No? What Does That Mean?

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I hate the Steven Stills (and later redone by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young) quote, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”. Does that not say to anyone else, “it’s okay to settle”? No way, not me – not for a moment would I ever settle. What do you do when someone says, “NO”? Up to age 11 or 12, I’m sure I threw temper tantrums. That was until I figured out what the word, “manipulate” meant; and became a master of manipulation…probably until age 22 or 23. And yes, I rarely heard “no”. I began working for two phenomenal businessmen around this time who were too smart to be manipulated. They just didn’t deal with it. I learned the best way to get what I want was to 1) Be honest 2) Demonstrate my value add.

Since that time, certainly I’ve had disappointments and heard that hated word, “No” while feeling the nasty claws of rejections; but surprisingly – minimal rejections thus far when it’s come to business. Up until this week, I’ve gotten every job I’ve wanted. One may read this and think, “ugh. egomaniac”, but truly – I did nothing to get jobs except be honest and demonstrate value add. Ok, so maybe I’m a bit of a schmoozer as well and I’m sure that helps, but again – that’s part of my personality – take it or leave it. This past week, someone “left it”. They didn’t want to hire me.

Just to be clear and not sound like a ‘kvetch’, I do still have my own company, a great life, I’m working for a phenomenal start up right now, so “business life is good” and I can’t complain; but I do want to use this as a learning experience. What can I learn from being ‘turned down’?

“Elevator pitch” version of the situation; great company, great mission, great executive team, (but in my opinion) only average senior level revenue drivers. I worked with one of the executives, found her to be brilliant and knew I could learn a lot from her – so asked if I could ‘help’ the company in certain areas at no cost; all I wanted in return was to learn from the executives. I am learning and certainly have not been asked to do any work at all; but as I’m getting deeper into certain parts of the company, I like the company. I see an absurd amount of potential and the people who are driving the revenue are simply not “revenue drivers”. They’re good employees, great analysts, great operators, but they’re certainly not the type that wake up at 2 AM with an “idea” as to how to drive revenue in different ways, develop a pro forma, and execute first thing in the morning. Franky, I’m unsure if any of them have played a revenue driving GM role or have even owned and managed a P&L before. Hence, I’m frustrated. I know the roles these individuals play and I am confident I can add more value. And Yes – this is my EGO talking; but I do believe I could rev this company up. So, I told the executive I was working with that I wanted to work there. AND I told her I would work there FOR FREE. These employees make base salaries…I would work on performance only. Response? CRICKETS! I got nothing!

Initial reaction was anger (bruised ego), but after a day or two I realized the important ‘take away’ here for me is the “why”. What’s wrong with me? My track record in this particular industry is flawless. My track record in start-up companies is flawless. Certainly I’ve made hundreds of mistakes in each business, but the businesses have all still prospered and were brought to profitability.

So, I figured I had 2 options: 1) Take a good look in the mirror and put myself in this executive’s shoes. Why wouldn’t I hire me? 2) I could just ask why she didn’t respond. So, I did ask (via email) why there was no response and didn’t get a response on that either. My assumption (which I hate making assumptions) is that she is an executive in an important company with a lot of work to do; she hasn’t had time to address. That’s fine with me (although at times I do believe I’m the center of the universe), reality at age 30 is that I’m NOT!

As for Option 1, I looked in the mirror and put myself in this individual’s shoes; whew – talk about a few days of insecurity!
Was I too ego driven? Too cocky? Was I coming off as not a “team” player? Perhaps I’m too ‘honest’ about my feelings towards what the business could be doing better? Or worse; does she just think I suck? I’m not ‘corporate’ enough? I could go on and on with these thoughts I’ve been thinking all week, which will probably serve to do nothing but make me upset (again). But really, at the end of the day, I feel like there must be something significantly ‘wrong’ with me if I’m offering to work on a performance basis (free unless I perform) and someone says “NO”.

So at this juncture, I wait for option 2; I wait for a response. And while the egomaniac, immature, 11 yr old in me would like to throw a tempter tantrum and know WHY I can’t have what I want…and the 18 year old wants to say, “Your loss”….the 30 year old will continue to try to learn from this and learn how to handle the age old issue of “REJECTED”!

  1. September 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I have to be honest when I say I didn’t understand what most of this post meant, in terms of what actually, happened, or what you were trying to do for the company in question. A lot of terms in there. But I do understand rejection. (Having experienced it far more than acceptance on the job front for my entire adult life.) To that end, I admire at least you desire to try to learn something from it all. I personally never did. I just felt the same rejection over and over. If you can take something away from it, than that is quite admirable I have to say.

  2. September 4, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Ty, my main man – honest as always ( ; As for not understanding, it’s probably because I, unlike most people, don’t blog for anyone else but ME. Meaning, I use my blog as a tool to ‘vent’ and sometimes while ‘venting’, I research to get some data or other articles about what I’m talking about; which actually I actually am not doing to prove something; but usually to make myself feel better by seeing that someone else has validated “or felt the same way” that I have. To simplify this post that truly is “all over the place” ( ; facts are as follows:

    1. I currently work with a company for free (by my choice only) and it’s minimal time for me per week.

    2. While working with them, I’ve found 2 things: a) I want to work for the executive I’m currently working with b) (Opinion) I could drive revenue and implement cost savings better than current individuals that hold the positions I would like.

