‘No’ Is For Everyone Else

3074217No. Not Found. Cannot connect. Email bounced back.

The world presents us with constant roadblocks. What’s interesting, however, is how often we tend to accept these roadblocks without a fight nowadays. The new version of “don’t take ‘no’ for an answer” seems to be letting obstacles redirect our energy to the easy “yes,” like a pinball bouncing from side to side in search of targets – with no other goal except to avoid the game-ending drain or tilt.

The tools and information readily available to us today have made it too easy to shrug off challenges and accept easy alternatives:

If we don’t get a reservation, we find another restaurant. Instantly – on OpenTable.
If we don’t like a TV show, we find another. Instantly – on Netflix.
If we don’t like our job, we search for another gig – on Elance or Monster.

Even starting companies is becoming easier – with more tools, funding, and platforms available for a fraction of what it used to cost.

But we’re losing something in the translation. We’re letting two factors crucial to determining success fall by the wayside: RISK (the willingness to be wrong about a decision or path) and PERSISTENCE (the ability to stick with it ‘til most of the no’s turn to yes’s; or at least maybes).

Most importantly perhaps, we’ve forgotten the art of persuasion. Of changing a ‘no’ to YES.

You can’t turn a no into a yes without a MAYBE in between.”  Frank Underwood, President of the United States, House of Cards 

When was the last time we tried to convince the maître d’ to scramble a table on the side? Or try harder to make this company successful before calling it quits and moving on. Instant gratification has become such a habit – it’s no surprise that the average time spent on a given company/position/job is dropping lower and lower.

What if in settling for second best, or what’s “easy,” we’re missing out?

Reaction & Resourcefulness – Two Things You CAN Control

5872464We can’t control the obstacles put in our way, that’s true. But we CAN control how we react to them, and it’s time to change our approach to that end.

I don’t want to sound like I’m picking on anyone, but today’s generation relies a lot on the Internet to provide them with answers. Their experience tells them, “If it’s not there, it probably doesn’t even exist,” whereas my generation invented the Internet (the modern version at least) and understands its shortcomings. We grew up on the notion that the Internet enhanced, not dictated.

I saw a teenager struggle with a problem recently, frustrated that there was no solution on the Internet. When I asked him why he wasn’t focusing on connecting with a relevant expert in that field, he dismissed the idea since searches on Google showed no real research on that topic.

End of the road. Stop. NO.

Roadblocks and rules do not have to mean the end of the journey. Instead, they can provide a moment of reckoning: How badly do I want this? What am I missing? Who can I ask for help? What’s a different way to approach this?Answering those questions is what will precede your breakthrough moment.

At Heartwood, we know this from experience because we acquired our first customer by challenging the rules. Phone calls to the customer were discouraged and that’s exactly why we made one.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know – So Find Out

Rules are a reflection of the time in which they were created, and as such are meant to be broken when they no longer serve. But it takes someone willing to notice and suggest alternatives to actually change them.

Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it – A famous guy called Steve.

The closed door is not always saying “You can’t come in.” Sometimes it’s saying, “Find another way.” But if you immediately go looking for another door, you’ll never know if a little more effort (or creativity) would have made the difference in opening the first one. The one you really WANTED to open.

Imagine what it would have meant for Walt Disney if he stopped after the hundredth financier said NO.
Imagine if we had simply sent another email to that first customer instead of going against “the rules” by picking up the phone.

Imagine getting to YES.