It’s said that the most beautiful word in the world is your own name.
The second most beautiful word? I think it’s YES.
YES is the sound of getting what you want.
But equally valuable, if not quite as beautiful?
I recently had the pleasure of hearing Wayne Hoffman speak.
This guy is an actual magician—a mentalist and illusionist, to be more specific.He spoke to us about the power of the word NO.
NO is so powerful that it keeps us from getting what we want.
Just the fear of hearing NO keeps us from asking for what we want.
Wayne had a great suggestion that I want to share with you: seek out more NOs.
Ask for things that you’re certain you won’t get. Make requests you know won’t be granted.
One, you’ll probably hear YES once in a while. Because your requests will so audacious, so out of the box, so unusual, that you’ll actually get what you want.
But two, you’ll get used to hearing NO. It will become a simple two-letter word instead of a personal rejection. Because let’s face it, that’s how most of us feel about hearing NO.
I’ve written before about Richard Branson—specifically, about how he bought an island for a song.
He made an offer that in any universe, should have gotten a NO. But instead of letting that potential NO deter him, Branson asked anyway.
You are in a sea of people who don’t ask for what they want in life. They censor themselves—they’d rather not ask at all than be rejected.
The irony is that actually hearing NO isn’t usually as bad as you think it will be. The fear of hearing NO is far, far, worse.
There are many reasons why people get ahead in life—or don’t. One of them is being brave enough to ask for what they want.
There are aspects of my life where I’m comfortable hearing NO. As a salesperson, I’ll take a NO over radio silence any day. A NO is an opportunity to start a conversation.
No? Why not?
Someone who outright rejects you is a far better prospect than someone who doesn’t respond.
In other areas, though, I avoid NO. I’ve got head trash, as much as any other entrepreneur. That head trash blocks me from getting to the next state. Fear of failure keeps us small.
But failure really isn’t failing if you learn from it. It’s iterating. It’s getting better all the time.
Sometimes, a NO is definitive. It slams the door shut.
In that case, you make a different choice. Whether you get what you want or not, NO helps you move forward.
NO is the pathway to YES.
What are you willing to ask for?
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