    3. I offered this executive the option to “hire me”; and not pay me a base salary. In other words, pay me each month on performance – give me 5 ‘goals’ to hold me accountable to (or operating income) and only pay me if I hit each goal. Basically, it is a NO RISK situation for the employer and puts the onus on me.

    4. The executive did not respond to the offer. Basically, she did not offer me a job nor even a conversation for that matter! And yes, we’ve spoken since ( ;

    5. I want to know WHY. If I can’t get the reasoning out of her, then I can’t change / fix something, etc. Like you said – there has to be learning experience here and I need to find the ‘right’ way or ‘best’ way to find out the reasons she doesn’t want to hire me; then I need to decide if they are things that I would change.

    Anyways, I don’t believe that it’s true that you don’t try and learn things when rejexted. When you try out for a show and don’t get a part – do you not question ‘why not’? I’m sure there is a nicer way of saying that, but you get my drift. Based on your current blog(s) and insightful comments on Brazen, other people’s blogs, etc. it is apparent you have learned something along the way – whether you admit it / think so or not.

    So Ty – my man, how do you keep from getting emotional / angry? Do help me to stay ‘calm’ (and xanax doesn’t count!).

  3. September 4, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Well, sometimes I don’t calm down for a while. Sometimes I am just pissed about it for longer than others would be. (Which is one reason I say I don;t learn as much from rejection as I should.) The best thing I find that helps me is to as soon as possible go do something else. Or try something else. For me, the job hunt is not a good example, but if I am rejected for a part in a play or something, I tend to feel better if I have something else, preferably similar, to head into.

    It’s even better if right before I attempt something for which I could be rejected, I have something else lined up already. (This is why next week I am initiating a plan to send queries/pitches to 10 magazines at the same time. So if one rejects me I have other answers to look forward to. And once they are all sent off, I will already be working on my next set of ten. Since it takes weeks or months to hear from them, I figure by the time they all respond somebody will want my writing. Thus making the inevitable rejections a bit easier to get over.

    But as far as your situation, I dare say part of the feeling you have is also related to being treated rudely. I thought executives were supposed to be professional. Not responding to somebody doesn’t sound professional to me.

    And incidentally, I also offered to work for someone for free for a while. A trial period, just to get a foot in a door someplace. I got turned down for that too.

    • September 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      Interested in your thoughts on Mark’s comment???? I think you know me / have a lot of interaction with me (granted most of it online), but am interested in your thoughts on his comment and my response…

      • September 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm

        You asked for my thoughts on Mark’s comments. I don’t know if you know Mark or not, but he seems to have made some pretty glaring assumptions, without substantiation.

        I can’t say you and I would always agree in a business setting, but I don’t think the “boss from hell’ label has much merit to it.

        And finally, I feel that 98% of people who throw the word “narcissistic” around tend to have a loose grasp on what it actually means. I think that is the case here. One can be self aware, and to a degree even self CENTERED without being a narcissist. Even if you conclude someone is arrogant, it is not sufficient to diagnose narcissism, which is a very particular set of character traits that I have not seen you display.

        (The fact that you asked me what I thought of the comments is, alone, proof that you are not a narcissist, as is the fact that you promote other people’s work, comment on their blogs, offer to pass on their resumes…and so on.

        In short, I admire how gracious you were in your reply. I would not have been so.

      • September 6, 2010 at 4:25 pm

        Ty my man; For some reason it would not let me ‘reply’ below; so hope you are getting this. I asked for your thoughts b/c based on reading Mark’s background, blog posts, etc. it would seem that you both have similar backgrounds and thought you ‘may’ find a commonality. That said; guess I was wrong ( ; I like what you wrote about being narcissistic; and to your point, I think that because I’m “aware” that I can tend towards narcissistic traits, I keep the ‘actions’ in check by writing down impuslive reactions (venting) via the blog. Unsure if people will always agree with that process, but it works for me. Guess I’m a little “XYZ”

  4. September 4, 2010 at 10:58 am

    A great performer who disrupts an organization’s culture can do far more harm than good. Yes, you are a classic, Type-A personality with a very large ego. You think a lot of yourself and what you have accomplished. You believe you have the ability to really shake things up and drive revenue and save the world. You are an over-achiever, and can’t understand why other people aren’t over-achievers, too. These things may be true, but they also indicate something else to me: you have the potential to be (at the very least, a borderline) narcissistic leader.

    At the tender age of 30, you still have a lot to experience, and in my estimation, the experience you need to acquire are so-called soft-skills with people. Not how to drive them – you would probably be a very efficient task-mistress. However, I’m guessing that in a leadership role, you would be classified by many as the stereotypical boss-from-hell, unless the people you are leading are as driven as you are. This can be toxic to an organization’s culture, and leads to the type of leadership that has driven many American corporations into the ground, and their leaders into an all-expenses-paid vacation at one of the lovely Federal institutions that are decorated with razor wire. (If you haven’t already done so, have a look a the documentary, The Smartest Guys in the Room, about Enron, and watch it with a reflective mindset, asking yourself, “could this be me?”)

