The Worst Thing that Can Happen to You

In August 1996, one of my mentors looked at my freshman-year transcript and said, “Nana, you’re wasting your time. I thought you were an ‘A’ student. With these grades, no one will ever take you seriously.” Wow! How would you feel if someone told you that you were wasting your time? For months her words echoed in my mind, punching a huge hole in my self-esteem. If I see her now, I will thank her and say, “Your words inspired me to be who I am today.”

Let the people that both discourage and encourage you inspire you. My college grades were average. When I graduated from college, my jobs were just like my grades – average. However, my average grades and average jobs got me into a top business school. Why? Because both the people that said I could do it and those that said I could not, inspired and encouraged me to push toward my goal. One of my colleagues at my second job after college refused to apply to top business schools. She said, “Nana; do you know what types of grades you need to get into those schools? What’s the point? It’s almost impossible to get in.” To that comment, one of my close friends said, “Nana, don’t listen to her. I got into Columbia Business School with a 2.4 GPA from Rutgers. Just apply! The worst that can happen is that they’ll say no…and you’ll be out the one hundred eighty dollar application fee, but who cares?”

You never have anything to lose by asking, but you always have something to gain if the answer is, “Yes!” Don’t think your GPA will put you in the running? Go for it – what’s the worst thing that can happen to you? Don’t think your boss will give you a raise? Ask – what’s the worst thing that can happen to you? Don’t think that she’ll go out with you because of your average GPA or average salary? Ask her out – and if she says no, ask her friend.
The worst thing that can happen to you when you ask is that the person will say no. However, the magic shows up in your life when you realize that the more important question is, “What’s the BEST thing that can happen to you?” The best thing that can happen to you is that the doors and windows to your magic life will open wider than your eyes can imagine. Always ask! If you don’t, the answer is automatically, “NO!” But if you ask, you never know. That’s the magic of life.

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3 Responses to The Worst Thing that Can Happen to You

  1. Dave Wheeler says:

    Great article! I especially like the conclusion… I’m not sure who said it but there is quote out there something like, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” I know that there have been times when I have not seized the opportunity and I’ve always regretted it. Excellent ideas !
    Thanks for posting. Would love to see this as a video post too !

  2. Cal B says:

    #vOte2O12 THANKS Nana! I will consider your words as I write, plan & execute my master plan for the next 1O years (inclusive of applying to the top grad schools :+)

    You are AWESOME! #trayvOn

  3. Nana says:

    Thank you, Dave! I’ve heard variations of that quote from people like Les Brown. It’s true. You definitely miss 100% of the shots you do not take. Maybe I’ll think of posting video blogs. Great idea!

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