As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard more than once to “get used to rejection” – but what does that really look like? And more importantly, how do you deal with it?
Rejection can come in so many different forms when you’re starting your business. Whether it’s looking for investment, building a team, or even trying to connect with your customers.
I strongly believe that some of the best lessons an entrepreneur can learn are born from rejection, so today I’m sharing a few lessons I’ve learned along the way about dealing with rejection when it comes to your business.
“It’s Not You, It’s Me”
Hearing those words is never a good sign, but you may not have expected to hear them as an entrepreneur! Not unlike a break-up, it’s important to understand why rejection is happening.
First, you have to understand who the rejection is coming from. Is this someone who is a fit with your values and vision? If they aren’t, the rejection might have more to do with not being a great fit than with your company not being successful.
It’s a hard lesson to learn that not everyone will be a “perfect match”. Your company isn’t going to appeal to everyone, and understanding exactly who you are trying to appeal to – as investors, employees, customers – will help to deal with rejection from those who just don’t fit.
Know What You Don’t Know
If you are an entrepreneur like me, I can guarantee that you aren’t an expert on everything. You are going to receive rejections from people who have a lot more experience than you, and with any luck, those rejections will come with feedback – pay attention to it!
Understanding where your “blind spots” as an entrepreneur are what will allow you to gauge not only what feedback to focus on, but what steps need to be taken. If you aren’t a design expert, but your rejections often come with feedback about the look and feel of your business, recognize that they may be right after all.
Know what you don’t know, and use that to deal with rejection, build a better team, and become an expert.
It’s Part Of The Game
While it’s true that rejection is a constant part of entrepreneurship, it’s also true that good entrepreneurs just never give up. When Elon Musk was getting started, he applied for a job with Netscape – the top internet browser at the time. He didn’t even get a response. Years later, Netscape is no more and Musk is worth over 22 billion dollars.
Rejection is part of entrepreneurship. It’s the best reminder that entrepreneurship is part of the process. Looking at the rejections and failures of those who inspire me, and seeing how they have persevered has always been a big part of how I have dealt with rejection. It gives me the perspective to know that I can succeed in the face of rejection.
It’s true that rejection is inevitable and that you should get used to it, but it’s also true that it can be the best thing for your business. It’s the rejection that puts you on the path to finding the right partners, learning what you don’t know, and reminds you to keep going. Rejection fuels entrepreneurship – so don’t just deal with it, embrace it.