Don’t Be Afraid of “No.”

I was watching the NBC show Journeyman (website) on Monday, and the main characters, a married couple, were having a discussion about the need for the father to tell his son that he sometimes gets unexpectedly thrust back in time.

The father didn’t think the a kid of 7 years old would understand (I know, I know… Go figure), but the wife, initially having had trouble believing it herself, deftly pointed out, “Being 7 might actually help.”

How many times have you brought up an idea in a meeting where the person with the closest tie to the client tried to stifle the idea by saying, “They won’t consider that,” or “They won’t pay for that?”

How many times have you had an idea shut down because it wasn’t in the scope of the project?

How many times have you accepted that answer and settled for mediocrity?

Even worse, how many times have you kept those ideas to yourself in anticipation of being told it can’t be done, or because it wasn’t in your area of expertise?

When you share your ideas, even if it’s not likely to be implemented then, it can be a catalyst for change. Innovative ideas, however implausible, get people thinking (or, the right people anyway). Be warned, though: when you share your ideas, you lose control of them. They in effect become promiscuous. You may get credit for them when they are implemented elsewhere. You may not. But the best thing that can happen, if it really is a good idea, is for it to be implemented.

“You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman

When you have an idea, share it like you’re 7 years old. Don’t be afraid to believe in it with a child-like fancy. Explore. Create. Experiment. But if you are afraid of rejection, you’ll never know accomplishment.

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt

– Cam Beck