What I Learned from the Guy in the Dress

When I was 18, I got a job as a door-to-door salesman. For the next 18 months, before joining the military, I sold fire safety equipment by knocking on doors. Over this time, I earned a graduate degree’s equivalent in human relations and emotional intelligence.

But I didn’t learn how to handle the word “no”. I hated it and took it personally. It held me back from real progress.

“No” also holds EHS professionals back. From making the big ask. From real change within their business.

In my early twenties, I had a friend named Justin.

One night, Justin bet me he’d get the next 5 girls’ phone numbers that he met. I told him “no bet”. He asked “What if I wore a dress and asked only people in the drive-up lane at Taco Bell?

I said “$20”.

He wore a striped dress, got 7 numbers and it was the best $20 I had spent up to that point.

He treated it as an experiment. He didn’t take it personally. He knew he’d learn along the way and improve.

That’s how to get better at “no.” And the dress isn’t required. Just an attitude of experimentation, learning, and separating yourself from the answer.

The world deserves your best.

You will hear “no”.

Don’t let it keep you from your gift.


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