The Worst They Can Say Is No

Don’t ever be afraid to ask, because there are only really two answers.

All too often do I see people afraid to ask a question in fear of facing that one fatal word: “No.” The fear that is instilled at the thought of rejection is so heavy, that it cripples people from finding out what they want to know. I realised early on that if I didn’t ask, I wouldn’t get what I needed and I started to live by a simple principle:

The worst they can ever say is no.

Living by this has helped me be more forthcoming and I’ve learnt people say “yes” far more than I’d ever expected. Especially if you ask in a different way (normally a cheekier one), after they say no the first time.

Only last week, my friend & I desperately wanted a woven basket for a hamper we were putting together as a gift. We tried every shop we could — and then remembered Lush’s shopping baskets were exactly what we were after. Without hesitation, we walked into Lush and started some small talk about an amazing gift hamper we were putting together and asked if we could have one of their baskets. They said no. So, we asked again, just differently. “You must have an old one downstairs… one you don’t even use anymore? One that no one would even miss… one that you could maybe give to us?” and then they said “Okay! But only because you asked so nicely.” So, now we have a woven basket that has made the best gift hamper ever. If they’d said no, that would have been fine too, we would have just asked somewhere else.

How often do you miss opportunities because you’re just too scared to ask? Next time, just ask — I bet you’ll be surprised.




Creative specialising in user-led design, apps and rapid prototyping.

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Dan Gough

Dan Gough

Creative specialising in user-led design, apps and rapid prototyping.

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