Last night, I finally was able to catch the Sharon Jones documentary on Netflix. Miss Sharon Jones- it tells the story of the incredibly gifted soul singer Sharon Jones and her fight with cancer (she recently died of cancer on November 18, 2016). She didn't cut her debut album until she was 40!
Much of her life was spent working other jobs and singing in a wedding band. She tells a story of how a Sony exec told her she was too fat, too short, too black, and too old to ever make it as a singer. I couldn't help but shed a tear when during the film she was dancing with Ellen and singing on a thanksgiving day parade float with her incredible band the Dap-Kings. SHE WAS A SUCCESSFUL SOLO SINGER!! (All while fighting cancer no less). I mean, talk about not giving the hell up!! Seems Sharon Jones took all the No's and turned them into YESes.
Sometimes, NO is the biggest YES you can eventually get. Which brings me to-
The Power of No.
The Power of No is a real nuclear powerhouse of motivation to draw from. And chances are, it may be in ample supply from time to time. I know from being in the creative business for over 20 years that for every "YES" I heard, I heard hundreds of no's. (There a few "maybes" sprinkled in there and turning those "maybes" into YES's is another topic).
Let's focus on how hearing No, No Thanks, I'm sorry, and other no derivatives can be turned into a positive experience.
Growing up, I heard no all the time. From strangers, friends and family. In one shape or another. Some intended, others not. I also had a lot of unsung heroes in my life that really made a difference for me. For them, I am eternally grateful. But it was those that doubted me that gave me the most motivation to prove them all wrong. "No, you can't play music for a living", "You're a terrible singer and your song sucks." "You're ugly and fat." "You'll never amount to anything. You should consider joining the army." (Which is actually a total insult to the fine, bright men and women who enlist in the armed services.) These, and many more, I heard on multiple occasions. That doesn't include all the "No" I've heard (and still hear) for a pitch or submission, so on and so forth. But it was proving all the naysayers wrong that really (makes) made me get off my ass.
Let me say that again: proving all the naysayers wrong is what really makes me get off my ass. I will turn their NO into MY YES.
Turning NO into YES is your fuel. You'll make it happen. WE WILL SHOW THEM! (and ultimately show yourself). Channeling the motivation of proving them wrong and finding the wherewithal in yourself will win.
Sharon Jones wasn't too old, wasn't too fat, or too short.
AND YOU ARE NOT TOO TALL SHORT SKINNY FAT YOUNG OLD UGLY PRETTY ETC ETC ETC.
Now get off your ass and go get some YES.