    You said you wanted to learn from the executive, but if this exec is a good people manager, you’ve failed the first lesson, making what appears to be arrogance the first impression of yourself, essentially saying, “I can do better than anyone you’ve hired, and than really makes me a better judge of people, and a better manager, than you.” Epic fail, as they say today.

    I would strongly suggest you embark on some coaching on how to become a reflective practitioner, partake of some mindfulness meditation practice, and learning to keep your ego in check.

    (A side note: my doctorate focuses on relationships in organization, and healing organization cultures. If you would like to have a more in-depth conversation about any of these issues, please feel free to contact me. I’m easy to find: just put “Valence Theory Organization” into Google, and you’ll get there.)

    Good luck. In all seriousness, you have a significant challenge ahead of you, and that challenge is YOU. It’s good that you have the opportunity to face that challenge early in your career, before it really harms you.

    • September 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm

      Wow Mark. I loved that – thank you. To address a couple points; Surprisingly, I am more of a ‘soft’ leader when it comes to managing employees, BUT (to your point) I am NOT when it comes to working with managers / management. If one were to ask me what my ‘best’ skillset is, I would say “training, inspiring, and managing sales employees” and have done so quite successfully with thousands of inside / outside sales reps; with my biggest challenge being “too nice”. However, when it comes to working with other managers – you are dead on accurate. I am impatient and lack tolerance. My two favorite / best bosses were all about mentoring and tough love and I’ve adopted the same philosophy; which to your point – can be a positive or a negative depending on where you are in an organization. In the start up organizations that I’ve been successful in, I’ve done most of the hiring with my 2 bosses and I look for people like me in personality; over ambitious, type A, desire to constantly learn and be stimulated, etc. but have different / better / smarter than I am in certain areas.

      When I haven’t been in charge of hiring and have come into a corporation that is somewhat ‘set up’ already, you are 100% correct; I disrupt the culture. While I do drive revenue, I also make likely make people around me uncomfortable, feeling like they can never do “good enough”, and angry. Because I genuinely do love ‘people’, I also tend to blur the lines between personal and business. I always want people (other managers) to be the ‘best’ they can be, so I continually PUSH; and again to your point – some people do not want to be pushed. They have other priorities that I, at the age of 30, have chosen not to have as a priority yet (like children).

      You are correct when you say my biggest challenge is ME. I am constantly having to remind myself to “check my ego at the door”; and sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I will certainly look you as well as your theories up on Google and am definitely interested in having further conversations.

      What you classify as “arrogance”, I guess could be seen as arrogant; or could be seen as ‘track record’ or ‘fact’. Data / Number do not lie, correct? However, again to your point – it seems to matter more how one presents these numbers; not about the actual numbers themselves.

      Thank you for your candor. While I am not 100% in agreement with everything you have written, you have certainly provided clarity and I am in agreement with probably 90% of it; I just needed someone to spell it out for me. I look forward to speaking with you again soon.

  5. September 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Tough situation. Here are my thoughts:

    a) Don’t know if you were at the Brazen webinar with Ramit, but he basically said you should never work for someone for free unless it’s for a very short time frame and only for your own learning purposes. People tend not to value things that are free. I don’t know how long you’ve been working there, but it may be that she has started taking you for granted.

    b) Her lack of response also tells me she doesn’t value the relationship as much as you’d hoped. I could definitely imagine the case that she was just too busy to respond, but not if you’ve actually spoken to her in person and she didn’t bring it up. None of the top notch bosses I’ve worked for would have treated me that way. It may be she took your observation that her workers weren’t high performers as a reflection of her management. Some people don’t respond well to criticism.

    c) Look for another mentor. This doesn’t sound like the productive situation you think it is. You’re an ambitious, high energy and talented woman. Lots of other places value that–and will pay you for it.

    d) I’d also ask Dawn Lennon for her opinion. She has really good insights.

    e) Keep your chin up and focus on the positive. Like Ty, I applaud your efforts to learn from the situation, but don’t dwell on it either.

    Hope that helps!


  6. September 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Jen, I’m still reeling / feeling a bit suicidal (joke) about Mark’s comment above ( ; so unsure if I’m responding with clarity, but to respond categorically:

    a) Interesting point. I did not see the webinar, but in this instance, I actually think I can “learn” more from her than she can ‘get’ from me in terms of revenue; I guess it’s short term vs/ long term. I look at the learning / lessons as long term improvement; where as revenue is something I can provide quickly /short term.

    b) Great insight on 2 points: 1 – you’re right, perhaps its not a valued relationship. I’ve been so spoiled in the past by leaders that WANT to teach / mentor; and I am confident this lady cares b/c she is a “great person/great business woman”, but I could be just another “kid”. Whew – another blow to the ego – they just keep on coming ( ; 2 – I never thought of what I was talking to her about as criticism, but you’re right; it was just that. I always look at it as honesty, but I guess sometimes either “the truth hurts” OR I’m just wrong and she doesn’t see or want to see my perspective.

    c) You’re right…on D) as well.

