Saturday, April 8, 2017

Celebrating My First "No"

Some of you may know that I am leaving the classroom at the end of this school year to begin my own consulting business focused on helping teachers improve their writing instruction. (If you didn't know, you know now. :)
For the past six weeks or so, I have been working two jobs: my classroom teaching job during the day and getting Teach Write set up and ready to roll during the evenings.

I am at a point where I am ready to start looking for business. So over spring break, I sent out a few proposals to local school districts. 

The first response to come back didn't take long -- just two days:
At first, I was a little crushed. A little scared. A little worried. What if no one hires me?? Have I made a mistake?

I think it is human to have a reaction like this. It's normal to worry when you are taking a major leap and you want others to affirm your decision.

But I didn't wallow in it. I recognized it for what it was -- one rejection.

There will be lots of "no's" along the way. I know that. 

But I still need to celebrate...
     That I was brave enough to take this chance.
     That I am following my dream.
     That I am far enough along to actually begin looking for clients.
     That this "no" brings me one step closer to my first "YES!"

So this week I celebrate bravery, dreams, action and reaction. How about you?


  1. Absolutely there will be a school or school system that will be in need, of you! I read a post yesterday on Poetry Friday that had a piece that felt good to me, so am sharing. This is by a friend of a friend, a professor & poet, Nick Norwood, from an interview with him. I hope you like it, and it will give you a boost when needed, Jennifer!
    What is your philosophy of failure?
    Writing poems is like cold-calling. I’ve heard that among salesman it’s considered success to have one out of 20 cold calls result in a sale. That means 19 of those calls were failures. Only 5% of the work succeeded. That seems about right. William Stafford defined a poet as a person who, in a lifetime of standing out of doors during thunderstorms, manages to get himself or herself struck by lightning two or three times. And Stafford’s own career is proof of that. Though he wrote many fine poems, anthologizing mostly reduced him to two or three, and really he’s known to most people by only one—his brilliant, beautiful, and sad “Traveling Through the Dark.” All of his other poems are, in a sense, failures of varying degree.

  2. Ah, Jennifer, I hear you! About my second year into this independent consulting business, I realized I had to face every new proposal as a "job application / interview." Looking at it that way helped me realize why I felt the way I did when a "no" came back and that helped me cope. It also helped me realize I had to sell myself and my specialty, showing them their need of my services. Today, even after submitting hundreds of "applications," I still feel a "let down" with a "no." But the exhilaration of the "yeses" far makes up for it!

  3. Your bravery in following your dream inspires us. Soon the yeses will be keeping you busy.

  4. I always say that each "no" gets you closer to that "yes!" Networking and making connections is so important too. It's nice that they got back to you. Who knows, someday that no might change. I applaud your bravery. Keep asking away!

  5. Congrats on being brave enough to pursue your dreams. It's perfect that you can celebrate this "no" because I'm sure there will some "yes" responses to come soon!

  6. When I read your title I wasn't thinking that kind of a no! That kind didn't enter my head. But oh, when I realized, oh my what a great celebration. I am so impressed and proud of you for knowing what is right for you regardless of the scary parts. Congratulations! Getting that first no out of the way clears the path to all the good that is waiting and lets you know you have the strength to do this!

  7. Jennifer, your positive attitude will help you get over the hump of the first no. You are a risk-taker so hang on. I remember when I went out looking for my first administrator job and nothing came until man interview later and a 1.5 of looking. The letter you received is typical of what is happening on Long Island.


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