How to deal with rejection as an entrepreneur.
Already refusing to refer to herself as an entrepreneur due to lack of experience and knowledge, Sahar Hashemi was in for a surprise when trying to get a loan from her bank to open her first coffee shop. Out of the forty banks that she contacted, only twenty gave her interviews. Out of these twenty, only one gave her the loan. But in the end, all it takes is one, right?
One good idea, one moment to impress someone, one moment to pitch your idea, and one person to help your dream come true.
Despite all of the roadblocks and obstacles Hashemi faced, she didn’t give up. She started her business in the face of rejection and still persevered.
It’s going to occur.
In any scenario you face in life, there are going to be people who don’t like you or your ideas, your branding, or your website, and they’re going to tell you so. But how you react in these situations is what truly defines you as an individual.
If you’re a designer, there are going to be people who don’t like what you create, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It means it’s not for them.
If you’re a business owner, your product or service may not appeal to everyone. This doesn’t mean it’s not great.
Understanding that rejection isn’t always personal is the first way to figure out how to avoid allowing it to offend you.
Start strong, finish strong.
As a marketing agency that prides itself on incorporating kindness and compassion into everything it does, we knew we would face some rejection at some point on our journey, but we didn’t fear it.
You know the saying “what you fear most will happen to you — that is the law” by Shirley Hazzard? If you believe that what you fear most will come true, it just may.
Some might accuse it of being a front to appeal to more clients, but the truth is, we found a gap in the market for agencies that stand for absolute empathy and compassion in an industry where it’s so scarce.
We also believe that making it personal can be more appealing than keeping it strictly professional at all times. Using sensitivity and emotion to connect with your audience can be the most intelligent business move to make.
So it didn’t really matter what people thought of it. We believed in our idea from the beginning and we will continue to stand by it until the end.
Take it as part of the journey.
Are you familiar with the television show Shark Tank? Imagine having an idea that you believe in so passionately that you go on a television show and present it to some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and investors. There is a chance that all four of the investors will reject your idea and you’ll receive zero funding in addition to nationally broadcasted embarrassment! Woohoo!
But some of the most widely known successful businesses started on Shark Tank. And those who made it onto the show at all are the ones without fear of rejection. They weren’t afraid to be vulnerable, and thus, they found success.
So… How do we deal?
Whatever you decide to pursue, start with a strategy. You can go into it blindly (it works for some people), but we recommend at least having some type of idea or model to go off of.
And in this model, there needs to be a ‘section’, if you will, for strategies that brace you for rejection. A plan B, C, and D.
If you need some inspiration…
- As we mentioned, do not fear rejection. It happens to everyone. And it hurts, but not forever. And it doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy.
- Allow people to walk away. It’s probably a sign that it wasn’t meant to happen, anyway.
- Surround yourself with people, colleagues, a family that support you and believe in your ideas. It helps when people believe in you when you forget to believe in yourself.
- Remember your values. Is the rejection worth fighting? Or will it go against what your purpose really is and what you truly believe in?
- Take the feedback, but not to heart. You can either take it personally or use it as professional advice to alter and orient your idea into a new, better direction.
- Take your ego and throw it out of the window.
Last but not least.
Remember when we said start strong? We don’t take this lightly. Your branding, marketing, advertising, value, design, everything, from beginning to end should be solid. So if you break, at least you know your business won’t.
We like to think that using an Israeli mindset when growing our company has helped us persevere. Pushing through when it feels like no one wants to see you succeed is incredibly difficult. But if an entire country can when the world is against it, you can, too.