AS AN ENTREPRENEUR seeking to build a formidable and profitable career around your deepest passion, rejection is inevitable. At times it will linger to a point where you are almost frustrated and tempted to drop your game by the road side.
The rejection sometimes will stop you dead in your tracks as you keep wondering why the world seems to be up against you.
I had just arrived in one school to market my book FINDING YOUR CAREER PATH. After I postured the content of the work and how useful it would be to the students, the lady in charge did nothing but maintained a sneer. And by the time I said something about the cost of the book, she lashed at me as though I had grabbed her by the tail.
She made some obnoxious remarks about the book and writing as a whole. She treated the one copy I had put in her hand like trash.
In my mind I felt like knocking her on the head for bastardising the efforts and resources I’d invested as a writer in creating a product.
But then, of what use would that be? I am only being introduced to a reality which I must face on the path I’d chosen. And I had the option to deal with it or let it ride on my back.
Rejection is real. Especially when you decide to be yourself. It happens all the time. And it can come in different sizes and shapes. And in different settings. In your relatioships. In your career. In your workplace. The list continues.
You wanted that one job, and they say no, “you ain’t capable.” You’ve been dumped a couple of times by friends and family. They called you “stupid” in school. You tried selling your product / service only to get it thrown back to your face. Totally disdained and rebuffed.
What do you do? Drop your art and let the emotions suck the life out of you? Or plunge your feet into deeper waters to test the full depth of the ocean?
How can you take full advantage of rejection and use it to push forward?
1. Acknowledge the Process
Rejection is a NORMAL phenomenon. Period. In fact, what’s ABNORMAL is not being rejected. Rejection is usually a proof that you are getting on with something unconventional. For the entrepreneur, or the one who has decided to create and sell his / her art, rejection is pretty much part of the process that brings the success.
So the first cure is to accept it as a reality. You will be rejected by friends, family, businesses, jobs, publishers, auditors, and all the gate keepers you are likely to meet as you journey your path.
Once I establish in my mind that rejection is normal, I worry less if I am rejected or not, In fact, I even prepare to be rejected. This way, I keep creating without letting the fear of rejection interfere with the process.
2. Don’t Personalize it
At the point where you don’t see rejection as the process, you are inclined to take it personal.
There’s no reason you should. You should realize that everyone – both the rejected and the rejecters – are all trying to get by. Some of the rejections you face doesn’t mean you are not liked. It’s just that everyone is seeking for how to secure his / her stake.
For instance, that my book is rejected by an internationally acclaimed publishing company may not imply my book is trash. Or that I am not liked by the publisher.
The rejection is probably a way of securing their own stake. So they say come up with stuffs like; “Your book is not marketable” Your style of writing is archaic.” “It does not measure up with international standards.” And so on.
Don’t take it personal. It’s normal.
3. Choose Yourself
Perhaps, rejection is the most powerful force when it comes to being a creative. Most of us will never accept who we are and may never realize our full potential but for rejection.
The near death of traditional publishing is as a result of many rounds of rejection from renowned publishers. Authors have now chosen themselves by choosing to go the way of self-publishing and growing their own platform.
That’s the upside of rejection. It forces us to get into the whole creative process. To sack off, so to say, those gate keepers that keep interfering with our advancement.
With the advances in technology and the internet, the line keeps widening. The opportunities have become endless. You now have the right to say yes, to choose yourself and move forward with or without the yes of the gatekeepers.
4. Improve your Approach
One key way to reap positively from rejection is to constantly take it as a feedback. When you suffer rejections, instead of saying to yourself; “I suck, no-one likes me. I’m sc***ed.” Ask yourself; “what can I do differently?”
Statistically, 30% of the people will not like you. Another 30% will care less about you. 10% will shuttle between not liking and not caring. You only have 30% who will like you. It is from among this group that you get those who can accept your offerings.
Utilise rejection, (especially from the last 30%) to seek for alternatives.
Your product is down on sales. Try creating a different product with similar or entirely different features. Try freebies. Create something and offer it for free and let them smell the great value in it that could wet their appetite for more.
The point is, when you are rejected, don’t give up. Instead, change up! Try a different approach. Do something differently again and again. Keep tweaking until you eventually hit the gold mine.
It takes great AUDACITY to keep creating despite the REJECTIONS.