Try “Yes.”

There’s a fun thing I do with folks I meet who want to write a book or build a startup or put up a blog post. I say I’ll help them. I give them a few pointers — for book folks I recommend they prepare an outline and we can tag-team the chapters. In this way they could finish a book in a few months. It would be their book, I’d give up all rights. Maybe they could pay me if they get paid but I basically say “Yes.”

Nobody ever says it. They hem and haw. People go through life hearing no after no. Or they are ghosted by those they reach out to. And they just give up.

But try “Yes.”

This tactic works .0001% of the time but for the the times that it works — when I brought people on to write for CrunchGear, when I wrote Bloggers Boot Camp with Charlie White, when my buddy Rich said we should build a business together — it’s amazing. And it doesn’t work not because the idea fails. It’s because the “Yes” wasn’t enough to jog them to action.

We don’t want to say “Yes.”

We guard our time like a dog guards a rotten bone in the yard, oblivious to the meal inside. We guard our attention and then hit Facebook for hours.We sit on our best ideas and then whine when someone “steals” them. We don’t say “Yes.”

Make yourself the hero of that dumb Jim Carrey movie. If someone mentions a startup, offer to help. If someone mentions a garden they want to plant you offer a shovel. You’ll learn as much from the person who asked as they will from you.

“I wish I had friends who indulged me,” said a friend once. She was trying to build a business and her friends balked. She was stuck. All she needed was a “Yes.” She didn’t get it. It seemed to daunting.

You think you’ll give up too much if you say “Yes.” You think you’ll be taken advantage of. You think you’ll be duped. You think they’ll use you.

Fine. Fear that. But in every “Yes” there blooms a thousand possibilities. In every “Yes” there is an ocean of opportunity. In every “Yes” we are reconceived and reborn.

Besides, most of the people you say “Yes” to won’t be ready to hear it. But when they are ready you’ll be the first person they’ll call… and you’ll say it again.

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