Rejection is a tricky thing. It often involves taking a hit when you’ve put yourself out there or made yourself vulnerable. Ouch, right? It isn’t a great feeling and it can definitely deflate your confidence, making you question your direction.
So why do I call rejection “tricky”?
Well, rejection is also a valuable learning tool! Rejection can make you better at what you do!
Did a client shoot down the pitch that you worked on until 4am? Consider that maybe there was a communications breakdown in the discovery process, and you didn’t quite hit the mark on finding solutions to their needs. Remember that rejection is an outsider’s perspective of your work. This is very valuable, even if they hated it! When you are able to flip your opinion on rejection, you will end up knowing yourself better, and grow as an entrepreneur. Those who are unwilling to accept rejection as constructive will forever be blaming others for their failings. And with that take no accountability on how they could have done better in the situation.
Perhaps there was nothing wrong with the idea in the pitch. Maybe this client just doesn’t “get you” and therefore isn’t an ideal client. Rejection can help you know your client better. Did you try a funny approach that fell flat? Maybe it’s just a disconnect of personal tastes. Try again from a different angle. And then note how your client does not appreciate humour and immediately light a candle for them.
If a new approach doesn’t work for that client, maybe they are the wrong client and you should rethink your target audience. An example of this is Coca Cola. They noticed that Diet Coke was seen as a “feminine drink” and therefore sales were lacking with the male demographic. Enter Coke Zero. The manliest sugar free beverage on the planet! The brand positioning is “Coke Zero gives guys permission to be guys, leaving them to enjoy everything.” In other words, “Don’t worry guys. You can drink this, and no one will make fun of you.”
So, they took the rejection of their diet cola, did some rebranding, and likely made eleventy billion dollars as a result. That eleventy billion dollars could be yours! Just open your mind and your hearts to rejection!