There Are Two Kinds of People in the World

My best friend and I have taken a lot of crazy classes and attended some wacky events over the course of the last 15 years. Among them were fencing, a gong bath, tantric yoga (not at all dirty, so get your minds out of the gutter!) and white water rafting in Illinois (WHO KNEW?) One of the main reasons we tried all of these things was, “Why Not?” What if there was a sudden piracy threat on Lake Michigan? Our sword handling skills would be better than the average Chicago hipster. And a gong bath? Have you ever lain on the floor in a room with someone clanging a huge gong for an hour? Well, up until that experience I had not, and could think of no reason NOT TO.

Which brings me to my point. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who ask “Why?” and those who ask, “Why not?”

I will not suggest that one is better than the other. But I WILL say that one sure seems more adventurous and WAY more fun to me. People who ask “Why Not” are more open. They take more risks. And I’d be willing to bet they have some pretty awesome stories. (Like when Elizabeth, at the beginning of each fencing class would say, “ALLAH” instead of “Et LA!” which never ceased to crack me up.)

Let’s put this in perspective. Let’s say you and I are having a conversation about our great industry, and I say, “I have been reading some really cool stuff about augmented reality lately and I really want to learn more.” And you were to reply to me, “Why? Who cares about augmented reality? Sounds like just one more way to screw up our industry and make things harder on us.”

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • itsoktoprint

    Sorry, Kelly, you are wrong.. I have always and continue to ask both, constantly…. :-) My employees will vouch for this painful management style I inflict on them regularly.

    Why is a powerful examination tool. Irreplaceable in process driven environments. Why not is the creative release/alter ego of why that allows us to continually improve. they are yin and yang.

    My seven year old daughter has mastered them already as well. It is the basis of our relationship in exploring a very large world. To both understand and question.

    Drives my wife crazy… :-)

  • Russell Ashbaugh

    Maybe I don’t fit either category. I’m the one when posed with a "Why" versus "Why not" scenario will look for a third option. When asked if the glass is half-empty or half-full, I’ll say it is twice as big as it needs to be. Great article thanks for the thoughts. It definitely applies to a lot more than printing.

  • Brian Rothschild

    Dear Kelly,

    Very nice post. I’m copying and pasting a quote from my LinkedIn profile not for promo, but, simply as I believe it to be true!

    "It’s easy to say "I like this" but, why? Why do you like it? You keep asking that question until you reach the truth. Because the truth is you may not like it. Your either not sure, or, just too afraid to say it.

    So, be prepared if you decide to surf against the tide.

    Ok….now, where do I fit in?

  • Michael Naselli

    The people that say "Why Not" are in the same camp as those when presented with a challenge say "How can I solve this" versus "That cannot be done". Those that are successful almost always have that "Can Do" attitude.
    Very good post. BTW, I like your new look :)

  • Melissa Sienicki

    One could even take it a step further and recognize that they are a "Why?" or "Why not?" type of person, and then try to understand the other perspective when it comes to business, family, etc. This will allow them to speak and relate to both sides. Thanks, Kelly!

  • Bill Farquharson

    Another blog entry which proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are the best blogger on this site!!!

  • Kristen Quinn

    Although I work for a company that specializes in IT staffing, I always read your blog about the print industry. Why not? :)

  • uctllp

    I agree when we ask ourselves "Why not" definitely we can succeed