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What's your relationship with "No"?

What's your relationship with "No"?

August 05, 2016
 
How would you react to a year’s worth of rejection?
 
Let’s say you are a cartoonist and your dream is to be published in the New Yorker. Could you withstand having 20 drawings a week being turned down by the magazine? For a year. That’s 1000 drawings!
 
Would you lose confidence? Give up? Start a new career?
Perhaps you would, but not Gideon Amichay.
 
A successful, published newspaper cartoonist in Israel.  In 1989 he  came to the United States in 1989 with the dream of publishing his art in the New Yorker.
  
Gideon submitted 1000 sketches to the magazine between 1989 and 1990. And each week he received the same rejection note. His only consolation was the occasional hand-scribbled note from the editor.
 
The first one simply said, “Sorry.”
  
Another eventually said, “Keep trying.”
  
And during that year of rejection, Gideon realized something...
 
“No” isn’t usually “No!” - it’s usually “No,...”!
 
As in, “No, we don’t have the budget.” Or “No, the time isn’t right for us now”. Or even, “No, can you send us another version?”
  
Gideon doesn’t hear a period after a “no”. He hears a comma.
 
To creative people – CEO’s, artists, entrepreneurs - how we handle “no” makes all the difference. Gideon urges us to view rejection as a part of life, it’s not something to be feared or depressed by Conventional wisdom says that rejection is the end of the world. Gideon’s take is that it’s another step closer to “yes”.
He expresses this as his catch phrase “No, No, No, No, No, Yes”. 
  
(A really powerful catch phrase - so powerful he wrote an entire book on the concept. Click on the picture below to read about Gideon's book.)
 
Because – and here’s the real difference – It’s our job to research what the “no” we receive really means.
 
Respond to “No,” with equanimity and curiosity and the next step will be “what can I do better?” “What else needs to happen here?” “When is a better time?” “How can we arrange for the funding?” The trick is not to take it personally. Once you understand that "No," is simply part of the deal, it's a game changer.
 
You simply need to re-frame the situation and you will win more and feel happier.

The perfect tool to combat frustration or rejection!
 

Gideon views resistance as good. He believes it spurs us on to further dialogue and higher creativity. Most game changing inventions and discoveries hit up against resistance from the status quo.

Hard work is what moves the world forward in business, medicine, art, technology, etc. And that hard work includes moving past rejection!  Breakthroughs cause distress in the natural order of things.
Maybe you’re just a regular guy and not an iconoclast. You’re not looking to transform the world with anything game changing.
 
“But,” Gideon emphasizes, “Don’t give up if you hit resistance. This is still your dream.”
 
Gideon didn’t, and his persistence paid off. After a year of rejection on a thousand drawings… The New Yorker began buying his work. 
 
What do you do when your confidence lags?
 
Bring on some good, old-fashioned chutzpah.
 
Remember that famous people almost always get turned down at first! Think JK Rowling, Stephen King, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
 
 As Gideon says, “That means Leonardo got dressed in a tuxedo, sat through the awards ceremony, and went home empty handed 5 times before winning his first Oscar.”

The perfect tool to combat frustration or rejection!
 

 

Get as inspired as I did… watch Gideon’s full TEDTalk:

  
Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,
  

Jon