Say NO, Say It Often
Overall as women, we tend to say yes more than no. One reason we do this is how saying no makes us feel. We feel guilty. We try to take on too much and don’t want to disappoint our family, our friends or we feel bad for the other mom who needs a favor. There is a stigma to a woman saying no.
When a woman says no there is a double take. She’s labeled. She’s rude. But what if she really isn’t any of those things? Recognizing what your own limits are and saying no to the things you really do not want to do this year will put you in a better position to open space for the things you truly want. Say no to the get together you’re dreading, to the 10 millionth birthday party your kid is invited to, to taking on work that provides no value for you…whatever it is that you want to say no to. Say it. Say it often. You need to create space for the yes’s.
Wishing you a tremendously successful and happy New Year full of YES’s to the things you truly desire!
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