When the answer is no.

NO upside down.jpg

When you ask a business-related question and you get a “no”, remember this:

NO is the answer to the question that you asked.

If you want a different answer, ask a different question.

Such a simple idea.

So easy to forget.

“Hi, Jen. I am looking for new representation and hope you can help. Would you recommend me to Agent X?”

“No, I’m sorry. I just emailed them about someone else last week. I can only push for one person at a time.”

“Ok, thanks.”

Wait!!! Before you walk away, my actor friend, remember that “no” is the answer to the question that you asked.

Let’s try that again.

“Hi, Jen. I am looking for new representation and hope you can help. Would you recommend me to Agent X?”

“No, I’m sorry. I just emailed them about someone else last week. I can only push for one person at a time.”

“Got it. That makes total sense. I’ll circle back with you about Agent X in a few months. Can you take a look at my short list of agencies that I’m interested in working with and let me know if there is anyone on there you’d feel comfortable reaching out to right now?”

“Sure thing. Happy to do so. Send it over.”

Shall we try another scenario?

“Hi, Jen. I’m thinking about going to grad school and could really use some guidance. Can I take you out to coffee for an hour and pick your brain about the pros and cons?”

“No, I’m sorry. My schedule is jam packed right now, and I can’t get away for an hour.”

“Ok, thanks.”

NOPE. Let’s try that again.

(Side note here: I wish the actor had more fully thought out their original ask. 60 minutes of brain picking is a very big ask. But we will save that for another blog post.)

“Hi, Jen. I’m thinking about going to grad school and could really use some guidance. Can I take you out to coffee for an hour and pick your brain about the pros and cons?”

“No, I’m sorry. My schedule is jam packed right now, and I can’t get away for an hour.”

“ I totally understand. Could we jump on a zoom call for 15 minutes so I can ask you some specific questions about the programs I’m considering?”

“Absolutely. 15 minutes is doable.”

See? No is the answer to the question that you asked. If you want a different answer, ask a different question.