    I think at this point, I just ‘take a step back’, although w/ my obsessive, extremist personality that’s hard to do; but appreciate the thoughtful comments as always.

  7. Brian Kibby
    September 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    The individual “fit” for each member on a team (for it to top perform) is vitally important. In this case, my recommendation is to learn from the experience, make appropriate changes as you see fit (we all need to adjust ourselves from time-to-time in order to adapt), and then pour your energies into your existing enterprise and other opportunities that will inevitably emerge.

    Always keep an eye toward adapting to the business environment and to evolving as a person and professional (I know you do and will).


  8. Mark W.
    September 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Jamie, here’s my comment on this post transferred over from BC ( ).

    Jamie, I read your post and like the responses I’m seeing on your post and this thread. I’m not even going to try to figure out the specific reason why you got this rejection and I don’t think you should obsess, over think, or whatever on it. Don’t settle – move on and do your best to put it behind you. Somehow I think the reason you got the no to your offer will become apparent with some time. The hardest part – patience – will possibly reveal the answer and then again maybe it won’t. I do think it’s good to vent and do some introspection though.

    • September 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks Mark; and I agree with you…patience is the key here. Although the rejection is part of the journey – right? I’m learning how not to obsess as well as received some great objective feedback in this comment string.

  9. September 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I have been rejected in more ways – and in more aspects of my life – than I would like to remember. Each time, it hurts no matter how “used to it” I tell myself I am. As a rejectee, I am sensitive about letting the people I’ve had to reject know the circumstances of the rejection if they ask.

    So far to comments to your post have been great and I really don’t have anything new to add but thought it might be helpful to get you to think about the times you’ve rejected someone or something (like an idea, a piece of advice, etc.) I think it might be helpful to first figure out why you said, No, and then generalize those thoughts to your recent situation. To figure out why you were rejected it might be helpful to understand why you rejected? And to understand the lack of response it might be helpful to acknowledge how you felt saying No.

    Just a thought.

  10. September 4, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Thanks Vincent. My goal is to find out the “why” as you’ve suggested; so hoping to get that answer this weekend. I like your advice about ‘going back and looking through times I’ve rejected people’ and as I’m doing this, I’m realizing that I was not always so nice / forthcoming when doing so; so a great learning experience here is to ensure that in the future, I handle rejecting others differently. Thank you so much for pointing that out.

  11. September 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I’m new to this conversation, but after reading it wanted to interject something. Rejection stinks, regardless of the type, and perhaps one form of ultimate rejection is a layoff, which I experienced in January prior to restarting my own business full-time again. The latter was a God-send and the timing of the layoff was perfect. Five people I knew, including the guy who hired me 13 years ago, were laid off the same day within 20 minutes of each other. Dealing with the rejection still was hard even though all five of us landed on our feet and are now more successful independently than when with this corporation. It may seem different, but rejection is rejection, in my opinion, and we all must reckon with it. The question of “why” has surfaced and we’ve all dealt with it differently.

    From what I’m reading about bizrelator’s question of “why” I’m reminded of when another friend of mine said the same thing to her boss and eventually got fired. The reasoning was because of a similar attitude toward her co-workers: she felt she could drive revenue and implement cost savings better than those seasoned workers on salary. Her boss, too, didn’t respond to her and like Ty, she steamed on it for a long while, which showed in her behavior and interaction with the co-workers following the conversation with her boss. Finally, it was a co-worker who approached her and told her the answer… her attitude stunk, she was arrogant, rude, her body language was condescending to co-workers and customers, and overall she was a detriment to the company rather than an asset. Customers didn’t want to work with her or talk to her, and co-workers avoided her. The latter may not be the case here, but it could be masked in some way so it’s not apparent. And my friend saw none of this. She felt she was a hard-worker, added value, was positive, and brought a lot to the job. From what I’ve read, I get the feeling that bizrealtor is kinda doing the same thing.

    This isn’t an attack, by any means, because I’ve been in this position too, but from reading this from a totally new perspective, it sounds like the executive doesn’t want to pick this battle because it’ll get ugly. It seems that regardless of what someone has said about “why” it happened, the response is defensiveness and in a sense, excuses as to why she disagrees with everyone’s comments. She justifies her actions and can’t be the entire problem in the scenario because her ego won’t let her, the rejection is biased and she “deserves an answer” because she’s a great worker. But that’s not always the case. At times executives won’t give you the “why”, they just drop it; you either accept it and move forward or, in their mind, there’s the door feel free to walk through it. If you work free and a minimal amount of time, the executive may not believe it’s worth her time to explain the why when other paid workers are not as difficult or work to increase revenue for their payroll. It’s like being on a sales team of independent contractors under a director; those that are working as a team to improve and build the team for the director get more attention and feedback than those who are there simply to benefit themselves.

