How many “NOs” have you had?

Mike Alpert

February 27, 2014

Kathryn Stockett got 60 NOs in her pursuit to get her novel ‘The Help’ published! Her passion for the book drove her to obsessive behaviors as she described in a recent MORE Magazine blog post on Shine. She describes how she at first shared her goal with friends and family – great for accountability. Then later, as the rejections piled up, that she lied to her friends, her husband and would even go and stay at a local hotel so that she could write and edit! Now that is passion or just a freak?

Brian Tracy once challenged me to go get NOs. With the amazing passion that Brian has he was smiling and almost giddy in telling us to celebrate when you get that NO because every NO that you get puts you that much closer to YES!

That is completely counter to our emotions, right! We don’t like to be told no. We like to be affirmed, encouraged, lifted up! As one of my colleagues told me, welcome to the “bipolar” world of entrepreneurship! If you are in business you will never get YES all of the time. So keep track of your NOs. Really, actually count how many you get. If you aren’t asking enough people, for Kathryn Stockett it took 60, then you will not get the result that you want.

Stories like Kathryn’s are legendary in the world of business. I always think about the story of Colonel Sanders traveling all over the South pitching his fried chicken recipe before someone said yes. So, would you rather have a successful business that provides for you and your family or struggle as you avoid getting your NOs?

Action Exercise

Begin tracking today how many times you are told NO. If you are not getting enough people saying YES, then start asking more people. Figure out how many NOs do you need to get YES enough to hit your revenue goals.

Mike Alpert is a Certified FocalPoint Business Coach who has been in practice in Orange County for five years. He works primarily with attorneys, financial planners, CPAs and other professional services businesses. He regularly speaks and conducts workshops for a variety of organizations in Southern California. Mike can be reached at 949-278-8652, on email at or on the web at



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