#31 Be OK With No

No is Powerful

No is an incredibly powerful word.  Today I'm looking to give you a different perspective of the word no.  Why?  Because most people's feelings get hurt when this word is said to them.  I'm human, I feel that.  Most people just see it as, "Man, fuck that.  They don't want to see me do good."  Why not look at it from a different angle?  What if the word “no” were used as a navigation tool?


The Ultimate No

You may be the most persistent individual ever, but you’re still going to be told “no” from time to time.  The ultimate no.  If that’s the case with a particular situation, then maybe it’s not the path for you.  See what I'm saying?

Don’t take it the wrong way.  Don’t take it as “I’m not good enough, or I don’t think I’m meant for this.”  Nah, if you’re working and you know you were meant for it, then that word is just telling you that you need a different path.  That's all.


A Prime Example

I live in Columbus, Ohio.  Guess what takes place here every March?  Yes, that’s right, the Arnold Classic.  It’s like the Super Bowl of fitness.  Excluding 2020 (due to the pandemic), I’ve been going to the expo since 1999.  Every company in the fitness industry is there worldwide. 

You know how many noes I’ve gotten at the Arnold Classic?  I thought that I should be sponsored, right?  This is part of the entitlement thing from back in the day, but I was offering value.  I went around to every company.  How could I land a job in the sports nutrition world?  How could I become a sponsored athlete?  How could I offer value to the business?  Who could I meet from the magazines?  No, no, no, no.   All the time, for motherfucking years.  

Here's what it meant.  When I was getting the noes from the magazines, I simply wasn't physically ready yet.  I just wasn't ready.  It wasn't because my dad didn't know somebody, or I didn't win some contest.  I wasn't fucking ready.  It was a check to myself to get my shit together.  If I'm going to be on the cover of magazines, especially as a drug-free athlete, I better bring my motherfucking A game.


I Needed It

I needed that no.  It was a check.  I didn't like it, but it checked me in the best possible way.  The other no I didn't like was that I couldn't get in the fucking industry.  I swear to you I tried every different job.  I wanted to be a sales rep.  I wanted to work inside the corporate machine.  I wanted to work in marketing.  I wanted to be in the supplementation game so bad because I really like the business.   

All of the players were there at the Arnold, year after year.  No one was interested.  Well, it turned out to not be my path.  My path was to meet my ex-business partner and start MusclePharm.  I was meant to blaze my own path.  I was meant to co-found one of the largest supplement businesses that we've ever seen.   That was my destiny. That was my path.  If someone would have said yes when I was trying to break through, then I may have gone a completely different direction. 


Who Knows?

I can't tell you that if I would've gotten sponsored by one of these big companies or worked inside their system, that I still would've went and started my own.  The difference in my life could have been staggering.

Use no as a navigation tool.  Yes, I’m human, and my feelings get hurt a little bit from time to time.  But, when I step back to analyze a situation, I can more clearly see that that’s not really what it’s about.  I know that it's someone telling me, "This ain't the way to go."  

Use that no as a catapult.  Maybe it will reconfirm that you’re not supposed to be with a certain group, or maybe you finally realize that you were supposed to do your own thing.  Listen to what people are saying and doing.  Start applying it in a positive fashion and try not to get butthurt.  Keep moving.  Rethink your strategy and adjust.  Maybe it’s the way, maybe it’s not.

Understand that on the pursuit of wanting something better for yourself that there’s going to be countless people that tell you, “No.”  And that’s okay, because what they're really telling you is that you need to take a hard look at the path you’re on.


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