An Appreciation of “No”

By Doug Firebaugh


That is such a hot question—it really goes to the core of what troubles many networkers when they don’t achieve the level of success they had dreamed of. Of all the great possible answers to this question, the one that I believe, more than any other, would make network marketing be all that people want it to be is simply this: that people understand the value of “No.”

Psychologists tell us that in the first five years of life, we hear the word "no" 81 more times than the word "yes."

Instead of looking at the word “no” as something negative, look at it as a very positive and integral part of network marketing. What is missing is the true value of the word “no”: it can make you rich.

Psychologists tell us that in the first five years of life, we heard the word “no” 81 more times than the word “yes”; and that every time we heard it, it was branded into our hearts as a negative—we learned that we were “doing something wrong—stop it!” We felt bad about it; we learned that the word “no” brings with it an emotional response that we don’t like feeling.

When a networker hears “no,” he feels that he is doing something wrong. His impulse if to stop doing it, because he doesn’t want to feel the pain.

If all were perfect in network marketing, the word “no” would be seen automatically and instinctively as a necessary building tool. It would be part of the process of the building of a group. All networkers would be trained to value the word “no” for its capacity to build the distributor’s skillset, resilience and leadership.

Yes’s don’t make you wealthy in this business: no’s do. You have to get a lot of no’s to find the yes’s. Without first getting a lot of no’s, you will almost surely not find the right people who will help you succeed.

I go all over the country asking this question:

“If you knew that you would never get a no, how many people would you talk to each day?”

I hear amazing answers:

“1000!…I wouldn’t sleep—I would talk to whoever was moving!…I would move at such a pace you couldn’t even imagine!”

Then I ask, “What would happen to your business if you talked to that many a day?”

They always answer: “I would get rich!”

Then I ask, “If you talked to that many people and still got no’s, what would happen?”

Without a pause, they answer: “Wow! I would still get rich!”

So why don’t people do it?

Imagine that while digging for success, you hit a gold vein worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now look over your shoulder: what would you see? A lot of dirt—a big mound of it, that you would have thrown to the side. Look closer: it is actually not made up of dirt—it is made up of the word “no.” That’s what you had to dig through to find the vein of gold.

That is the true value of the best building tool network marketing has to offer: the word “no.”

Doug Firebaugh
is a trainer to the industry
and writes for Networking Times.