How much does it cost to say No




How many times in your life do you find yourself in a situation where someone is asking for your help? Someone is asking you to spend your time and effort on a project, an idea or a joint venture that may in the long run be profitable to both of you?

At ConnectUs we find ourselves in this situation over and over again, and we always take the position that it's worth our time and our effort because we believe that the idea, the project or the joint venture will succeed. We also believe in the individual.

Today, we find ourselves asking the question “how much does it cost to say no?” Or if we put the question into another perspective what does it cost us to say “yes”?

At ConnectUs we use the RISE philosophy, build the rapport we say, gather the information, and find solutions that will work for both sides ethically. The problem we run into, time and time again is that not everyone practices our philosophy! Sometimes the rapport isn't being built by both sides, it has become a one-sided coin, where no matter how often we flip it – the toss always comes up “heads” – and we win or lose depending on how we look at the situation and how we find the solution.

In our company I'm the person that always sees the glass as half full, the toss of the coin always a win, because I believe perspective is everything! I'm a believer, that our philosophy is a skill that can be taught and if I practice what I preach, I can turn all those negatives into positives.

Today, I was asked the question “What does it cost to say no?” I woke up in the middle of the night and thought long and hard about my answer. I didn't really like what I came up with, because for me, it said something I didn't want to hear myself say. “The cost of saying no is sometimes more profitable that saying yes.” It suddenly dawned on me, that without first qualifying what the idea, the project or the joint venture will mean to both sides of the coin, my investment could be catastrophic. I suddenly realized that if only one side delivers, following the RISE philosophy, the imbalance is costly.

The cost of saying no, is not necessarily wrong then – it is just a case of weighing the odds for and against the delivery of the idea, project or joint venture.

How many of us have seen that picture of a light bulb shining brightly where underneath it says “I have an idea! And the light bulb becomes dimmer and dimmer in each frame as the reasons for the idea's demise become clearer and clearer. We see in the final frame, the words, “oh well, it was just an idea!” and the light bulb has been switched off.

I wrestle with myself, tossing and turning the question around in my mind – what is the price of saying no? And, I recognize for me the cost is too high, personally I can't say no. I am a believer, and if I don't try and find a “yes” in everything I do – I really feel that I am not walking my talk, practicing what I preach, or leading where others will follow.

The price of “No” for me is far more costly. However, that question has made me recognize the importance of training attitude, as well as training practically before I jump to my “Yes”. I suddenly recognize the importance of qualifying the partnerships, to make sure that each person I say “yes” to, has the same philosophy and standards that I have. And will keep the light bulb burning, so that every idea has got a chance to shine brightly.

What is the price saying No? When you enter into an agreement with me, or with someone who practices the ConnectUs philosophy – it is the turning off of the light, it is in the inability to see the importance of following through on each stage of the alliance, the joint venture or the project. It is the disappointment we feel, when others don't give what they get, don't deliver what they promise – don't practice, what we preach.

Can I learn to say “No?” Do I want to? Is it necessary to screen those who ask for help before entering into an agreement that says “Yes” we will help you? Absolutely, but when the light really went on for me at 4:30 a.m. this morning, was when I realized that it isn't just my perspective that is important, it is important to qualify both sides of the situation before uttering those magic words – “Yes, we will help you.”

In order for the RISE philosophy to work, it must be played forward where everyone is always striving to stretch just a little beyond their own personal reach, to extend a hand to help someone else. The RISE philosophy states, “build the rapport”. It has suddenly become crystal clear to me, rapport building must be taught, it is not instinctive in everyone. Therefore in order to make sure that the price of No is not an issue – every “Yes” must be a qualified one, where the alliance or partnership is between two people, organizations or companies where RISE has been applied and is part of the mission and vision statement.

As of today, I am more cognizant of who I am, what I need and what I can share. And as of today, I have much more clarity on what is necessary for me, to make the price of “no” a non-issue. Everyone who is asking for my help, who is offering ideas, suggesting projects and alliances must go through the ConnectUs RISE program and become totally aware of the importance of our philosophy. We play it forward, we walk our talk, and in order for us to continue to practice what we preach, we must be able to look in the mirror and see ourselves smiling, knowing that the price of no, was not an issue and that both sides are winning the race against negatives.

I currently answer hundreds of emails each day. Most of them asking for referrals, leads, help in some form – and up to today, I have diligently answered each email, doing my best to provide each person with answers that will help keep their light burning brightly. My only request has been to let me know what develops as a result of my interaction with them.

As of January 2005, I am turning the page, and starting with a clean sheet of paper. The new page has a caveat, that I will help you, if you agree to help me by accepting the RISE philosophy as your own. This is not a religion, or a cult – it is simply that in order for me to continue to believe that the price of saying “no” is far higher than that of saying “yes”. I must know that this is not a one-sided relationship, that it is all give and no get.

I have been told that when anyone looks at ConnectUs there is an assumption that we are totally self-sufficient and never need help from anyone. This is simply not true. We are a community minded company, spending countless hours in our own neighbourhood, with no return on our investment of time or money. We have never asked for help, assuming that what we give, will play forward in our community, in our own personal lives and in our business relationships. What I have just realized is really an epiphany for me!

My attitude has always been one of positive expectation. I am a believer in the goodness of my fellow man. Today, I recognized that if I can't teach others to see what I see, I will not achieve the results I expect. And life is not always what I see through these wonderful glasses I wear on the top of my head!

The epiphany? That the RISE philosophy has equal responsibility in all fields, that there is far more than just rapport to consider and learn, it includes information and solutions that are equally important. And these are the factors that I can't teach personally.

This part of the philosophy must be taught by an expert, who can project manage, and can solve problems in a systematic way that produces deliverable, measurable results. The RISE philosophy requires someone who sees both sides of the coin, the glass as half full or half empty. For me to recognize the price of No – I needed to recognize the importance of the others pieces of the RISE puzzle. Ethically, to ask for help, you need to be able to be willing to provide help in return. The “Play it Forward” concept if you will. What I've realized during my battle with myself during the wee hours of the morning is that I can't expect this to just happen. Yes, we can walk the talk, but in order for it to become a habit, instinctive if you will, it must be taught, and re-taught.

The RISE philosophy must be embraced and accepted if we here at ConnectUs want to continue to believe that the cost of saying no is just not an option. As of January 2005, you can become part of our philosophy by not only agreeing to live by the code, but to actually take the training program that will assure you that you will learn to see what we see, do what we do, and believe not only in yourself, but in the inherent good in others. We are mentors in this, your guides for this portion of the journey of discovery that will make the price of ‘No” an unacceptable part of your life when it comes to setting, achieving and believing in yourself and others.

For those of you who are already a part of the ConnectUs ideology – spread the word! For those of you who want to join us, let us know by sending us an email.

What about those hundreds of emails that I answer each day? They will all receive an auto responder, thanking them and encouraging them to pay it forward by becoming an active participant in the RISE philosophy. Building rapport, gathering information, and finding solutions, not just for ourselves, but for others with whom we interact, in an ethical and effective way. RISE is the new culture of integrity, On January 1 st , 2005 ASK Donna will be available to everyone – we will answer everyone through our website. We will post FAQ's and anyone needing an introduction, a contact or a resource will be able to find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently. All we ask is that your register with us, and agree to “pay in forward”.

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