SAN ANTONIO — The word "no" is powerful. It can shatter a dream or extinguish desires. It's easy, and natural to be scared of the word - unless you're absolutely fearless.
Marcia Nasatir says, by all accounts, she was born with bravery in her bones.
"I'd like to quote my mother, she said 'Marcia's not afraid of the devil,'" she explained.
Because of that, she's never simply done what's expected of her, starting when she was just a kid.
"My brother went to school and I learned what he learned. And that was looked down upon because I hadn't learned the way they teach reading in school," Nasatir said.
As she grew older, she her decisions to stray from the norm were much more evident. She went to college - only to drop out to marry a man at her university.
"I married a fellow student, because my parents didn't want me to," she said.
The marriage lasted just a few years, before the pair divorced - something that wasn't common back then.
"I was a single mom with two young children," Nasatir recalled. "I needed to get a job."
Marcia looked for jobs across the country, latching onto opportunities that took her from coast to coast.
"I never say 'no.' I always say 'yes.' Because if it doesn't work out, there would be another opportunity," Nasatir said.
Eventually, Marcia - who had once gotten in trouble for her love of reading - found work that required it in Hollywood. She worked in the story department, and her job was to read magazines, books, and newspapers to find ideas for movies.
With her tenacity, it didn't take long for an opportunity to head the story department to come her way. But just accepting that responsibility would have been far too easy.
"I said I would not take the job unless I had a title as Vice President in charge of the story department. And the answer was, 'Well so-and-so isn't a Vice President.' And I said that is his problem, I would not take the job," she explained.
Marcia was so valuable, she was eventually given that Vice President title, making her the first female Vice President in Hollywood. That prompted other production houses like Paramount and Universal to give other women those top-tier jobs.
"I'm proudest of having the courage to say no," Nasatir said. "That's what I wished every young person understood. It's not the worst thing to have no said to you."
The word "no" can be used to end a journey. But Nasatir hopes to teach us that with a little bravery, you can use that word to start them.