(a negative used to express dissent, denial, or refusal, as in response to a question or request)

As defined by dictionary.com, the word carries with it a very negative connotation. However, there is another way in which to digest the word. The word “no” has deeper meaning when really examined and processed.

As a business owner and someone who is constantly pitching projects, ideas for television shows and films, I hear this word all day, every day. I understand that it’s just part of the process and for better or worse, a part of our industry, but it doesn’t make the sting of the word any less painful. I’m sure if you talk with anyone who’s in sales or job hunting you’ll hear similar war stories. This can really begin to play mind games with you no matter how you found yourself on the receiving end of this painful word. “Am I not good enough?” “Does our idea really suck that bad?” “What did I say or do that made this person reject me?” Truth is, 99% of the time it’s just simply not a good fit. There isn’t any underlining meaning for why you've been told no. At that particular time or forever it’s just no.

I think we’ve all heard phrases like “it’s a numbers game”, “you can’t win if you don’t play”, “there’s more fish in the sea” and on and on. I’ve uttered some of these phrases to myself just to try and stay sane and focused as we continue to try and grow as a company. We say these things to ourselves and our loved ones because it stops the hurting. Unfortunately, it’s like pouring antiseptic on a bee sting. It may cool the wound, but the visible redness and soreness is still there for a while longer.

I would ask you to try and take another look at encounters with the word no. What if we looked at this negative word with something positive in mind? What if that word actually stopped you from making a huge mistake in business or in life? I think we owe a lot of thanks to this little annoying word. As painful as that is to say, because I don’t like hearing it! I have however started to become grateful for the word. I know deep down that the project, concept or pitch is simply not right. I get excited knowing that the thing I’m looking for is still out there. That’s a good feeling when you know you're forced to clear the table and begin again. It means that there is something bigger and better coming your way. I’m a big believer in faith. I sometimes lose mine, and sometimes question why things are happening, but I believe overall you have to have something to hold on to.

Michael Jordan said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” It’s hard to get up, it’s hard to hear the word no. No one enjoys feeling turned away. If we choose to look at this word as a safety measure from God instead of simple rejection, we’ll recover from the sting quicker and be able to put one foot in front of the other one. So fall in love with and be grateful for the word “no”. You never know what “yes” is just around the corner.

-Jason Hensley, President, McCosh Films Inc.

Dedicated to my wonderful wife who reminds me every day to always stay positive.