This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

The High Cost Of Saying 'no'

Why we don't seize opportunities

There are a few reasons why we don't put ourselves out there more, even though we know we should.

First, we're, like, engineered to avoid pain. I think that's a direct quote from an evolutionary scientist.

But in all seriousness, these activities are really uncomfortable. Standing up in front of a room of 50 people and speaking to them? Walking into a networking event where you won't know anybody? Picking up the phone and calling a stranger?

Just thinking about those situations makes me want to crawl under the covers!

But why is it so terrifying?

“We're afraid we'll fail, and that makes us conservative,” says  Joe Apfelbaum, the CEO and cofounder of Internet marketing company  Ajax Union. “We're afraid we'll be mocked, laughed at, or that people won't agree. But 'safe' is not where you make money.”

The other reason that we don't put ourselves out there more often is that we undervalue how much we stand to gain. “Oh, it's only one networking event,” we think. “What does it matter if I skip it?”

It might matter a lot.

Apfelbaum recalls one networking event he wanted to skip. “I wasn't in the mood, and the people who would attend weren't really the type of people I network with,” he says. But he decided to make the best of it, and one of the attendees became a customer. And it turns out, that that new customer has an investor partner who wants Apfelbaum to handle marketing for every company in his portfolio.

Of course wild success stories like that are great, but what do you do if you're scared to show up to the event in the first place?

Try saying, “yes, and…”

Last summer I took a 6-week improv class. That was a big stretch for me, to not be able to hide from the spotlight. To be forced to fail on purpose. A couple of times I thought my overtaxed perfectionist brain might explode. Fail? On purpose?!

But one of the best things I learned was the “yes, and…” approach. If you aren't familiar with it, it's a cardinal rule of improv theater to agree with what your fellow actors say (“yes”) and then to add to it (“and…”).

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,827.75 +12.81 0.07%
S&P 500 2,072.83 +5.80 0.28%
NASDAQ 4,787.3170 +29.0650 0.61%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs