I have a tiny confession to make. Landing guests for Epic Career Tales has been somewhat difficult these last few months. At the last moment, I was July’s guest because plans fell through with our slated guest. Karen and I both agreed I would one day be a guest, but I ended up being an emergency guest for July. Recently, we have pushed to land more guests who are very influential in their fields. As you can imagine, some of those potential guests may not return emails or calls, or may not be impressed if a podcast doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of listeners. When a guest does not care about numbers and agrees to share his or her story, I’m always incredibly grateful.

After last month, I was at a lost for what to do for August and beyond. Karen suggested that I again contact the two guests I had originally been trying to land. One had said yes, but then stopped returning emails and calls, another agreed to hear what the podcast was about, but ultimately declined. Karen’s passion in getting the latter guest was so great that I sincerely wanted to try again, despite being told “no.” So when I made a second pitch to the guest’s press office about how Karen really wanted to inspire others with his story, they asked me to send the request via e-mail. The interview was granted.

At the same time, I asked the guest the guest who was supposed to interview with us in July to reconsider and she said “yes.” She also thanked me for my persistence and her interview will be published very soon.

I’m thankful these two experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone ended in success. Had my push failed, it would have reinforced my world view that if someone says “no” it is probably a waste to try and change their mind. When I used to work retail, you didn’t pester a customer (or guest) too much because you didn’t want to lose their patronage—also I personally hate being pestered. However, these two experiences have shown me that if someone is somewhat receptive to what you have to say and they decline, you may be able to persuade them to reconsider. This may come through being genuine and passionately explaining why their story is so interesting and why it can be so inspirational to others. Occasionally, people can be thankful for the persuasion because it can also lead to an experience they did not expect.

Does this approach always work? No, but it is always better to try, opposed to never trying at all. And again, I’m thankful for Karen for persuading me to try once more.

Do you have a similar story where you persuaded someone to change their mind?

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