Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before he got financing for Disney World. JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury took a chance on Harry Potter. Colonel Sanders pitched his secret recipe for fried chicken 1,009 times before he got his first ‘Yes.’
‘No’ is not a bad word, but we’ve been taught since we were children to fear it. Tom Hopkins explains in How To Master The Art Of Selling, “We get it pounded into us that no is rejection—and rejection is painful. No is bad.”
Hopkins advocates, “Learn to love No.” Walt Disney, JK Rowling, Colonel Sanders, and everyone else who has done something remarkable have learned to embrace ‘No’ to fulfill their dreams.
Every ‘No’ gets you closer to ‘Yes’
Rejection is part of life. If something is worth doing, you’re going to face obstacles. You can’t convert everyone to embrace your dreams. People will say ‘No,’ because they’re not prepared to change or they don’t share your vision.
Hearing ‘No’ from others is manageable and positive. Every ‘No’ you receive is valuable input. Listen to the feedback, understand the fears and doubts you’re hearing, and learn from the experience. The next time you pitch you can adapt your message and get even better.
And most important, keep moving forward. Hopkins teaches sales people to “Learn to love No,” because every time you hear ‘No’ you’re one pitch closer to ‘Yes.’
Quiet the ‘No’ inside your head
Internal rejection is far more insidious. It’s very hard to achieve your goals when the voice inside your head is derailing you.
Steven Pressfield describes internal rejection as “Resistance” in his book The War of Art. Pressfield explains, “Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”
Resistance, the ‘No’ inside your head, is the hardest to overcome. But it’s essential. You can’t get anyone else to say ‘Yes’ until you do.
‘No’ is a measure of success
Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
Every time you hear ‘No,’ smile a little. You’ve just passed another milestone, and it’s time to try again.