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Out of Our Minds
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 10:08 AM
Thought for the Day: Tuesday
Anita Sharpe on Business

'Train yourself not to shut down when you hear the word 'no.' That is in fact just the time to really start fighting. No human being likes to say 'no' to another human being. When he does, he is at his weakest moment. Take that opportunity, and start selling.' -- Entrepreneur Bo Peabody (from the upcoming Random House book, Lucky or Smart?)


g - 12/2/2004 6:41:05 AM
Adding to my earlier post with a blatant critique...

A... on reflection, it's most certainly NOT a Brit/US thing. Instead, I suggest it's simply a wise/stupid truth/lie thing.

Whilst off topic (although firmly in accord with your statements of 'personally fulfilling and socially responsible'), perhaps this link will clarify the thought line:

g - 12/1/2004 10:45:16 AM
A... disagreement is good.

And sure, some of it can be tagged as 'brit attitude' (sure, I'm Brit). And I don't think it's an 'ocean apart' geographic thing. There' s many examples of good and bad from both sides.

Interesting line for exploration on the Trump/Branson thing... is one genuinely interesting and engaging and the other just self-centered and boringly dull. Are they both?

Any takers?
anita - 12/1/2004 10:20:35 AM
Hmmm -- I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Just curious -- I wonder how much of this is my US perspective vs. the British view (I'm assuming you're British from the spelling of words like 'realise'.)Then again, Donald Trump has nothing on Richard Branson -- so nevermind on that!
g - 12/1/2004 10:11:31 AM
A... that's a poor counter and one into which I don't buy.

Looking at 'everything as selling' is a restricted perspective.

And the point of activism is to 'present the case'. New stuff emerges and of which folk need to be made aware.

And the example of eat organic is fatally flawed... many don't simply because they lack the finncial resource to buy higher-priced produce.

And when has 'rejection' ever been a big deal? Simply present the case intelligently, respond honestly to genuine enquiries and keep moving.
anita - 12/1/2004 9:57:12 AM
If you look at everything as selling -- including getting people to care about the environment and improve the workplace -- do you just give up because those in power say 'no?'

If it's really true that the best things don't need to be sold, we'd have no need for political activism, right? Everyone would just automatically do the right thing. We would all drive hybrids instead of Hummers; we would all eat organic; everyone would practice safe sex. . .

The point of this post -- and, I think, Tom Peters' overarching point -- is you can't define sales narrowly anymore. Everything is sales. Where would the world be if everyone just shrugged and went home when faced with rejection?
g - 12/1/2004 9:23:40 AM
A... good-o... constructive engagement. ;-)

You've set a high bar for yourselves with that tagline and the 'about' page. You can't expect to get away with stuff that's 'less than better'. I stand by my critique and I do expect better. Why? Simple...

I suggest there's little personally fulfilling and nought socially responsible in considering and conducting commerce in the mode so suggested by the original clip. And 'worthwhile'? Hhhmmm... I think not.

> 'when you truly have something of value to offer'...
The best things don't need to be sold. Genuine worth is bought on invitation. It should never be an issue of 'fight' or 'exploit weakness'. Commerce can/should be a wholly collaborative vendor/client relationship.

Rodomontade... so much of commerce is needlessly competitive... the machismo way of the boastful braggart dominated by combative tactics. It lacks finesses and elegance.

Think different... road less travelled... diff drum etc... there's so much good stuff to be explored and from which we can all learn valuable lessons.

As regads your 'knee jerk'... me too. And, with a little thought I realise that I also 'knee-jerk' toward stuff. If we're open in our deliberation we make wise choices almost instantaneously - on instinct, which we then bolster with rationale.

'Do your own math'... just consider the really good examples and ask yourself if they're really moved by 'fighting' and 'exploiting weak'. Dollars to donuts, they ain't.

anita - 12/1/2004 8:00:17 AM
g: I posted this largely because, as Tom Peters wrote in the print version of the magazine, 'Our records of accomplishment are a function of our skill and devotion to. . .Sales. Period.'

Yet, so many people are paralyzed by rejection or even the thought of rejection. And because we are bombarded with sales pitches, many of us (myself included)often give a knee-jerk 'no.'

We found several of the best writers for our magazine because they were persistent about selling themselves.

I don't view this as beating poor suckers into accceptance, but rather being persistent when you truly have something of value to offer.
g - 12/1/2004 5:12:54 AM
Of course, we could all be 'decent' and not consider commerce as adversarial engagement with terms such as 'weak' and 'fight'.

If we've marketed properly - in an honorable and engaging manner - the statement of 'no' often signifies genuine 'not for me' disinterest... and should never be considered the cue to browbeat some poor sucker into acceptance.

I'm surprised such a quote is featured. I'd expected better.
lee - 11/30/2004 9:05:22 PM
I would much rather hear 'no' than 'I will get back to you.' At least with 'no' there has been some decision and you can debate the rationale. 'I will get back to you' is the corporate version of purgatory and wastes time for all involved.


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