never accept no


"I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me.  It's because of them I'm doing it myself."

Albert Einstein

In my thirties, as I was starting to build a career in magazine publishing, I worked for an associate publisher who would never, ever accept NO.

He was one of the most remarkable men that I had the good fortune to work for in New York.  He was also demanding when it came to results.  Because of his refusal to accept no for an answer he taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life.  Change your thinking, change the outcome.

I will never forget a particular meeting he and I had with a very large advertiser who had stopped placing advertisements in our women's magazine.  We tried tirelessly to persuade a room full of very skeptical marketing executives to change their negative position during our presentation.  They flat out refused to ever return to advertising with our publication again, they told us.  It was one of the most exhausting and discouraging presentations that I had experienced.  When we started to walk back to our publishing company's offices across town, I said, "it looks like that will never change, they said no definitively".  He smiled widely, looking right into my eyes, and said enthusiastically, "Barrsie, NO is where I begin.  I love it when people tell me no!"  I was flabbergasted.  My face certainly showed my disbelief.  Then, our walk became very interesting.  He explained his philosophy to me which was that he never heard no.  He always knew that any no could be changed to a yes.  We just had to try harder.  Having been nearly thrown out of this meeting, it was hard to imagine how this would be changed.  And, yet, I continued to write, call and see whomever I could see, whenever I could get in the door with even a short message.  Yes!  We did succeed in about ten months to change the situation.  Two years later, this company was one of our biggest advertisers.  Of course, the story is a bit longer than this but - change your thinking, change the outcome. Many people would have walked away and they would have lost a great opportunity.

Entrepreneurs cannot accept no.  They succeed by looking for ways to get a yes.  His teaching has been an inspiration to me for decades. If I do hear no, it is only for a few minutes, then it fades and I begin to think of ways to YES.

These Moroccan goats climbed the Argan tree.  It never occurred to them not to.

These Moroccan goats climbed the Argan tree.  It never occurred to them not to.