Byron Katie says, “You can have anything you want if you are willing to ask
1,000 people for it." My friend and colleague, Julie Blake,
recently related this story to a group of coaches to which we both belong. She was talking with her son Josh on the way back from YMCA
: Mom, I asked a girl to dance with me at the camp dance.
: What did she say?
: She said no.
: What does that mean? Will you never, ever ask a girl to dance again?
: (rolling his eyes) No, it means that she probably did not want to dance with boys.
One of the biggest obstacles preventing professionals from having enough business is the reluctance to submit a proposal for fear that the answer will be no
. They make up stories about what would happen if someone said no to their proposal, and then they start making up stories about what each no might mean.
We all do it sometimes. I’ve caught myself avoiding a direct proposal to help someone just because I assumed, ahead of time, that the answer would be no and started making up stories about it. But what would a no actually mean? It could mean:
“I have other commitments right now that take precedence, at least for awhile.”
“I’m not really committed to changing my situation — at least, not at the moment.”
“I want to do this, but I’m in debt, and it’s not important enough to me at this moment to make the investment.”
“I’m filing for bankruptcy, and I need that money to pay my lawyer and the court fees.”
Or, it could mean:
“I don’t really think you have the right solution for my problem.”
“I don’t believe that working with you is a worthwhile investment.”
“I don’t like you.”
This second, darker place is where all too many professionals tend to go. In actuality, no might not mean either of these. Or — wonder of wonders — he or she might actually say yes. If you talk yourself out of asking too often, you won’t ever have the business you deserve. Remember, a no could simply mean that she probably doesn’t want to dance with boys.