05/13/2010 10:31 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Creating Yes in a No Economy: 7 Keys to Getting From Here to There

Everything is changing--the economy, the world, our lives. And when things change, two things happen: the exciting part--opportunities open up, and the scary part--fear of the unknown. And because the unknown can be so scary for people, groups and businesses, they can clamp down. "Let's just hold onto what we have and not make any big moves, and maybe we'll be okay." Yet if we do that, we miss the other part--the opportunities. Things will continue to change, and change for the better, and those who are already moving forward into that change will be poised to capitalize on it!

If we are going to start to move forward, we will probably face resistance from others. When there are other people involved, and they are putting up obstacles to new ideas or forward movement, don't give up. Be smart in your approach. Employ these 7 keys to Creating Yes in a No Economy.

  1. It starts in your mind: If you're going to create yes in the world, you have to first create yes in your mind. Believe that things are getting better--that the time to plant new seeds and begin to move forward is now. If you can't believe, simply entertain the possibility. That's a low-pressure way to start moving in the right direction.

  • Watch your language: Do you want to create something? Use assertive language when proposing it to others. Nothing will change if you sneak in and speak with doubt. Remove "think," "hope" and "maybe" from your vocabulary for these conversations. For more, see here
  • If you don't ask, it won't happen: Speak up! Be bold. Now is no time to hold back. And don't give up. Have persistence and courage. "Fortune favors the brave," Terence, playwright, second century BC.
  • Why?: And the "why" had better be good. If someone is going to move out of their comfort zone and say yes to you, there will have to be a good reason. Not a good reason to you, but a good reason to them.
  • Listen first: Think persuasion is all about talking? Think again. Listening is one of your greatest tools. And one secret is to hear them out first, waiting your turn. They'll be much more willing to hear you out without judgment after you've done that for them.
  • Start smart, stay smart: When you have something to say--something you want to have an impact and to spur change, don't just say it any old way. Be strategic with how you start the conversation, and how you handle any arguments that come your way. In starting out, include the "why" from number four, above.
  • Who are you talking to?: Think about who your "audience" is, and adjust your message accordingly.
  • A mentor advised me once: "Don't delay." Those words have been my friend ever since, spurring me on through the resistance I've faced from others, and the resistance I've faced from myself. If you're sensing there is something you need to move forward with, don't delay. In this time of great change, opportunity is stirring. Take a deep breath, consider the 7 Keys to Creating Yes, and take action.

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