No is just a suggestion (in business I mean).
I didn’t graduate college, I barely made it through high school...don’t get me wrong, I always had good grades... but I was lazy.
I didn’t turn in homework but I aced my tests. I became great at convincing my teachers to give me better grades, or I found a way to negotiate turning in something else to improve my grades.
At a young age, I loved pushing my boundaries and marching to the beat of my drum. I mastered the art of negotiation.
Then this weird thing happened, I started working in the real world. And before 11am, I would have five doors closed on me and ten people telling me I couldn’t do something. But you know what? That just ignited the fire in me to keep going. By doing so, it led me to climb up the rankings to get promoted.
By the age of 22, I was making six figures. It wasn’t about the money for me, but it was about expanding what I was capable of doing, proving people wrong, getting positions that I was “too young for” or because “a woman couldn’t do it.” I had that fire in me to prove “them” all wrong.
At 24 years old, I left my high paying job to move to LA from Seattle. I had a dream to be a sports agent, talent agent or to be in a Sting video (one of those actually happened). Then, instead I decided I wanted to work on wall street, or at least the LA version.
Merrill Lynch was hiring at the time, and I went for an interview. It was an application and a personality test (Meyers Briggs type), and please remember I didn't have a college degree. My friends and family told me this was beyond my reach. But like everything else in my life, I was determined to prove them wrong.
Four days later, I got a letter in the mail saying “NO, sorry but you don’t qualify.” Then I started wondering.... was it my personality test? Was it no degree? I didn’t care what it was, but it made me want it even more.
Remember when I mentioned people called me crazy for thinking I had a chance at that interview? Well, the next step is definitely crazier.....
So I called up the manager and said their response was unacceptable and I am not accepting no for an answer. I told them I was qualified and what I was capable of and he was beyond disbelief. He stated that no one has ever approached them like this.
He didn’t know what to say, but agreed to give me a fair interview the next day. The following day, I ended up having 6 hours of interviews from the top Merrill Lynch broker managing billions of dollars!
Three days later, they mailed me my job offer. The salary was 100k less than my previous job, but what I saw was an open door of possibilities. It wasn’t about the money, it was the end goal for me. It was also how I proved to myself and others that NO (in business) is not final. So please tell me no.
Whatever your dreams and goals are, be hungry for it. Go after things that completely scares you; your dreams should scare you. I can’t wait to tell you all the “NO” I’ve received when starting FREEDOM, but that’s a story for another time.