Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Opportunity May Knock (and Say NO!)

Around 2005, after help from an agent, we had a very close call with a book publisher - a REALLY big one in NYC. A BIG ONE! They were literally about to sign us and our book, "Go for No!"

In fact, we expected an offer to be faxed over with a day or two. However... they had just a couple more questions for us - how big was our "platform" and how big were our audiences, and oh yes -- how many books would we buy?... well, back then even though we had sold somewhere around 30,000 copies of the book, it wasn't quite good enough and at that time we still weren't quite "big" enough for them to take the risk on us. So they passed. That was a BIG NO! We were pretty disappointed but we did not give up on our mission to spread the power of NO!

Now as it turns out, this was just the beginning for our little book. Because although it took another 5 years, we made the Amazon best seller list (in the Sales & Selling niche) and have hovered on the list in the top 10 for the last two years. And as of now, early 2011, we have sold nearly 200,000 copies! We have had the book translated in French, Dutch, German, Chinese, Hindi, Hungarian to name a few. Besides Amazon, we are not in book stores. It was through the support and encouragement of some key people + fantastic word of mouth + relentlessly getting known and getting the word out.

Contrary to what you've heard, opportunity does not knock. YOU knock... and opportunity answers. Unfortunately, it often says, "NO!" Don't give up. Don't let those NO's - even the "BIG" ones, deter you from doing what you believe you were meant to do!

Friday, January 14, 2011

How a little NO turned into a BIG YES!

Read a great story courtesy of Bill & Steve Harrison's Reporter Connection. It is a story about a man named Joel Schwartzberg. Joel is the author of The 40-Year-Old Version, a memoir of divorce and parenting his young son. Here is Joel's "Go for No" story as I read it in Steve & Bill's Reporter Connection email:

"Joel wrote an essay and pitched it to the editor of Newsweek's "My Turn" section. The editor said "no" to the essay, but she liked one specific paragraph. Joel took that paragraph and wrote a new essay around it. The subject: post-partum depression in men. The new essay ran in Newsweek. Two years later, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a report about that subject. Looking for commentary, producers Googled "post-partum depression in men," and Joel's Newsweek piece came up in every search. As a result, Joel got booked on Good Morning America, CNN and NPR. And it's all because he turned a "no" into a Newsweek piece."

I appreciate Carol, an editor at Reporter Connection allowing us to re- tell this. There will always be failures and rejections and you just never know what "no" will bring your way!

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