    Everyone has made excellent comments with great feedback. But still the question of “why” remains unanswered. I think the truest reply has been stated: stand back and look hard at yourself. Why are you angry about the rejection? What is it that’s ticked you off so much about the lack of response? It’s obvious you cannot control the executive’s actions or feelings, you can only control yours. Are you upset because you cannot control this situation therefore the executive is wrong because you have lost what you thought was the “edge”? Are you angry because how dare she tell you you are not perfect and perhaps somewhat flawed with your approach or delivery of work? Do you feel somewhat threatened by her position and that intimidates you? Yes, you may be good at what you do, but is your attitude condescending and belittling to others because you think you can do better, but you lack some soft skills or people skills essential to this? Maybe you made someone with a top account mad, but instead of confronting you with it, it was masked, fixed, and you no longer deal with that account?

    From all that’s been said I just get the feeling that the answer perhaps has been given you, but instead of seeing it and accepting it you excuse it because you don’t want to seem flawed in some way. Your ego isn’t ready to be told that you’re not perfect and you need to work on something or tone it down some. This comes from youth and eventually, hopefully, will change, but it is common to see. I’ve gone through it. Most successful people have gone through it. Looks like you’re on the way to realizing this in the last post. None of this is easy. Change is hard. Being ignored is hard, whether it’s in a professional or personal situation. Realizing that the executive doesn’t value the work relationship as you do it hard. But it is growth and I do see that in all these responses.

    You will uncover your “why” as you step back and analyze what’s happened and what’s been said. It may be difficult to digest, but the answer is there. And once it’s found, you’ll glean much wisdom from it so the next time something happens you’ll apply that wisdom and find peace with it much faster.

    • September 4, 2010 at 7:56 pm

      Loved this; thank you. I ‘blog’ because for me, it’s not only a means to ‘vent’, but more so to get other’s perspectives – from the outside of a situation. It also forces someone like me to “check my ego at the door” and listen to objective reasoning; minimal emotions and minimal gain to the folks who are writing. In this scenario, I knew when I was writing I was not necessarily angry, but more so disappointed (which I turned into anger).

      Based on your comments and a few others – it is apparent to me that you are all correct. I probably did ‘come off’ as aggressive, cocky, and not a team player. I had made the assumption that because this executive knew of teams I was on in the past, she would assume I was a ‘team player’ BUT I had shown her (and shown myself) the complete opposite.

      Not only do I need to ‘take a step back’ and analyze; but more so, move forward and change.

      • September 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm

        I still don’t see the majority of these comments as being helpful. (Even though Jamie herself does, which I guess is all that matters.)

        Being pissed because someone rejected you is ego? Not liking the fact that an executive was too bitchy to even reply to an email is somehow arrogant? Why is nobody talking about the arrogance, egocentricity and just plain rude cowardice it takes to not even say, “I’ve considered what you are offering us, but at this time, I don’t think it would be a good fit for the company.”

        “At times executives won’t give you the “why”, they just drop it; you either accept it and move forward or, in their mind, there’s the door feel free to walk through it.”–So says Hamiliton Writing in their response, and to that I say that is the exact problem. This, “there’s the door” attitude among American business executives is bullshit. Sorry, those of you in business, but it’s true.

        Being an executive is hardly a position of such lofty importance that it excuses you from being professional, and maybe if she had been, this rejection would not have stung quite so much.

        There’s a right and wrong way to do everything. Rejection hurts enough as it is, but do we have to smooth over the wrong way because “that’s life”? Piss on that.

  12. September 5, 2010 at 12:29 am

    I know how it is to work with you since we used to work together. You have a great personality with others and you are pleasure to work with. You are honest and committed. You have the 3 “I’s” as I used to say. Innovation, Initiative, and Insane Drive to make things happen. This is some of what I like about you. I know that when I was working with you, that you were not like some who sit on the bench and celebrate the victories the same as the others who actually performed. You are a star performer but that can work against you, as might have happened here. This person you worked for could see you as a threat to her position and management over the others. You could be disruptive to the company. I, because I know you, would welcome your expertise while others who don’t know you might see you as arrogant. People, especially management always feel threatened, especially in this economy. It is natural to feel this way just as animals, we all need to protect our territory.

    I too have been turned away but I love it when they call back, sometimes apologetic or begging. This person doesn’t realize that she had something great in her hands, and yet for free. This person doesn’t want to open a can of worms by answering your email, it will only prolong the goodbye and transpire into a back-and-forth in search of an answer that doesn’t exist. She is protecting her own interest. She is protecting what she think is the interest of the company’s culture and the team she manages. I know you could help them but some people don’t want help and you were pushing your help on them. I have done this too. I like to be helpful, but I learned to be helpful only when people ask for it. They have to learn too from their mistakes. Shrugged it off. Let it go. Move on. Evaluate what you learned from them in the interim and use what you can from the experience. It’s their loss.

