Today, a friend of mine posted a Business Insider interview with Barbara Corcoran – a real estate mogul and an Investor on Shark Tank. In this interview clip, she discusses the difference between $8M earners and $40K earners in real estate. However, her words of advice can be applied to any profession. She explains that her fear of rejection, being a poor student and insecurities drove her to prove people wrong. She believes that the word “no” should drive people to achieve more.
Click here to check out the clip.
Oftentimes, we get caught up in the word “no” because it’s most often associated with rejection and the feeling of shame. It leads us to think, “Im bothering this person and I don’t want to make them mad” or “I’m not good enough for this”. It causes us to flee.
I fully admit that most of my life, I’ve had that fear of rejection as well, as I am a people pleaser. However, about a year ago, a close friend of mine gave me some advice I’ll never forget, “People are just people. And, at the end of the day, it’s just business and unless someone attacks your character, you’re allowed to make mistakes, so long as you own up to them and provide a plan that will correct them.” He also told me, “You got this. As long as you have done your homework and you’re educated on whatever it is you’re doing, you can’t fail.” No joke, that changed my entire outlook on my professional career. I am going to make mistakes, I WILL admit to them (and not provide excuses) and I WILL succeed. Why? When you are able to prove to people that you’re human but that you’re responsible and willing to drive forward and NOT make the same mistake again, it is looked at as personal growth.
But, let’s get back to this word “no”….
We avoid it like the plague because we’d all rather hear “yes” (of course). But why? Why SHOULD things be so easy? The truth – they shouldn’t. We have to hear the word “no” or we will never toughen up for the harder dealings in life. We have to learn that unless your personal character is attacked, whatever it is, is manageable – it’s not the end of the world.
I’ll illustrate this with two examples:
At a previous job I was at, years ago, I worked more hours in a week than most humans should work in a month. It was the most demanding job I had ever had, and I did it to the best of my ability. I had bosses that weren’t happy with me, since the day I started (while it pays to have connections, it also doesn’t boast well for credibility at times). As a result, my work was never good enough, I was never doing enough (despite doing enough work for a team of three), and I wasn’t getting the career guidance I needed to do my best. They saw my weaknesses being exposed and tore right through it with hurtful words and threats. The result: I crumbled – full-on, no-joke panic attack. It rattled me to my core. I believed I wasn’t good enough for any other company and as such, stepped away from corporate life. The positive: I started my own marketing consulting company that did well for about four years. It turns out all that tearing apart of my work and character, helped me develop a thick skin! Still, it left an internal gaping hole where my confidence, in all of my abilities, once was – it’s just that very few saw it.
With the aforementioned advice from my friend over a year ago, I changed, and it literally happened over night. I have been with a new company for about three years now and I’ve watched myself grow, change and get stronger in what I know. I’ve been allowed to make mistakes, have been scolded for some of them, but I can confidently say, I’ve never made the same mistake twice. I’ve also been bold enough to ask for projects that put me outside of my comfort zone – even if I knew I’d fail there too.
The trick is “eating humble pie”. You don’t know what you don’t know. Asking lots of questions helps with that. Not being afraid to ask for help, helps with that too. People are people and nine times out of ten, they want to see you succeed if they see the eagerness within you. Still, I do hear the word “no”. But you know what? I like it. I want to hear it. I want to find a way to turn it into a “yes” because it proves to myself that I DO have the confidence to take on anything that comes my way.
Any one of us can be a Barbara Corcoran to some degree – you just have to take that two-letter word and turn it into something fabulous.