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No Stopping Me

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I’ve written a brand-new sexy, dramatic, totally twisted and disturbing TV pilot. Seriously, I am in love with this project. I want to marry it except I’m already married and also human-screenplay unions aren’t legal (yet!) in California.

I’m ready to pitch my love-project all over town, meeting with TV execs, sharing my ideas, listening to their feedback, and crossing my fingers. I really hope someone says “Yes” to my project because obviously that would be five hundred million flavors of amazing with cotton candy sprinkles and a cherry on top. Obviously, I want to see my show on TV!

But you know what?

It’s not up to me.

I can’t force a TV executive say “Yes.” I’m not in charge of that decision.

I am in charge of lots of other things—I can work hard to make my script super-enticing, I can work my connections to set up meetings with decision-makers, and I can pitch my story with tons of passion. But the final call—“Yes” or “No thanks”—is not mine to make. I can’t control that part of the process.

As a writer, business owner, consultant, coach, or anybody who is trying to “pitch” or “sell” something, this can be a tricky thing to wrap your head around.

You’re in charge. And yet you’re not.

You can work hard to create something amazing. But someone else (an executive, a client, a publisher) still gets to decide if they’re into it or not.

You can do everything “right” and still hear “No thanks” or “Not now.”

But instead of feeling terrified about hearing “No,” what if you just accepted that “No” is a valid possibility? What if you stopped allowing every “No” to derail you and send you sobbing headfirst into a pint of cookie dough Ben & Jerry’s? What if the next time someone said “No” to you, you just shrugged and moved on without missing a beat?

Regardless of what you’re selling—a book, a script, a product, a concept—changing your attitude about the word “No” is one of the most liberating things you can do.

If you can feel relaxed, confident, and enthusiastic about your work—even after hearing “No” a hundred times in a row—then you’ve cultivated the one quality that so many people lack: persistence. And persistence is what makes big things (like book deals, TV shows, and sold-out programs) happen.

It’s time to reinvent your attitude about “No.”

That’s why I’m starting a movement called #NoStoppingMe

#NoStoppingMe was inspired by a recent conversation I had with John Lee Dumas (you may know him as the host of the #1 podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire). John just released an awesome, 300-page hardcover book called The Freedom Journal: Accomplish Your #1 Goal in 100 Days.

Through reading John’s book, I was reminded that I am in charge of my own life, my own actions, and my own choices… but NOT other people’s choices. Oh duh. That. I temporarily forgot about that minor detail (haha!).

I’ve read a lot of goal-setting books through the years but this one really stirred me up, in a good way. Highly recommend. (I don’t get a commission or anything for recommending it, by the way—I just love it. 🙂

Wanna join the #NoStoppingMe movement?

Here’s how it works:

:: Set an ambitious goal for yourself—but make sure it’s a goal that YOU can control.

Here’s what I mean:

Goal I can control: Pitching my TV show to 100 people.
Goal I cannot control: Guaranteeing that 1 of those people will say, “Yes.”

Goal I can control: Rehearsing my TEDx Talk 5 times in front of a live audience.
Goal I cannot control: Guaranteeing that the video of my talk goes “viral.”

Goal I can control: Emailing my book proposal to 30 publishers.
Goal I cannot control: Guaranteeing that I get offered a six figure book deal.

Goal I can control: Asking 6 people on a first date this month.
Goal I cannot control: Guaranteeing that I will find true love!

:: Make sure your goal is really specific (pitch 100 people, rehearse 5 times, email 30 publishers, ask 6 people, ) so that your progress is clear as glass. You’re either progressing or you’re not. No vagueness.

:: (Again, this is so important) make sure your goal is NOT dependent on something entirely outside of your control—like a decision that someone else gets to make.

:: Rock out your goal. Keep track of your progress. Celebrate every step forward—every pitch, every email, every introduction, every connection—regardless of whether you hear “Yes” or “No.” The Freedom Journal really helps me with this process.

:: If you get a “No,” shake it off and decide, “Hey, no worries.” Keep moving forward. Next email. Next meeting. Next option. Onward!

:: Trust that if you keep moving forward, you will eventually get what you want—or something close, or something better. Persistence always pays off, and sooner or later, good work always gets found.

:: Lastly, share how it’s going! If you’re on Instagram, tag me (my handle is @melissa.cassera), announce your goal, or share a progress report, and use the hashtag #NoStoppingMe

Keep moving forward.

No matter what.

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