It’s Valentine’s Day. Sigh. Hopefully your romantic life is superb at the moment and you are enjoying the spirit of love and passion in the air. Such fun. There is a good chance however, that some of us are not enjoying the expectation and pressure of Valentine’s or we can recall being in a less ideal romantic space. And, as do most things, this got me thinking about pressure to succeed and rejection in business. That professional disappointment can be quite similar to rejection in our love lives and even more difficult to recover from as small business owners. Like unrequited love or dismal prospects on the dating app (can I get an “amen”?) rejection in business is a tough to mitigate. And, unlike romantic rejection, there may not be a person in our life with whom we can share this struggle.
Fear not. You are not alone in this tussle.
Our mission is to help you succeed with your business. Tools to manage feelings of rejection are part of that commitment. As such, try this 60 second rejection remedy below…
- Acknowledge that the rejection, closed door, low response or poor revenue numbers sting. We can’t remedy what we don’t admit. We can’t exercise empathy if we don’t acknowledge. It’s frequently rough out there for small business owners and independent practitioners. Let’s be honest about fighting our way through the tough times. (Next Friday we have a great complimentary post: Avoiding Paralysis by Analysis)
- Share your current struggle with a trusted colleague, talk to yourself (I recommend shutting the door) or write a few sentences about what happened and why it’s disappointing. (A bonus to writing it out: you can really let fly, delete or tear up afterward if necessary.)
- Consider why the rejection occurred beyond “we’re not good enough.” Often we take the rejection personally. We think our product, our service or our sales process were to blame for the failure. Of course that’s a possibility. But let’s consider it may be an uneducated consumer, a person not in a position to buy, a need to boost our marketing efforts, a company that really won’t be a good client for our service or poor timing as possible explanation as well. Much like a poor romantic fit, it’s not always something we can fix or control. Sometimes it just is.
- Learn a lesson if there is one. Maybe our sales system is flawed or our lead generation is bringing us the wrong leads or our pricing is not communicated clearly enough or we don’t share our ROI, testimonials or client revenue increases frequently enough with our prospects (guilty). Those need to be changed. And the good news is that they are all changeable.
- Move on. If you are offering a quality service or product. Let the rejection go and move on to the next prospect, project or goal. Sometimes easier said than done of course, but with practice it happens faster each time and that puts us closer to our next success.
- See the silver linings. Rejection is a gift…
- As long as you get back up, you are tougher than you were before this rejection.
- You are smarter than you were before this rejection.
- When you hit your stride and sales are flowing more easily (or insert your particular current struggle flip side here) you will appreciate the flow because you have walked through the muck. Love that.
- If you choose to confide in a trusted colleague that disclosure creates real connection. That is a tremendous gift as a small business owner / independent practitioner. We network and confide in others too infrequently I find.
- If there was a lesson learned, your service, process or communication will be better for the next interaction and that is terribly valuable. Every very successful business owner I have the honor of meeting or learning from has at least one (if not hundreds) of rejection/failure stories that directly contributed to a success down the road. You will too!
The more you apply this rejection remedy the faster it works! Feel the sting, let it out, be fair in hindsight, learn a lesson, move on and experience the perks of your tenacity! Rejection is a gift.
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