For the last month I’ve been working as a telemarketer selling theatre subscriptions over the phone. Glamourous right? Erm, not so much.

Although this job is full of rejection (a constant stream of ugly, fowl “no’s”) it has definitely taught me some life lessons that will be useful down the road. Especially from a creator’s standpoint.

Lesson 1: No Means Yes

Even when people say “no”, you can always turn it into a “yes”. It sounds impossible but I’ve seen it happen! They say no because that is most people’s automatic response when offered something in exchange for money. Even if the deal is superb, even though they’d get a bunch of non-monetary benefits that are worth their weight in gold, the answer is a resounding NO. You have to deal with people’s objections and really listen to understand why they’re saying no. Which brings me to my next lesson…

Lesson 2: Have an Answer for Everything

Every objection you come across, counter with something better. As artsies, our world is full of rejection. BUT. If you have a reason and a way around each “no”, you’re sure to go much further than the guy with “a really good idea”. Plus, having an answer for everything shows you really know what you’re talking about. People will have an easier time putting their trust in you. Defend your brilliance!

Lesson 3: Just Ask

Seriously. Just do it. You’ll never get a yes without asking.

Lesson 4: Brush it Off

I had a teacher once who said you’ll get 50 noes and 49 maybes before you get that one yes. So once you get that definite no, and there’s no more you can do to make it a yes, cut your loses and move on. I have a tendency to dwell but I don’t want to anymore because it’s a waste of time and just slows me down. Like Florence says: shake it out, shake it out, ooooowaaaaahhoooooooo!


Man, I feel like today’s post is the beginning of a self help book. Please take a cookie and juice box on your way out the door!

I’d like to clarify that I’m no expert on what I’m talking about. These are just a couple tips I’ve learned while working at this job and I’m still in the process of implementing them in my own life. But I hope they help in some small way.

Get lots of yeses this week!


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