The Worst They Can Say Is No

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If my 88-year-old mother ever had a LinkedIn profile, her headline would read something like “Former ingenue, entrepreneur, dreamer, and the rest is none of your business, my dear.” But to those who’ve had the privilege to know her over the decades, her mantra has always been, quite emphatically, to treat everybody with dignity. That was one of the main reasons she was receptive to opportunity.

She began working from an early age and later helped my father through chiropractic school by working long hours as a Hollywood extra during the fifties and sixties. Though never seeking stardom, she knocked on enough doors to get a lot of good work, saved some seed money, and established relationships that would eventually transform her life. Mom leveraged her positive attitude and tough shell to find opportunities, sell her strengths, and laugh off rejection. “It’s no big deal,” she always told me as a kid when the chips were down and she says the same thing to me now.

Most importantly, and by example, Mom taught me that you should never feel afraid to negotiate a deal because the absolute worst “they,” a client, customer, or possible employer can say is… no.

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