I published the first issue of my e-newsletter, Financial Profundities, in 2003. In eight years, I’ve never, ever, added someone to the distribution list without their permission; they either signed up after a workshop, gave me verbal permission, or were added as a result of a purchase of a product or service. And, I never added someone simply because they gave me their business card at an event. I unwittingly followed the rules of permission marketing (opt-in) before it became industry standard for email marketing.
Which is why it always stings just a little bit when someone opts-out or, worse, opts-out with a complaint. Thankfully, neither happens frequently but even just a 0.29% opt-out rate unnerves me. Someone has just logged a vote that they don’t want what I’m offering…they don’t want me! Gasp!!
Whether personally (e.g., dating) or professionally (e.g., job interview, client development), we all have done our share of rejecting, and we’ve all experienced being rejected. At some point we have heard or said a variation of the phrase: “It’s not you, it’s me.” For some odd (and misguided, in my opinion) reason, those words are uttered as a way of bringing comfort in hopes of lessening the blow that comes from hearing, in effect: “I’ve changed my mind; I am not choosing you.”
But the truth is…there is incredible power in “no” for both the person saying no and the one hearing it.
For the person saying it, they likely invested some time to evaluate whether something is meeting their needs and wants. And whenever you exercise self-reflection and choose what is best for you, that is incredibly empowering. And healthy.
Ironically, there is incredible power for the person hearing “no” as well. Yes, it may sting initially. But the sting presents an opportunity to take a step back and do your own self-reflection and evaluation. On the other side of rejection is a chance to gain clarity about not only what you want, but also who wants what you have to offer — regardless of the form your offer may take (e.g., e-newsletter, product, service, or skills and talents, etc.). In addition, the other side of rejection can help you determine what aspects of your offer need to be refined. Who knows, you just might identify a tweak you never would have considered and this tweak could end up becoming a game-changer!
Fortunately, the rejection I’m describing isn’t fatal. And, ultimately, hearing no can be a teachable moment.
As we near the end of 2011, now is a great time to think about how many times you’ve said no, along with how many times you’ve heard it. What insight do you gain from this trip down memory lane; how can this insight help make 2012 one of your best years yet?!