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Embrace the "No"

Embrace the "No"

When someone says "no" to you, that does not mean the conversation is over. It just means it is a "no" for now.

Big deal. They said "no." Does that mean your product or service sucks? That you should give up? That no one wants what you are offering, or they do not like you? No, it does not.

[Related: The Gracious No: A Realist's Guide to Building Space for Yes]

If there was one thing that drove my success as a sports agent, it was my persistence. I heard the word "no" all the time, but there was a huge difference in hearing it versus believing it.

"No" means "no for now" in 90% of situations. When you get a "no," you need to say "thank you" and then go back to to the drawing board.

Could your proposal or pitch be tightened up? Is your product or service as good as it can be? Were you speaking to the right person? Have you built trust with this company or person, or do you need to spend time doing that first before the sale?

[Related: You Are Your Best Advocate]

I love to poke holes in things. I love to figure out why someone would say "no" to me and make sure I have a solution for any doubt they may have before I go into the meeting.

"No" is a part of life. Does it mean you should shrink down? Fall apart? Start stacking all the people and times you heard the word "no" and consider yourself less than? Heck no!

Embrace the "no"s! They are opportunities to grow and evolve into something better and stronger. Rise up to the "no"s, people.

[Related: The 4 Confidence Commitments To Help You Achieve Your Goals]


Susan Izzo was the first woman to create an action sports management agency. She has negotiated millions of dollars in endorsement deals with companies such as Pepsi, Nike, and Gatorade; her athletes are Olympians, World Champions, and X-Games gold medalists.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.