    • September 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks Adam. While I appreciate the compliments ( ; to the point of one of the other commenters – we work well together because you are like me. You kick ass, don’t deal w/ corporate politics, and get our shit done. period. Interesting though as I never thought this executive would see me as a ‘threat’. In my opinion, she may not be as ‘innovative’ as I can be, but I believe that’s because she is in a role where she is running a start up company – and really playing 2-3 executive roles. Bottomline – I am nowhere near her level of experience, finesse, professionalism, breadth of product, or expertise. So while it would be nice to think of myself as a threat ( ; doubtful!!! I actually think it does have more to do with my ‘actions’ (as pointed out in other comments). I am aggressive and I am impatient and truly, that may not jive in her culture. I would like to think I can get along in any culture; but perhaps this is part of the ‘journey’/learning experience for me…

      I Love how honest you are in writing, “I too have been turned away but I love it when they call back”. Ego!!! But i love that you embrace it – sounds like something I would say.

      I’m with you – shrugging it off – learning from it – and onto the next.

  13. September 5, 2010 at 11:10 am

    If you didn’t still have that “twenty-year-old” in you, you wouldn’t be be who and where you are. Granted there is a bit of temper that goes with age. But is does it have to be compromise or set-back … or could it take another form.

    If you truly believe in this new proposed work arrangement … use that relent and blind ego of when you were twenty and combine that with your the experience and knowledge of being thirty.

    Not only are people different – people also process at different speeds. “You wanted the answer and you wanted it now.” The answer you want may still arrive, just might just have to continue to keep nudging it … have patience my friend.

    And as always … keep on task!

  14. September 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I love what you wrote here: “use that relent and blind ego of when you were twenty and combine that with your the experience and knowledge of being thirty.”

    That is the right answer and I’m going to take the next couple weeks to figure out how to do that.

  15. September 5, 2010 at 5:45 pm


    I wrote my response not only with you in mind – but also thinking of my daughter, who is twenty. With her being much like I believe you were back then … I am anticipating the inevitable. You will see what I mean in my post tomorrow 😉

  16. Sadya
    September 6, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Jamie its hard for me not jump into this conversation.
    Here’s another possibility: not everyone knows/understands why would anyone want to work for free. Im currently doing some work for free for a friend who believes that Im doing so ’cause I’m such a pal’, when i’ve been very clear that there’s more in it for me in terms of learning.

    So the lady in question probably figured that there’s more to than what you’ve offered , meaning she thinks there’s a catch in your offer and she probably hasn’t figured it out.
    Another reason could be that right now, she may not want to be starting/managing another high-level biz relationship , you say its a good company with good people so the lady probably doesnt want to invest in another biz relationship which she knows is going to be short-lived. People who work or free , are also free to walk.

    So Jamie , maybe its not you its her. And she probably just cannot articulate it & let you know. (and get over being 30! its a good thing)

    • Sadya
      September 6, 2010 at 1:40 am

      Another thing: lets some time pass by & say around Christmas or maybe Halloween (depending on how impatient you are) send her note (and a small gift) telling her what a great job she’s doing & that from your experience as a revenue driver that if she were to do XYZ , her sales numbers would go up. And seeing this company becoming a success is something you look forward to.
      Just because she hasn’t accepted your offer right now , doesn’t mean she wont consider it in the future.

  17. September 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Sadya – good call on the ‘free to work’, ‘free to leave’. That never even crossed my mind. I will take your advice; take a ‘step back’ for a couple months…and when we do converse again (if this ever comes up again), I will definitely let her know if I’m “IN”, I only know how to go in 100% and would drop all else at that juncture.

  18. Jay
    September 6, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Hi Jamie!

    Thought I’d put on my amateur psychologist’s hat and contribute what I’ve been thinking feeling about your recent rejection by …???

    Guessing you’ve probably heard this anyway, but here goes.

    You strike me as a very strong personality. Dominant. A quick study and someone whose strong skills justify her dominant personality. Certainly you’re unafraid to make judgments like this:

    “the people who are driving the revenue are simply not “revenue drivers”. They’re good employees, but they’re certainly not the type that lose sleep at night if they make 1 mistake. They’re not the type that wake up at 2 AM with an “idea” as to how to drive revenue in different ways, develop a pro forma, and execute first thing in the morning. Franky, I don’t think any of them have even owned and managed a P&L before.”

    I have no reason to doubt you, but also don’t know the people you’re evaluating, either.

    But it’s a pretty blanket statement to make.

    Again, I don’t know them at all, whereas I know you through your writing and resume, itemization of accomplishments.

    Which are pretty impressive.

    I’m guessing this company saw you as a Terrell Owens type. Don’t know if you follow football, or how long you’ve been in Dallas, but guessing you have a passing knowledge of TO. In short, incredibly talented but a prima donna who demands way too much attention, and makes it all about what other people aren’t doing to support him when things go wrong.

    Understand, I’m not trying to ascribe TO’s negative qualities to you. I DON’T know you well enough to say that. But from reading your blog here and there, and comments on Brazen, I can certainly say you seem incredibly talented, a rainmaker, a huge talent, but with a personality to match, which may have turned them off.

    I can only guess the team you wanted to join saw you as upsetting their chemistry, and even though the upset would likely mean increased profits, numbers, whatever metrics you were promising, they knew adding you would tilt things your way, and that was threatening. Or just uncomfortable.

