No, not yet and nothing at all

American Idol Judges

"Not Yet"

Another young hopeful prepares for their huge moment in front of the judges … will they get to Hollywood?

Of course the scene is set with their touching interviews ..this is what they have always dreamt of and if this doesn’t come through for them, their life will be over!

The big performance happens and then they wait for the judges verdict… The scene is set as the music plays in the background to heighten the drama and tension of this make or break moment.

This is American Idol…one by one, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler give their verdicts.

Expecting to hear a simple “yes” or “no” as we have come to expect from these shows I am surprised to hear Steven Tyler, the Aerosmith legend say “not yet” to the young hopeful.

Not yet” …I hadn’t heard that language used before on the show and it struck me that it was a really great way of rejecting the young singer in a positive manner, dealing them that dreaded news but in a way that left them feeling encouraged and that the world hadn’t ended.

I guess in the show someone had reflected on the whole Yes/No scenario and decided that there was an option and some sense of responsibility around the cold delivery of rejection – why not do it differently so that it might actually leave people feel ok about themselves and willing to possibly try again next time?

With young vulnerable people there is a particular responsibility to show encouragement even in a negative situation.

In business we all face rejection and at times we also have to do the rejecting …


I’m not interested”

“No, it’s not for me”

“Thank you for all your efforts but unfortunately not at this time”

“Sorry, it’s not exactly what we are looking for”

“Unfortunately our budget won’t stretch that far

– there are so many ways to say no and while it is always tough hearing it ,”not yet” or some sign of appreciation or encouragement always softens the blow.

Worse than “no” has to be the Nothing ..

Feel Good LostMy son, Brendan Canty who is new to the business world and doing really well with his music and film production company, Feel Good Lost shared some of his recent frustrations with me.

He spoke about a recent situation where he had put a fortune of work into a pitch, mocked up sample footage, presented and received encouraging feedback and then hears “nothing” back from the prospect.

He waits, he emails, he texts, he calls and despite his considerable efforts ….nothing. Then you tread a line between being pushy and just wanting some feedback. It drives him nuts, not receiving any feedback. As he says himself, he would prefer to get a clearcut “no” rather than the dreaded “nothing” treatment.

This experience bothered him so he came to me looking for some inspiration or advice … “Brendan, welcome to my world!“.

This happens in business and unfortunately it is just something that you have to live with as some people are either being rude or they just have a huge problem with saying “no”.

Is “No” better than nothing ?

Greg Canty is partner of Fuzion

Tags: , , , , ,

6 Responses to “No, not yet and nothing at all”

  1. audreymcsweeney Says:

    Oh My GOD Greg! You are talking about my world. And an outright ‘No’ is definitely better than forcing me into becoming a stalker! I actually think an outright ‘No’ is better than ‘Not yet’ if that’s how you feel. If i’m talking to someone about an advertising campaign and the prospect feels this is just something i am not interested in doing – then tell me! You waste everyones time faffing around with ‘maybe next month / next year’. I even say to people – if you are not interested just tell me – i don’t want to waste my time or yours. I could wax lyrical about this for ages so i’ll stop now – just say ‘No’ people – or actually, even better, say ‘YES’!!!

  2. Conor Says:

    Brilliant post Greg! Its a bit of my life too – you write proposals, follow up and get no response! I have often wondered is it an Irish thing? I worked for may years in the US and generally you recieved some feedback yet!
    I’m glad I’m not the only one in this boat – its actually amazing how personal this feeling can become! – Is it me or whats the story??

    • Greg Canty Says:

      I do think it is an Irish thing …. I find with non-Irish prospects generally they will tell you they will be back to you next week with an answer and they do come back – you mightn’t like the answer but at least they come back as promised and everyone moves on !

  3. Jill Aston Says:

    I feel so much better after reading your comments, especially Audrey’s posts. Setting up a business is hard, a new invention as a business…very hard. I’m given encouragement and enthusiasm, the person offers their card. I actually ask,’Do you want me to call you?’ Please note the words, very direct, not, would you like? When I call, the person disappears into thin air never to be heard of again! Given many people that I’m contacting are in the hospitality industry…I worry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: