Saying ‘No’ Moves Mountains: A Changemaker Chat with Tracy Brady

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Chat with Tracy Brady of Hill Holliday on July 24th! We’ve gathered some key highlights from her insights on inspiration, boundaries, and finding opportunities.

Finding Inspiration

So often, people ask how and where to find inspiration. Tracy believes that the worst way to find inspiration is to go looking for it. Instead, she suggests you pay attention and read everything.

When interacting or communicating with someone, we tend to lose ourselves in our own thoughts of how we will respond, rather than taking the time to really listen to someone and absorb what they’re saying. By focusing on what people are truly saying we can learn from others and their thoughts, even if it’s coming from someone you don’t particularly get along with. Tracy is also constantly reading; reading blogs, newspapers, books, articles, essays, etc. She believes inspiration can be found through knowledge, by seeking out as much information as you can.

Be a Mentor

As she progressed through her career, Tracy notes mentorship as an incredible resource. While many companies offer structured mentorship programs, she suggests even reaching out to friends or peers. Just as having a mentor is important, she recommends being a mentor as well. You can offer your own knowledge, and connecting with new people can bring you fresh perspectives as well.

Crisis Management

Working in the PR and marketing industry, Tracy is often met with a variety of crises. She says that a key component in managing any issue is taking control of what you can. “90% of the time it’s not about you; it’s not personal. So take control of how you react and how your team reacts.” She believes that nothing gets solved by focusing on a problem, but rather by focusing on a solution. She also shared that people just want to know they’re being heard.

In addition, when you find yourself working with someone you find difficult, Tracy recommends focusing on the fact that this person got hired for a specific reason, and that someone in the world loves and values this person. She will sometimes play a mental game to figure out what his/her good qualities are. Tracy believes that these interactions can be used as learning opportunities on how to adapt to various situations and personalities, as well as a chance for self reflection. What qualities do you have that make it difficult to get along with this person?

The Power of ‘No’

Despite an intensive career and busy family life, Tracy has managed to write two books and create her own blog, Festival of Need. She makes a point of scheduling things for herself into her daily schedule. “You don’t find time, you make time…it takes a lot of discipline.” She has found a routine that works for her and realizes the importance of taking time for self care. She says that learning to say no is one of the most important things she has learned. “The power of ‘no’ is really amazing. Saying ‘no’ means you have self confidence in your abilities; ‘No’ can move mountains; ‘No’ opens more doors.” By saying ‘no’ to the wrong things, Tracy has opened up space for the right opportunity to come along