Rejecting Rejection – How to Make It Happen Anyway
This week I got to tick a box on my business bucket list.
I put a big line through one of the things right near the top. It’s something that I have worked extremely hard for over the last few years. And it was the first thing that I ever dared put myself ‘out there’ for, to get someone else’s opinion.
It was also the first time that I was rejected in business.
It was a few years ago, and I’d met up with someone who I considered a friend and mentor for breakfast. There I sat excitedly across the table pitching an idea I had about a new project and asking for his help. Wide-eyed and sipping what was probably taking me into an overdose of coffee, I waited.
But there was silence. Not the excited ‘wow’ kind either. It was more like the ‘your idea sucks, and this is really awkward’ kind. It felt like time stood still.
“Sure, it’s a nice idea”, he finally said, breaking the tension, “But it will never work. That’s just not how it’s done. I’m not interested.”
I was crushed. Although I’m someone who will go after what I want, I don’t normally bear my soul, and rarely asked for help. I’d been building the life I wanted for myself personally and in business, brick by brick, letting the work speak for itself.
So, having someone who I deeply respected telling me not to waste my time, or his, felt like proper rejection.
But I wanted it soooo badly.
Driving back home from breakfast that day, I couldn’t get what he’d said out of my head. That’s not how it’s done … So, it wasn’t the idea as a whole that was bad. Just the risk I was proposing at doing it a different way.
Sure, in business, like with most things, there are certain paths you can take that almost ensure success. But was there really only one path? Because that path, ‘the way it’s always been done’ wasn’t the one I wanted to go down.
Granted, the path I was proposing didn’t look anything like a path. It was unchartered.
But the more I drove, the more determined I became to arm myself with the tools to create my own way. And that’s exactly what I did.
I chose me.
So if you’re reading this, it’s because it worked. I chose me. I chose to trust in that little girl inside me who still sees magic everywhere she goes. That little girl who undeniably believes that if you can dream it, you can be it and that anything is possible. I chose to forget about ‘how it’s always been done’ and make it happen on my own terms.
So, I guess there are a couple of lessons here:
- Rejection sucks.
Big time! But don’t let it be the end of you or your ideas. Regroup and reassess, and if it’s something that you really want, find a way to make it happen.
- Back yourself.
Listen to that little voice saying, “You can do it”, you know the one I’m talking about. As we get older and more serious, it gets softer and harder to hear. But it’s still there.
Go on, go and pull out your bucket list. Pick the biggest, baddest thing on there and get to work.
I am living proof that if you want it badly enough, you can make it happen.
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