    I once agreed to bring a housemate into my condo, but soon it became apparent he wanted to really take over the house. Most of his suggestions to upgrade the “physical plant” of the condo were smart, and frankly, needed. But I didn’t want him to run the house, and knew that his personality and non-stop motor would result in just that. it wasn’t that he wasn’t reflective or capable of slowing down or whatever, it was that his personality was overwhelming mine, and I didn’t want that. Not to mention his not paying more in rent for all the furniture, etc I’d have to “pod” to make way for his. I’d be making minimal income from the rental, and be giving up a lot of what made it feel like home to me.

    Also, and I will bring this up, maybe it’s a Jewish thing. Pretty sure I read something that indicated you’re Jewish. I am, too, which is why I bring it up. Even at this late stage of human development, some people would rather not have a Jew in the neighborhood. I may be way off on this, and maybe I’ve misread your blog or wherever I got this from, but am pretty sure that’s true. Just saying I’ve felt that, too. Can’t be proven, but it can be felt, and if it is, shouldn’t be simply dismissed. Those not of a minority group probably won’t understand, and will dismiss. Any of us who’ve been excluded historically are nodding our heads.

    Anyway, Good news for you, Jamie, is that most every other company you want to build will be happy to have you.

    I certainly find you awesome in that Grand Canyon kind of way: i.e. jaw-droppingly deserved.

    Wish I knew how to make money like you obviously do.

    Just thought I’d send this along. And, like I said, guessing this isn’t a new insight.

    Peace, Jay

    • September 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      Jay – first, when I was reading others comments yesterday – the “TO” comparison came into my head as well; love that you picked up on it also and love that you had a different perspective than everyone else. I’m actually going to use that comment as a segway into my next blog post; probably tomorrow or Wed.

      First, you state: I’m guessing this company saw you as a Terrell Owens type. Don’t know if you follow football, or how long you’ve been in Dallas, but guessing you have a passing knowledge of TO. In short, incredibly talented but a prima donna who demands way too much attention, and makes it all about what other people aren’t doing to support him when things go wron

      My response: You’re right; in this blog, and I’m sure in my conversations as well, this is the persona I give off. AND because it’s the persona I give off, much of the time (when I’m feeling insecure or upset as I do with this situation), I will turn into this “TO” personality type. That said, I’ve learned to either keep that side to ‘myself’ or ‘vent’ outside the office. In the same vein and to your point, looks like I DID NOT do that in this instance ( ; which truly just shows my biggest flaw; checking my ego at the door! Surprisingly enough, 90% of the time, I’m much more of a ‘rah rah’, inspirational, probably somewhat overly positive ‘team’ player; which in my opinion is the sole reason I’ve been able to drive revenue when it comes to managing teams. When managing sales teams, whether inside or out, people respond to inspiration, education, and motivation ( ; Kind of cheesy sounding, but it does work. Had I waited 1 day to write the blog post I had written, it would have been phrased very differently, with a lot less ‘ego’, a lot less emotion, and a lot ‘more’ maturity. However, that wasn’t the purpose in writing it. I wanted to write it “at my worst”, which I did, and the responses I have gotten were EXACTLY what I needed to hear. If I had taken that 1 day or even 1 hour to get my thoughts in order, I would not have shown my ‘initial’/impulsive feelings and that is what I wanted the response to. Unsure if that made sense.

      To play the other side of the coin; let’s say, theoretically, that this young lady does see me as a “T.O.”. My old mentor / boss would say, “If you want the top performers, you need to know how to manage a top performer.” So, if I’m ‘on’ or positive 90% of the time and ‘negative’ or “off” 10% of the time – the question she has to ask herself are: 1) Does the ‘good’ outweigh the bad? 2) Am I a good enough manager to mentor her out of this mindset? I had 2 bosses that I was with for 7 years who were able to achieve #2 and I as well as the business thrived.

      On the “Jew” comment; I find it interesting you say that and it’s something I never would have thought of until I moved to Dallas, TX a couple yrs ago. I grew up in NY / South FL, and reading out of my city phone books is like reading a temple phone book ( ; basically, I lived in a bubble; but since moving to Dallas (and this was one of the reasons I moved – to learn / see other cultures in the US), I would typically agree that ‘could’ be a reason. That said, in this instance, I’m almost 100% certain it would not be the reason simply because the large conglomerate that owns this company as well as most of the execs are Jewish ( ; Also, the company is in South FL, so truly – they’re used to being around “the tribe”. But I can certainly see your point.

