This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more info.

A reflection on saying “yes” for optimal results. By: Christopher Pascale

saying_yes

John Hodgman used to be on TV. Really, he still is, but only here and there. Why?

According to his own account in his very good book, Medallion Status, he stopped saying yes.

Hodgman got his start on TV in 2006 as the stodgy old PC in the Mac vs. PC ads, where a cool, hip Apple computer portrayed by Jimmy Fallon makes fodder of the lame, impotent PC for 3 terrific money-making years. During that same time he was in 3 major motion pictures and began a 9-year stint on “The Daily Show.”

Things were going so well that he was offered a part on “Breaking Bad.”

This was where he said no.

During this time, Hodgman was a supporting actor on a show, had parts in movies and other shows, and voiced a character for “Minecraft.” Additionally, his wife and children were in New York, and he was already spending so much time in California that the thought of being in New Mexico seemed a bit much.

And that is where his career began to descend.

One can argue that Hodgman optimized his life, to which I would agree, but in terms of building upon his career as a performer, saying no was akin to announcing a funeral.

What Happens When You Say “Yes”

Truly, some terrible things can happen when you say yes, like when Ritchie Valens agreed to travel by air to expand his singing career – he died.

But the alternative to saying yes is to guarantee going nowhere, which is not the option we seek; otherwise, why are you reading this?

So, I’ll give you two examples of times I said yes, and what it led to. And one time that I said no that you can make of what you will.

yes_opportunities

A Simple Book Review

Eric Milton wrote a book called The Stock Market Is for Everyone. It’s a self-published eBook, and I like it. As is common, no one knew he wrote it, so he asked some people if they would read/review. I was one of them.

For the year prior to this, I had been trying with great failure to publish a short piece about my daughter starting her Roth IRA. No one would take it, and then Eric, my new best friend who could see I had excellent taste in literature, did. Since then, I have contributed pieces to Eric’s site, and they have stood as a good reference for other sites that have since published my work.

Saying yes to a simple Amazon book review may have been the very key that opened the door to what is now a substantial portfolio of published work in personal finance.

An Inconvenient Trip to Washington, DC

Last summer, a thread was started on an online forum about my book, War Poems. In it, a small group of people who hadn’t read it were discussing its [de]merits, saying that my account of my own life may have been invalid. And then they tagged Doug Nordman, AKA Nords, a retired Naval officer who runs a fantastic site called The Military Guide. Nords wrote a very detailed summary of his take on the whole matter, aided by a link to a piece I wrote for I Hate the USMC. Given his resources, Nords was not complimentary.

Taking it all in, I composed what I hoped to be a thoughtful response, and Nords, who was going to be at a conference in Washington, DC, responded with an offer to meet him there.

Going to DC the week my kids started school was not convenient. On top of that, my home in NC was still not finished, and would not be sold for another 5 months, but I did want this opportunity and would not be in Hawaii (where Nords lives) in the foreseeable future.

From that one trip came the following results:

  • A piece about solar leasing was published on ADPI.com
  • I had a phone conversation with Ellie Kay, who advised me on how to enhance my speaking career
  • Guest lectured at The US Coast Guard Academy with the help of Rob Shaye

That is what saying yes can do. At the cost of waking up early on a Sunday, and the expense of driving from NY to DC, doors I didn’t even know existed were suddenly open.

A Time I Said “No”

Sitting at an airport bar on my way to Holland, a woman strikes up a conversation with me. Minutes into it, she says that when I’m in London I should connect with her via WhatsApp, and could even stay with her.

“I hope you have room for six,” I quipped, letting her know I’m married with children. She said she did, and that the offer was unchanged.

“You know,” she said, “you’d be great on television. You have a really nice way about you.”

“I’ve been told that,” I truthfully replied. “But I really just like to write.”

“Okay, ‘Saturday Night Live,’ then. If you want a meeting, call me.”

And I didn’t.

Granted, the conversation was moving at Ludicrous-Speed from an invitation for me to show where I’d place her in a game of “Kiss, Marry, Kill,” to me being guaranteed fame and fortune all due to sitting down and being polite in public, so the idea that this was really real just didn’t seem real at all.

