Career Growth, Confidence, Empower Yourself

When You Hear the Word “No”

When you hear the word “no,” what does it mean for you?

Typically for women, “no” means “NO. FOREVER AND ALWAYS, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!”

When a man hears “no,” this is what they think: “Oh, ok, how can I go at this another way?” Or “I wonder how many ‘no’s’ it’ll take to get a “yes,” OR,OK, let me rephrase that, let me ask it in a different way.”

See the difference?

Women stop at no. Men persist, they continue on until they hear a yes, until they get that raise, that promotion, that new job title or office.

Every time a woman stops when she hears the word “no”, she is short-changing herself out of opportunities, experiences, and money!$!

Learn to enjoy the process of negotiating. So that when you hear no, you immediately start thinking about reframing your argument to get to “yes.” It takes skill and practice to perfect and it gets way less scary each and every time you go ALL IN.


  1. Always, always, always ask for more. You need to raise the asking price. Ask for more than you think you’ll get. That’s part of the negotiating strategy. Start low and you’ve got nowhere to go but down, down, down.
  2. You better come prepared. When you’re negotiating for something you need to do your homework. Stick to the facts so that you don’t easily get sidetracked by the rejections. Why do you deserve this promotion/raise/new responsibility, etc.? Know your value and what you bring to the company.
  3. Act like a salesperson. My sales background has been the most beneficial preparation for graduate school and beyond, because when you’re in sales, you get used to being rejected. You get used to hearing “no,” and you just have to figure out a way around it. So you must persist until you get a yes. Ever get sold something by someone even though you had absolutely no intention of buying that day? It’s an amazing experience, and that’s what you need to bring to your negotiations. I’ve bought makeup, jeans, shoes, jewelry, books etc. because the salesperson created such a persuasive argument for why I needed those things that I just handed over my credit card (and I knew I was being sold, but I didn’t mind!). That’s a powerful sales presentation.
  4. Do not internalize the word ‘no.’ No doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it doesn’t mean you can’t handle this type of business or environment. All it means is “no” right now, not forever. So stop giving the word “no” more power than it deserves.
  5. Don’t fear rejection. It’s all just a part of the game. You must start getting comfortable with rejection (yeah, it stings, BUT it also immediately helps you refocus and reframe your counter-argument). Being rejected is an instantaneous way to get feedback. Ok, that didn’t work….so now try this. And then keep trying again and again, and again. Nothing worth doing is worth doing once or twice or three times. If you want to succeed, you’ve got to come to the bargaining table, repeatedly.