      The last comment to address, “Wish I knew how to make money like you do”…just to be clear; I’ve made a lot of money for companies because I’ve also LOST a lot of money as well. The BEST LESSON I’v ever learned was in a start up at age 24. I lost $200K in ONE MONTH because I did not review / ask my CEO if they thought I was ‘managing’ the database of something correctly. I wasn’t. Since that time, there is rarely (actually – I can’t even think of one instance), where I have gone live with an initiative without speaking to someone who is smarter / more experienced / has a different viewpoint than I do. I actually think the REASON I’ve become a good revenue driver is because I KNOW WHAT I DONT KNOW. I’m sure I’ll make 100s more mistakes as well ( ; Also, one piece of advice I have for ANYONE I speak with. Take sales classes and learn the psychology behind making a ‘sale’. Once you learn the psychology behind making a sale, if you find a product you believe in – you can sell it. I sell education, which I firmly believe in. It’s relatively simple. WHen it comes to higher level sales / negotiations, it’s all about finding a middle ground or finding a way to turn a situation into a “win/win”. If you can do that, most of the time, you’ll win. If you can’t make it a ‘win/win’, there is only 1 route to go and that is to be honest. If you’re not in a win/win situation, tell the people you are negotiating with up front. By doing this; and then listing the reasons / risks you see if you were in their shoes, you are also showing them that you are able to PUT yourself in their shoes, see the business from all angles, and have the ability to work with them to optimize / better the campaign or deal so it becomes a win / win. I guess the above is all part of ‘relationship building’, but for someone line you who appears to be smart, talented, etc. I would think you could pick this up quickly. Certainly you’ll go through ups and downs, but I am still a firm believer that everything in life is about sales and relationships (unless you’re one of those super smart numbers / finance people which I’m not).

      Anyways – love your insight and in complete agreement on the “T.O.” thing; going to try to be more like a “Tim Tebow” moving forward; just trying to find the right mentor to hammer the “TO” ego out of me. I actually thought this was the right person to do so; which is one of the reasons I wanted to work with her, but again – perhaps I’m too high maintenance.

  19. stacey
    September 6, 2010 at 11:42 am

    First, I have to give you tremendous credit for publicizing your personal experience; next I have to say, your tenacity and approach may, and likely will, intimidate or overwhelm executives that have a more narrow vision-out of pure “control”.

    The first point- as you put it, “rejection”,-it is so admirable to have the strength and insight that you have to allow yourself to be “insecure in front of the mirror” so that you can grow from this one way or another-even if it’s not about you lowering yourself (as u never should-or will bc I know you!) It’s good to sense the world around us to learn how we can better “manipulate” the situation.

    Next-what this executive has showed you is priceless-not everyone will want and/or be able to handle the passion-vision-and style that may come along with it-and we have to accept it and move on…it’s really that simple. And in all fairness, there’s enough business minds out there that can take your value a lot further than someone who is going to shy away from it (for no financial charge!!!!!”

    You amazing jamie…I’m still waiting for you to teach me everything you know!

  20. September 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    to all those who have asked Jamie to check her ego and that she may be coming across as pushy- here’s the thing – in Sales and being a Woman in Sales, being aggressive comes with the territory. Everyone knows that , probably the lady in question did too when she talked to Jamie. To me , her personality doesnt seem to the reason here , if it were the lady wouldn’t have continued to be in correspondence with Jamie despite the snub.

  21. September 7, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Jamie – You have met the collision of office politics, working relationships and personal capabilities. I have found for women, the rules of the game change as you get older. Behaviors that were acceptable early in our career change as you move up the ladder. Those who fail to adapt ultimately face their careers stalling or taking a major turn.

    While your post is generating some great ideas and comments, the real work will be done offline. As someone said early on, find a coach and figure it out together using a process that will yield results over time. Changes in behavior require reinforcement and rarely stick when done as an antidote. It’s time to get beyond the “what if’s” and do the work.

    • September 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks Lynn. I actually couldn’t agree w/ you more. It’s time to get beyond the ‘what ifs’ and time to start working on ME.

  22. September 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm


    You asked me to comment so I will. I didn’t read all the comments here, but I was struck by how much I agreed with what Mark said–but perhaps with a slightly different take.

    Your brashness is a big part of who you are and is admirable within certain circles. But don’t make the mistake of thinking it will work well with everyone–most people are not entrepreneurial and are not able to think out of the box. And out of the box is your starting point.

    My guess is this manager is concerned you are a loose cannon at best, and a huge threat to her at worst. She may be offended by your offer, which puts her on the defensive. Regardless, I think this is a good growth experience for you. I would leave it alone, she may not come back to you at all.

    And I agree with Mark that some coaching is in order. Don’t forget that people who avail themselves of coaching are often brilliant at their craft but need some softening around the edges–so it’s a compliment that someone suggested it. You have tremendous strengths and it would be a shame if instead of being able to capitalize on them, you failed to get out of your own way.

    • September 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      An interesting note; you and Mark are the same age / generation. As I’m looking through these comments, you can literally split them by generation – which is hilarious and certainly does play to the “Gen Y thinks their shit doesn’t stink” concept.

      Interesting to be described as a “loose cannon at best”; have not heard that one before ( ; but you’re probably dead on.

      And 100% in agreement w/ you and Mark on the coaching. Love to learn, so I guess I’ll use the motivation here to learn about how to better ME vs. boring old knowledge.

      • September 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm

        That doesn’t surprise me at all–the times in which we live of course shape our attitudes. You know I am a big believer in enabling different generations in the workplace to help one another achieve. I do believe that Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers’s belief in “paying your dues” is right on, and younger generations get in trouble when they pretend that “rule” doesn’t exist. There is no replacement for experience.

        Having said that, some of the things I love about Gen Y are the fluidity of careers, the insistence on working based on personal fulfillment and the passion about making a difference through work. These are qualities the older generations should embrace and learn from.

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