Just Say Yes

There is a basic rule in improv comedy: just say yes.

Picture it—two comedians are working an improv. The moment one interrupts the flow—he can’t say yes—the sketch is over. The story shuts down, along with the opportunity for any laughs from the audience.

You have to say yes to partner.

You have to say yes to make forward progress.

You have to say yes to see just how far you can take your idea.

No is a deal-killer. It stops innovation and creativity dead. Your big idea fizzles. You fail to pursue an unconventional new alliance that just might be your break-through. You avoid the new technology that could take your business to a whole new level.

Yes isn’t always the right answer of course—where’s the integrity in that? But if you don’t start with a yes in your heart, you’ll never find out how far you could go.


  • The key remains a willingness to explore, network, share, help. The contact may not be the one but the contact’s contact may be. Or, things may work out better at a subsequent time. Try not to close a door.
    Be nice. Give some one a reasonable time to make a case to you. My Gotham networking group promotes as its mantra: It’s better to give than receive. To say yes — to be open — to explore — represents giving.

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