Ever since last week when Mr. Lively and I found our next apartment, I’ve been thinking about the importance of “no’s” in life.
While I would love to think that all of my wishes, dreams, and intentions will come true exactly as I expect and wish them to be, much of my life has been shaped by the rejections, denials, or no’s that I’ve gotten.
But when I inspect those events further, there are some important no’s that have fundamentally shifted my life for the better.
Had those fateful no’s not happened, I wouldn’t have many of the blessings I have today.
Here are just a few of the meaningful no’s that I’ve received and the happy outcomes that have since surfaced.
When I was in high school, I wanted to go to Notre Dame. Badly. But my dad, being pragmatic, looked up the rankings of business schools and found my in-state University of Michigan undergrad to be ranked higher than ND at the time. And thus refused to pay for the ND application fee. Since he knew that the extremely expensive out of state tuition would have been out of our family’s reach, I would have been putting undue stress on the family or taking out major student loans for an education that was totally on par with in-state Michigan Business School price tag.
Had I gotten into ND and not had a very huge scholarship (unlikely), I would have been weighed down with significant student loans that would have prevented me from taking my own business full-time right after graduation. I would have likely settled for a corporate job and perhaps never had the courage or financial freedom to be where I am today.
When I was in college, I interviewed for one full-time position after graduation and didn’t get it. The interviewer attempted to guess who I was in the lobby based on the fact that I noted on my resume that I was coxswain on the men’s crew team my freshman year. He suspected that I was a thinner girl in the room, since coxswains’ weight is important in rowing.
Once I said he was wrong, and that I was the one who had once been a coxswain, he remarked “I can see why you aren’t on the team anymore,” pointing out the fact that I was at that point about 22 pounds heavier than my freshman year. After that remark, I had to shake his hand, smile, and walk into an interview. Had I gotten that job, he would have been my boss.
I was badly burned from that offhand remark and was determined not to work for the company. Weeks later, I realized that I was better off working for myself while trying to fulfill my purpose. Which of course, has led me to where I am today.
In 2009 I had sales reps for Jess LC that opened 80 accounts for us. At the time, 80% of my business was wholesale. But to be honest, working with them was extremely frustrating and I had to rely on them for most of my company’s growth.
So as they eventually went off in a new direction and opened their own fashion line, I refused to let the dying relationship and sales channel keep me feeling helpless. I beared the sales dip that followed and refused to replace them with another company and relied on my own wits and sales channels to carry us over.
At the same time, I also started MML and devoted my energy towards online marketing and selling. Since then, I’ve been more in control and personally fulfilled by Jess LC than I ever would have had I continued working through showrooms or reps.
A few years ago I moved in with my boyfriend (at the time). Pretty soon after our move, it became clear that we were not meant to follow the path towards marriage. But we still had six months on our shared lease. Unable to afford the cost of breaking the lease, we stuck it out.
Then, almost exactly two months after the lease did end, I met Mr. Lively. An immediate and intense friendship soon turned into an intense relationship.
I cannot be more grateful for the way things have turned out and I am so excited about the future that lies ahead.
A few weeks ago I was looking for someone to sublet my apartment so I could move in with Mr. Lively when his lease ends in July. But despite a lot of interest, it wasn’t working out.
Then last week we discovered our next apartment which had almost everything we were looking for and more. However, the catch was that renovation would not be complete until September or October. Which actually worked out perfectly with my lease. Had we subleased my home earlier, this amazing situation would not have been possible.
So, when we find something isn’t working out as we hoped, we can remember that there might just be something awesome around the corner.
And in order to get to there, we might need to bump into a few no’s along the way.