Goodbye, “No” And Hello, “Why Not?”

We all have those people in the office. They’re naysayers. You go to that person with an idea and she says no. Some of us even work at companies where that mindset is baked into the culture. You suggest a way to innovate, but the consensus you get back is a resounding N-O.

Perhaps your company is strapped for cash. Maybe everyone around you—including you—is overworked and near burnout; too crazed to take on yet another project. There are many reasons to say no. It’s a word that holds power. But there are two words that can trump it, like paper beats rock and rock beats scissors. These two words are powerful, too. Wonder Woman powerful. Are you ready? Here we go.

It’s: “Why not?”

Two weeks ago, I was invited to Redmond, Wash., to tour the Microsoft campus as part of an underground tour for journalists. It was incredible—you might have seen some of the photos on our Instagram account and read some of the tweets from @iwantherjob that were flowing like champagne at a wedding. The entire trip was a hotbed for inspiration and I’ll share the insights, advice and tactics of both the company and the female force helping to shape it in August for Microsoft Week. (Stay tuned!) But what surprised me most about the company is what I’ll share with you right now. The employees working there, over and over again, said that Microsoft was a culture of why not?

We all have fears. I’ll share some of mine with you. I worry, sometimes, that I don’t have it in me to keep running I Want Her Job. Thoughts like: “You don’t have enough money to make it your full-time job. You’re burning yourself out running a team, writing content and building partnerships. You need to spend more time with your boyfriend and your shih tzu; more time keeping the house clean and well-decorated. And what about your day job? Why don’t you work 60 hours a week there to rise in the company instead of the 40 you do now?” They’re all answers that tell me that no, I can’t turn I Want Her Job into a scalable business.

But one lunch conversation changed all of that. Over a chicken quesadilla and virgin mojito, three power women lunched in Seattle. And one of those women was little ol’ me. The other two women had such a strong “why not” attitude, that in an hour-and-a-half, we came up with a business plan and they proved why I need to take the “no” out of my vocabulary and turn it into a whole-hearted “why not?”

I Want Her Job will be the leading brand for connecting and empowering women, equipping them with the tools and strategies to land their dream jobs. Why not? I will turn I Want Her Job from a passion project and labor of love into a fully-funded and robust business that better serves our readers. Why not?

While I embark on this journey with the I Want Her Job team, I also want you to join us. I want you to think of your biggest fear, then I want you to change it into an “I will” statement. Finally, add a dose of “why not?” at the end.

I’ve just shared my biggest inner doubts and fears with you because I’m no longer willing to give it power. Join me and the I Want Her Job team. Kick your “no” tendency to the curb and let’s take on our dreams together. After all, women are stronger when other women are there to push them forward. And we’ve got your back.

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