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Alexander Pope once said: "A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying that he is wiser today than he was yesterday." As in any discussion about a topic of importance, people are going to disagree. The internet is a hotbed of disagreement specifically because it allows people to carry-on conversations in real-time from all over the world. (Look no further for proof that Braincrave.com's intellectual discussion group.) It's to be expected that people will disagree; after all, we have different morals, different values, different experiences, different skills, different styles, different knowledge, different cultures, different approaches, different definitions...

It's easy to become angry when someone disagrees with what we believe. (Ask any parent who disagrees with their co-parent on how best to discipline their child.) This is especially true on the web; when conversations get heated, people generally seem lazier to use manners and common courtesy as would more typically be displayed in a face-to-face discussion. Debates turn into fights. Ideological opponents turn into bitter enemies. It's almost as if we lose sight of our goals and descend from rational arguments to emotional name-calling. And that makes our arguments more valuable... how?

But there is value in disagreements as they allow us to explore issues and ideas further than we have previously. People are going to say "no" to your ideas. When they do, it's natural that you would feel tense and even bad. But perhaps we shouldn't be taking all disagreements personally. As Barry Goldwater said, "To disagree, one doesn’t have to be disagreeable." We can learn a lot by learning to respectfully disagree.

Why do we lash-out emotionally when someone disagrees or says "no" to our ideas? What are the benefits of disagreements? Do you take disagreements personally? Which disagreements really matter enough that it's important for people to be "on the same page?"

Before, during and after raising money, you will encounter "no" in a wider variety of shapes, sizes, forms, affronts, evasions and back-handed compliments than you will have ever thought possible.

You will get "no"s from angels, from VCs, from fellow entrepreneurs, from lawyers, from accountants, from dentists, from uncles, from aunts, from experts, from idiots, from the worthy and from the lame...

Every single one of these "no"s will stick in your gut like a sharp little knife. After all, each decline is starving your baby, every negative is a slap in the face of your ambition, each "pass" a dollop of dirt on the grave of your dream. It’s very difficult not to take this all personally.

And when this happens, you will want to hate them, those who have said "no." You will want to hold a grudge against them and their grandchildren. You will want to scribble their name in your ledger for such time that you can serve revenge cold - that distant date when, you fantasize, your much larger yacht will spray wake all over their smaller, inadequate vessel, as you steer off, cackling, into the far distant horizon.

All of these feelings are completely natural, understandable, and wrong...

And when I say wrong, I don’t mean from a moral standpoint - that’s for you and your religion to figure out - but I mean, rather, that it is wrong from an efficiency standpoint. There is nothing to be gained and, in fact, much to be lost for your start-up in the distraction and wasted energy that can be expended on ruing your fate and cursing the gods.

Learning to accept "no" and letting go of the negative emotions that the fund-raising process generates are important to your eventual success. You shouldn’t like it, want it, or seek it out, but learning how to accept "no" as an entrepreneur is an important pathway to your triumph and might be the first step toward being just a little bit wiser.

The art of accepting "no"


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Apr 7, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=522

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We all admire beauty, but the mind ultimately must be stimulated for maximum arousal. Longevity in relationships cannot occur without a meeting of the minds. And that is what Braincrave is: a dating venue where minds meet. Learn about the thoughts of your potential match on deeper topics... topics that spawn your own insights around what you think, the choices you make, and the actions you take.

We are a community of men and women who seek beauty and stimulation through our minds. We find ideas, education, and self-improvement sexy. We think intelligence is hot. But Braincrave is more than brains and I.Q. alone. We are curious. We have common sense. We value and offer wisdom. We experiment. We have great imaginations. We devour literacy. We are intellectually honest. We support and encourage each other to be better.

You might be lonely but you aren't alone.

Sep, 2017 update: Although Braincrave resulted in two confirmed marriages, the venture didn't meet financial targets. Rather than updating our outdated code base, we've removed all previous dating profiles and retained the articles that continue to generate interest. Moving to valME.io's platform supports dating profiles (which you are welcome to post) but won't allow typical date-matching functionality (e.g., location proximity, attribute similarity).

The Braincrave.com discussion group on Second Life was a twice-daily intellectual group discussions typically held at 12:00 PM SLT (PST) and 7:00 PM SLT. The discussions took place in Second Life group chat but are no longer formally scheduled or managed. The daily articles were used to encourage the discussions.

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