Getting Your Persistence Back by – Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz

Have you ever witnessed the following exchange in the grocery store aisle?

Can I have a cookie, mommy? No.

I want a cookie!  No.

Please can I have a cookie?  No.

Please?  I said no.

Pretty please with sugar on top?  No, I said.

Why can’t I have a cookie?  Because I said so.

But why?  Listen to me, young man. I am not going to say this again.  The answer is N-O!

Ten seconds later… Mommy, I want a cookie!  Oh, for heaven’s sake, just one!

You may have witnessed it…or you’ve been the parent in the exchange! (and probably the kid too, right?)  As kids we weren’t phased at all when we heard the word no, were we?  Every Saturday morning in grocery stores all across America you can hear kids passing right through failure and taking no in stride on their way to success.

Somewhere along the line, that natural sense of tenacity we had instinctively as children got drummed out of us. As kids we don’t think, “Looks like we won’t be getting a cookie today.” Not at all! Instead it’s more like, “Getting a cookie is going to take a little more work.”  And as kids we knew not to take the rejection personally, but as adults we forget.

For many of us, as we grew up, we were told by well meaning teachers, parents, coaches, etc, to “draw within the lines” and came to learn that “no” was something to avoid – and that when we heard it – we were doing something wrong.

Fast forward to today.  Many salespeople and business owners do everything they can to avoid failure, “rejection” and having people say NO to them!  And yet avoiding situations where you may face rejection and hear “No” is a recipe for mediocre success.

It’s time to get back that tenacity you had as a kid!

The strategy we are suggesting for you is start to hear “No” more often! It’s a concept we call, “Go for No!” and it means that you need to intentionally increase your “failure rate” or the number of times you hear NO!  “Go for No” means the more people that tell you “no” the closer you will get to ultimate success – or in other words, “yes.”

Of course that seems easy enough and you might be thinking, “Oh, I get it – it’s a numbers game. You want us to hear more NO’s to get more yeses.”  You are correct, that is the general idea. However while you may get that intellectually, you still are lacking the one ingredient you had when you were a kid. The willingness to fail!

As adults now it has become very important that we not look like we’re “failing!” And when you “go for no” you may feel like you are failing. Lisa Jimenez, author of Conquer Fear! and one of the people we interviewed for our documentary DVD released in October, 2011, stated it perfectly:

“It’s an interesting reality that we are more committed to looking good. When you get a ‘no’ you don’t look good, it doesn’t feel good. So we have to be OK with not looking good. We have to be OK with getting dirty, messing up, falling down.”

So what to do? You don’t have to be a spoiled brat and we’re certainly not suggesting you badger people – not at all! Just remember that while what we are asking you to do is tap into that persistence and tenacity you had as a kid, it may be a little buried but it is not gone!


Watch the 3 Movie: Talent Vs. Tenacity!

Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz are the authors of “Go for No!”, a short powerful story written specifically for sales professionals in every industry who must learn to harness the power of no to be successful.  They are also the creators of the new personal development DVD docu-movie, “Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There!” To learn more, visit or call 800-290-5028.