Being rejected can be very liberating

Recently, a question was put to me: "How do you take criticism, without it making you upset?"

An entrepreneur had offered an invention to be reviewed by a respected catalog for inclusion. After a lengthy period of silence, followed by numerous emails seeking an answer, the entrepreneur was declined for some minor health and safety concerns of the invention.

The entrepreneur became incensed and went through the five stages of grief all at once. He said: "I take rejection hard anyway (who doesn't), but it's things like this that make me want to throw in the towel."

The reality is that we are all going to be rejected regularly in business ... and that is exactly the issue; it's not personal, it's business (in my best Godfather voice impersonation). Rejection is a normal component to business, to entrepreneurship, to relationships, you name it, receiving objections for your services will happen. It is how you respond that will determine your longevity.

If a buyer doesn't buy from you, more fool them; they are buyers, their job is to buy from you and they didn't. I have been turned down more times than the bed in the Executive Suite of the Marriott; I am still here and doing very well, thank you. If our brave soldiers can be shot at doing their job, you can continue to have your inventions initially rejected for insertion by a catalog.

The son of a close friend, is a pilot for Cathay Pacific Airlines. On January 7 2008, while captaining an Airbus en route from Brisbane to Hong Kong, with not a spare seat on the plane, the cockpit and cabin filled with smoke. With hundreds of lives depending on him, Michael piloted this mammoth flying missile from 36,000 feet to the ground at Cairns airport in 18 minutes! If he can do that on Flight CX102 we can all handle from our clients some tough questions, rejections and stalling tactics not to buy.

If Dr Victor Chang (who was tragically shot dead by extortionists in 1991) was able to successfully complete heart transplant operations on patients, what have we got to worry about when a prospect says, "No, I don't want you" "We can't use your service" or "Your price is too high"?

I have never been bruised, bloody or broken from being rejected in business. The upside is of course, you now know that prospect is not interested, so you do not have to find the time to continue with them. That additional time you now have at your disposal can be used on marketing to quality buyers who respect and appreciate the value you bring to the table.

Being rejected can be very liberating.

Ric Willmot
Strategist to the Professions

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