Embracing the No

If you’ve ever spent any time trying to sell something you’ll likely easily connect with and understand the title. Understanding it and embracing is the first step. What you do afterwards is the key to outlasting the no’s.

I’ve been “selling” Floorball for six years now, and four of that as Floorball Guru. I say selling because that’s what everyone is doing. We’re trying to sell you on a vision, plan, future for sports and that Floorball has a place in it. Some will come at it from a retail perspective hoping to hook you into the sport through selling you equipment, and in most cases once they’ve made the sale they’re on to the next one. Others focus on selling you the educational side and back it up with development and resource opportunities to keep you involved and engaged in the process. Both are important, but not everyone always suited for both and opt for one or the other.

If you’ve caught the Floorball bug you’re going to go on a little ride. The ride will vary in duration and length depending on the person and the circumstances around them. However, in the end the initial ride will end and at that point people either get off, or hang on for another ride. What I’m talking about is that while you may have come to this new found conclusion that Floorball is a great sport and provides many benefits you’re going to likely have to preach that alone in your town, city, and state for a while. It’s the reality of starting anything new. There isn’t the infrastructure in place right now to do more than that in most areas. While you may be alone in the initial process you’re not alone in the Floorball community because everyone is going through variations of the process.

That brings us back to embracing the no. You’re going to hear that more often than yes. It’s just normal, especially in sales. You need to not let that get you down. If you truly believe in what you’re doing the no’s won’t discourage you, they will empower you. While you may think you’re on to something most people will brush you aside until they see proof of concept. I’m amazed at how many people I’ll talk to about a new project (tournament, camp, league, etc.) they will inevitable have some excuse for not getting involved. Year two, three, or four comes around and if the program is taking off those same people will magically come out to support. It’s just the nature of things. Sometimes there are other factors in place that are out of their or our control and you just need to be ok with that. Sometimes the more important part is start doing something, keep working at it, and time will take over.

A word of caution if you’re embarking on this journey. You’re going to have to put in the work, and likely be the only one putting in the work. It could be years before it goes anywhere, but keep at it. You’re fighting an uphill battle, but it can pay off in the end, though maybe not in ways you had anticipated. Embrace every no you get as an open door to the next opportunity and just keep showing up.