go for no

photo by Amir K.

Just like bungee jumping, skydiving and shopping for swimsuits, sometimes you’ve got to trick your brain into taking risks.

Here’s one technique that really works. Start by making a list of 30 people, gatekeepers, institutions or opportunities that represent a big stretch in your career. Think long shots and lofty goals. For example:

– request representation with a gallery you admire

– book a venue far bigger than where you currently perform

– pitch your designs to a prestigious retailer

You get the idea. Keep writing until you reach 30. Heck, make it 50. Force yourself to be really outlandish.

Now it’s time to take action. Start working through your list with the intention of getting 30 or 50 “nos.” Just make sure you’re backing up all those pitches and plans with the necessary legwork. Do your homework and give every item your best shot. As you’ve probably guessed, two important things will happen:

1. You’re going to hear the word “yes” a lot more often than you expected.

2. You’ll become more comfortable with rejection, which is essential for artists and creatives at every point in their careers. The dagger becomes a little dulled — and you start growing a tougher skin.

Give it a try and let me know what happens.

posted 24 Jan 11 in: business, inspiration. This post currently has no responses.

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