important no’s

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.

 

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Lauren

    Jess, I love this post! It came at the perfect time, when my usually positive attitude has been gearing towards the negative. Thanks!

  2. Lauren

    Jess, I love this post! It came at the perfect time, when my usually positive attitude has been gearing towards the negative. Thanks!

  3. A great dose of realistic evidence to support the saying, “When one door closes, another door opens” That story about the man who interviewed you is pretty rough, though. Thank goodness you didn’t have to take that job.

  4. A great dose of realistic evidence to support the saying, “When one door closes, another door opens” That story about the man who interviewed you is pretty rough, though. Thank goodness you didn’t have to take that job.

  5. Rhianna

    Wow, thanks so much for this post. I really needed to hear all of that.

    My mouth literally dropped when I was reading about that guy that interview you. I would not have taken that job, just think what he would be like after you are actually working for him.

  6. Rhianna

    Wow, thanks so much for this post. I really needed to hear all of that.

    My mouth literally dropped when I was reading about that guy that interview you. I would not have taken that job, just think what he would be like after you are actually working for him.

  7. Anait

    This totally proves my belief that, cliched as it is, everything in life happens for a reason, and has a greater purpose.

    Thanks for sharing your ups and downs! Your blog is a daily source of inspiration, and has really changed the way I see things! 🙂

  8. Anait

    This totally proves my belief that, cliched as it is, everything in life happens for a reason, and has a greater purpose.

    Thanks for sharing your ups and downs! Your blog is a daily source of inspiration, and has really changed the way I see things! 🙂

  9. Kelly

    I love this post! You are absolutely right, everything somehow happens for a reason and it’s often only when looking back that we realise that…

    I had quite a lot of “no moments” in my life but after all I’m happy each and everyone of them happened… It’s always good to just go where the flow of life leads you – also when it closes a door 🙂

    Kel
    x

  10. Kelly

    I love this post! You are absolutely right, everything somehow happens for a reason and it’s often only when looking back that we realise that…

    I had quite a lot of “no moments” in my life but after all I’m happy each and everyone of them happened… It’s always good to just go where the flow of life leads you – also when it closes a door 🙂

    Kel
    x

  11. Heather

    I have always been a firm believer in “Everything always happens for a reason.”

    One of the NYC department stores had a quote on their Christmas windows one year that said, “You are exactly where you are supposed to be.” It always stuck with me. I love that quote.

  12. Eva

    How crazy that exactly today I gave thanks for NOT getting a position I applied for last June… The company I work for is splitting and I have heard that everyone in that location is trying to “get out” and come back to headquaters before the split! So glad I didn’t get it!

    Everything does happen for a reason and we just have to believe! Even though we might not understand it now, soon enough it will be revealed to us. I like to think that someone has my back 😉

  13. Jess

    Wow, incredible post, Jess. This one definitely spoke to me (and I think many others, too!). I feel like I could write a whole essay on things like this that have happened to me.

    Do you have a memoir in the works? Or a business how-to book? I feel like you’d be great! (Not that you don’t have anything going on right now, ha.)

  14. Jess

    Wow, incredible post, Jess. This one definitely spoke to me (and I think many others, too!). I feel like I could write a whole essay on things like this that have happened to me.

    Do you have a memoir in the works? Or a business how-to book? I feel like you’d be great! (Not that you don’t have anything going on right now, ha.)

  15. Very interesting post! It’s often hard to see things from such a philosopihcal perspective right after they’ve all gone wrong but looking back at the past wrongs that turned into rights can certainly help 🙂

  16. Mallory

    Like many others, this post came at a perfect time for me. And it says things that I’ve been telling myself, but it helped to hear it from someone else. We’re looking for a house to buy, and have gotten our hopes up about two that have gotten away. I know that means that our perfect house is still out there! I just have to be patient.

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