What happens when you encounter a setback? Don't assume there's nothing you can do. On the American Express Open Forum site, entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran tells the story of a near-failure that turned into a triumph:
Today I’m a Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank. When I first got a call from an L.A. producer asking if I’d have any interest in being on the new show, I couldn’t believe my good luck. I was headed to Hollywood! I signed the contract immediately and ran out and bought myself two new swanky outfits at Bergdorf Goodman, just for signing autographs. But a few days before leaving, the producer’s assistant called to say they had changed their mind and had given the lone female seat to someone else.
Ten minutes later, instead of getting sad, I got mad and shot the producer an email. I told him I considered his rejection a lucky charm because everything good that ever happened to me happened on the heels of failure. I ticked off a list of all my triumphant rejections. I ended the email by suggesting the producer fly me out to compete with the other woman for the spot. It was my stand-up-and-be-counted-for email that got me on that plane, and I’ve been a Shark/Investor on Shark Tank ever since.
Presumably either there was an 'out'' clause in the contract or they would have paid her but not used her, which wasn't her goal. She created an alternative that contained an advantage for the other side as well as for herself.
In improvisation, they always stress that a good way to keep a story going is to add "yes, and"--meaning you accept whatever the previous person said, and build on it. As the story above proves, it can also work to say "no, and..." In essence, Corcoran was saying, 'I think you're making a wrong decision and I have a way to prove it to you.'
That "and' is vital; otherwise you're just saying 'no' when they say 'yes', or vice versa. If we step back from the situation, sometimes we can reframe it or offer another alternative that can turn things back our way.
(If you'd like some guidance on marketing what you create, get a copy of my book, Marketing for Entrepreneurs. It's published by Pearson and available from your favorite bookseller.)