But what would it have cost me to have sent the following message on WhatsApp:

“Hi, SweetButPsycho, it was very nice talking to you. While I won’t be in London very soon, please let me know when you’ll be in NY. After all, if I do meet with the people at NBC, it would be nice to have a friend in the room.”

It would have cost me nothing, because WhatsApp is free.

But not sending it may have cost me so much more.

mm

Chris Pascale

Chris Pascale is an author, accountant and professor from Long Island. He currently works for the Treasury Department and is on the Executive Advisory Council to the Deskovic Foundation. His finance writing has been published by the AICPA, GrumpusMaximus.com, and others. Since 2019 he has been working on a biography about Vice President Charles Curtis.
    Minimalism Tips for Family Cheat Sheet

    Minimalism Tips for Family Cheat Sheet

    Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on minimalism tips for family members. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Join my weekly newsletter for life tips, quotes, and free tools to optimize your life (and make my day)!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Minimize Your Wardrobe: Inspiration File

    Minimize Your Wardrobe: Inspiration File

    Enter your email to get our free Inspiration File on minimizing your wardrobe. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Checklist: How to Declutter Sentimental Items.

    Checklist: How to Declutter Sentimental Items.

    Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on decluttering sentimental items. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Minimalism

    5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Minimalism

    Enter your email to join our free 5-day ecourse on getting started with minimalism. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Checklist-How to Declutter Paper

    Checklist-How to Declutter Paper

    Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on how to declutter paper. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Checklist - How to Declutter Books

    Checklist - How to Declutter Books

    Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on how to declutter books. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Checklist - How to Help Kids Learn to Declutter Toys

    Checklist - How to Help Kids Learn to Declutter Toys

    Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on how to help kids learn to declutter their toys. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Checklist - Bare Minimum of Items for Moving

    Checklist - Bare Minimum of Items for Moving

    Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on the bare minimum of items you need when moving. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Checklist - Why Personal Finance is Important

    Checklist - Why Personal Finance is Important

    Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on why financial literacy is important. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Cheat Sheet - How to Overcome Money Fears

    Cheat Sheet - How to Overcome Money Fears

    Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on overcoming money fears. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Bonus - Debt Payoff Tracker PDF

    Bonus - Debt Payoff Tracker PDF

    Enter your email to get our free PDF debt payoff tracker. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Cheat Sheet - How To Stay Motivated When You Feel Stuck

    Cheat Sheet - How To Stay Motivated When You Feel Stuck

    Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on maintaining your level of motivation. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Cheat Sheet - What Should I Do After A Deep Tissue Massage?

    Cheat Sheet - What Should I Do After A Deep Tissue Massage?

    Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on what to do after a deep tissue massage. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Cheat Sheet - Tips for Sitting at a Computer All Day

    Cheat Sheet - Tips for Sitting at a Computer All Day

    Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on tips to counter sitting at a computer all day. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Cheat Sheet - How Do I Stick to a Budget?

    Cheat Sheet - How Do I Stick to a Budget?

    Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on tips to stick to your budget. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Expert Tips - How to Get Over a Breakup

    Expert Tips - How to Get Over a Breakup

    Enter your email to get our free PDF with expert tips on getting over a breakup. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Expert Tips - How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

    Expert Tips - How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

    Enter your email to get our free PDF with expert tips on how to stop comparing yourself to others. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Expert Tips - 10 Health & Fitness Quotes

    Expert Tips - 10 Health & Fitness Quotes

    Enter your email to get our free PDF with health and fitness quotes from Optimal Health Daily episodes. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Cheat Sheet - Toxic Relationships

    Cheat Sheet - Toxic Relationships

    Enter your email to get our free PDF with tips on how to spot -- and get out of -- a toxic relationship. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration, quotes, life tips, and more!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    OLD Podcast: Library

    OLD Podcast: Library

    Enter your email to get your password to access our handy library. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Personal Finances

    5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Personal Finances

    Enter your email to join our free 5-day ecourse on improving your personal finances. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Journaling Worksheet - PDF

    Journaling Worksheet - PDF

    Enter your email to get a sample of our journaling worksheet PDF with quotes and templates based on Optimal Living Daily episodes. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    5-Day Email Course - Improve Your Health and Fitness

    5-Day Email Course - Improve Your Health and Fitness

    Enter your email to join our free 5-day ecourse on improving your health and fitness. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!