By Adam Toren
Rejection. We all have to deal with it, and we’re all affected by it, whether we admit it to ourselves or not. Even if you’re brimming with confidence, demonstrate assertiveness and are full of great ideas, you will face rejection as an entrepreneur. It’s a lot like maneuvering through the dating world, in fact. You can’t take rejection personally and go cry into your pillow as you write emotional poetry. Instead, use rejection as a catalyst to improve yourself and your business.
Only the Strong Survive
Nobody ever said starting a business would be easy. In fact, most entrepreneurs will tell you just the opposite. Running your own business is tough, demanding work and you will have to take a few beatings along the way. But these same entrepreneurs will also tell you how rewarding it is to work for yourself; not only financially but emotionally. Take the good with the bad, keep your chin up, roll with the punches, and look out for boxing metaphors.
Fear Will Paralyze You
Fear or rejection usually stems from being scared of being humiliated in the public sphere. You want to be taken seriously, and one rejection could send a signal to others that you’re of little value in the business world. Nonsense. Other people aren’t preoccupied with you or your rejections. In fact, it may sound harsh, but they’re probably not paying attention to you at all. You’re taking things personally, when you should be taking them professionally. You may also have a delicate psyche, and rejection can make you question your own aptitude. Again, you’re turning a professional rejection into an assault on your personality. Don’t make these mistakes.
The “I’m Gonna Prove Myself” Attitude
Rejection, huh? That will only fuel your fire. Some people have this attitude from a very young age. As children, if an adult says that they are not capable of something, these burgeoning entrepreneurs make it a point to prove their elders wrong. They devote themselves to improving their performance and increasing their knowledge on the subject until they demand attention and respect. This kind of attitude is extremely powerful and it can be cultivated. Work on becoming a “never give up” type of individual. Watch Rocky if it helps. Surround yourself with people who already demonstrate the traits you want to emulate. Being around other people with a “never give up” attitude is the best way to transform your own personality. You’ll have to change to keep up with your new social network, and you’ll notice these changes immediately. Additionally, try to take up a competitive hobby if you’re having trouble absorbing these traits. You don’t have to play a sport to be competitive. Try a board game. Just make sure to play it regularly, play people who are better than you, and be prepared to lose and lose some more.
What Went Wrong?
Just as analyzing your losses in competitive environments will improve your playing ability, analyzing your business rejections will improve your performance as a salesperson and entrepreneur. Again, the key here is not to take things personally. It sounds clichéd, but a failure is not a failure if you can use it to make progress. Try to determine why you were rejected and what steps you can take to make your business more appealing. Don’t be afraid to ask the person who rejected you for the reasons behind their decision. This may seem a little humiliating at first, but in reality it demonstrates resolve and dedication to advancing your business at all costs.
Remember, business is a numbers game. Take your hits, learn from them, and keep moving forward.
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.