by Kolyanne Russ
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt
For all the entrepreneurs who are determined to find success, rejection is almost inevitable. Even the most successful entrepreneurs have had to deal with rejection, in some cases many times over. In finding success as an entrepreneur, it isn’t always a matter of avoiding rejection, but a matter of how you deal with rejection when it inevitably comes. With that in mind, here are three ways to overcome rejection as a start-up entrepreneur:
1. Let Rejection Energize You
Rejection causes emotions. Anger, frustration, confusion and other emotions are all the product of rejection, most of us let these emotions get the best of us and sadly give up on our dreams. Instead, you should use these emotions as fuel. They should be motivators, things that drive you even harder to succeed. Whether that motivation comes in the form of wanting to prove the people who have rejected you wrong, in the form of knowing how much sweeter success will be when it finally arrives, or anything in between, use your rejections to bolster your resolve rather than letting them weaken it because believing in yourself is the only thing that will keep you going.
2. Plan Your Next Step
There is not one entrepreneur that I have encountered said they don’t have a plan or a set goal when starting their businesses. As an entrepreneur, you must have Plan A through Z all mapped out and ready to go because failure to plan is planning to fail. When one plan fails in the form of a rejection, rather than dwelling on that rejection simply switch the next plan in line. By planning ahead and constantly adjusting your plan depending on what the world throws at you, you ensure that rejection will never stop you. Best of all, continuously pressing forward with one strategy after the next allows you to evolve and adapt as an entrepreneur. Once your approach has been honed by rejection after rejection, you will finally be able to put forth a plan that leads to the success you have been striving for.
3. Don’t be Afraid to ask Why
Know how to asking the right question is considered to be one the most likeable and successful traits in any entrepreneurs. This is what distinguish them among mediocre. The next time you find yourself dealing with rejection, politely ask the person to explain why they rejected you or your idea. So, few people take this approach when dealing with rejection, yet it is such a powerful way to find the silver lining in your rejection. Keep in mind that the person who is rejecting you is doing so for a reason. Honestly listening to and evaluating that reason allows you better understand what your weaknesses might be.
Once you’ve identified these weaknesses, fix them. Fine tune your idea, presentation, strategy, or whatever it was that lead to your rejection until you have found the optimum approach. By using feedback from your rejections to hone your approach, you will be able to find the value in your rejections and overcome them much easier.
4. Pick Yourself Up
As an entrepreneur, rejections are something that must be dealt with. Rejection does not, however, mean that you are doomed to fail. Rather, all they mean is that you are setting yourself up to join the ranks of all the successful entrepreneurs before you who were first rejected (sometimes dozens of times over) before they found success. Believe always in yourself, and remember, 1,000 “no’s” won’t mean anything once you get just one “yes”.
Kolyanne Russ is a founder of Pinch of Attitude blog. It focuses on attitude-building, self-improvement, and lifestyle design to help people draw the right action plan and achieve a desirable balance between success and happiness. She also works as a Finance Manager for one of the biggest commercial real estate companies in North America specializing in consulting various clients.