Collecting your noes has been an instrumental aspect of my work and my alignment in business today. I find that so many of us are so eager to always get a “yes” that we sometimes back out of anything that may not get us that answer. We fear getting the “no” – “No, we’re not interested,” “No, you’re not qualified,” “No, it won’t work right now.” You know then noes I’m talking about! They zing you where it hurts and bring up those awful feelings of fear, abandonment, low self-worth, and self-doubt. And they’re enough to stop you from taking a chance.
But today, I’m going to give you five reasons you should ask anyway. In fact, I’m going to turn things on their head and encourage you to collect your noes. Why, you ask? They give you great perspective and they give you a way to ensure that what you’re asking for you really, really want. So, here are five reasons to rack up those noes as you run towards what matters most to you at work and in life. Join me now.
I want you to know, I’m coming into this week’s topic with a fresh perspective. Just last year, I was putting together a book proposal together. It took me weeks and weeks and weeks, and I put over a hundred hours into this book proposal. I was super excited because this was really going to be my breakout book with spirituality and professional women. I hired a book coach and everything… but as you know, that’s right around the time the pandemic hit, and it hit a ton of different industries, including publishing. And the publishers I proposed to chose some really awesome authors to move forward with at the time, none of which were me. (02:53)
And when I got that, no, I was obviously deflated and even beating myself up for trying. And I definitely had those conversations with myself, like: Who do you think you are? Why did you ever think that was possible?
But I have to share with you a year later, I am still very focused on writing and publishing my next book. So to me, it is an indicator of how much I want it. And I know this book is going to be even stronger, more aligned, and more purposeful because of it.
Had I not submitted the book proposal and gotten that ‘no’ last April, I would have not been as determined to go after it as I am now. That ‘no’ has proved so helpful. And, I’m actually thankful for that ‘no.’ So in this episode, I’m going to share five reasons you should go for what you want and ask anyway – even if you don’t get the ‘yes’ you’re looking for. (03:59)
Before You Start
Take a minute right now and ask:
This should be your center point for this episode, because for many of us, we have aspirations. We have areas we want to throw our energy into and align our impact to make a difference. These are the areas you should be thinking about as we review the next five steps in regards to collecting your noes, because, it has to mean something to you. You have to feel it. (05:18)
And if somebody says not now, not ever, we don’t want you. You take that as a learning lesson and you regroup and think about the direction you’re going to head into next. I’m a huge believer that if you really want something, you can make it happen. And I say this because I never even had an author in my life. I never even knew anybody who really wrote a book. I wasn’t even sure how it’s going to manifest this. And I’m really not that great at grammar, but even with all of those things, I still made it happen because I had a vision. I believed in the work I was doing. I thought it was necessary and I was not afraid to collect my noes. And let me assure you, I have collected more noes that I have time to share with you today. (06:24)
07:19 – Reason #1: Practice is a good thing.
Let’s just see what we can do. Let’s take the pressure off being perfect. And let’s just put ourselves out there in the direction. We want to have more impact in the direction we want to throw our energy next, because it’s important to us. And if you think of each ‘no’ as practice, everything that happens is just a way of gathering information, getting perspective on the landscape, and really understanding what you need to do to turn your ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ next time.
08:25 – Reason #2: You have time to do your research.
Are you in the right arena? Are you talking to the right people? Has this been done before? There are so many questions and research points you might have missed when you first asked, which led to that ‘no.’ Any additional research you can gain helps you create some perspective on what you’re trying to move forward.
09:26 – Reason #3: You gain perspective on the process.
As Brené Brown says, you cannot comment on people that are in the arena until you are in the arena with the sweat and the blood and the tears. It’s not until you’re in there, maybe even on the ground, all beat up, that you can provide perspective and gain insight on the process. It is power to be in the arena and part of the game, making things happen – even if the initial answer is ‘no.’
Now, for many of you, this may be scary. You may be thinking, JJ, you are crazy! There is no way I’m getting in that arena until I’m guaranteed a ‘yes.’ Let me assure you. You are cutting yourself short by thinking that yeses are the only valuable option. Noes can be incredibly insightful too.
13:02 – Reason #4: It’s a chance to be a role model for others.
This reason is really close to my heart. A dear friend of mine is in a very prestigious role and she was looking to move into a federal position. And we happened to be out for lunch one day and she was talking about this application process and how tedious the interviews were going to be and how much stress it was going to put her on her family – but she framed it as an opportunity. Think about the gift. It provides a place for her in the world to have the opportunity for someone to hear her voice, hear her ideas, and make a difference in the process. I’ll proudly share, my friend got down to just the final few, and while she didn’t make it to the final seat, the process was so insightful her. And sharing the experience with her family, with her children, specifically, is going to have an amazing impact. It’s part of what we provide back to the generation behind us, watching us, sharing with them the process and reassuring them that we’re not always going to get the seat, get the position, get the yes, but we get the experience of putting ourselves out there in a new way.
There’s there are lessons for our peers, our co-workers, our children, our family, and walking the path with them, sharing the steps and taking the mindset of, I get to do this, can enhance all of their journeys, – not just yours – regardless of the outcome, because you never know where that opportunity is going to take you.
18:06 – Reason #5: Each ‘no’ is a step closer to a ‘yes.’
Nobody has to know you’re collecting your noes, but I can assure you that every ‘no’ moves you closer to a ‘yes.’ And every ‘no’ gives you incredible insight into yourself. Why you’re asking what you want out of the experience, what you’re looking to move forward next. And I encourage you to start now because if you continue to wait to be a hundred percent ready, I guarantee you you’ll look back on many situations thinking I would have, I should have, I could have. And we need so many more women at so many more tables right now, so put yourself out there and let them tell you ‘no,’ because many times you may get a ‘yes’ or get a new perspective or a new connection – and that may be the exact momentum you need to get the ‘yes’ you really, really want.
Just to mention… I’ll be taking a summer hiatus, with new Career Strategies for Women episodes starting back up in the fall. I’m so grateful for every one of you who has joined me this season, and I’ll be cheering you on, even while on break! Have a wonderful summer and be sure to stay in touch! Find me on Instagram – @JJDigeronimo – and share your career and spiritual wins with me there!