Why am I always rejected?
What I'm learning from being a creative entrepreneur.
You get rejected a lot.
The very nature of creativity and entrepreneurship is to push the envelope, go against the grain and embark on your vision. Ingenuity, masquerading as a starving artist, cries to you saying,
"Don't stray from your vision. It's perfect,"
while your entrepreneur side, bursting at the seams with a passion for a systematic, well-oiled money producing machine to form, barters and revels along in the vision with the poor artist,
"Who says it can't be done? Pessimists!," it says.
The bare bone truth: Rejection is natural, uncomfortable part of the whole game, like when a guy goes to the doctor.
You know what's coming.
You know that he's going to tell you to drop your pants and cough.
- Do you like it? Not so much.
- Does it make you feel a little violated? Maybe.
- Is it necessary? Yes.
Because our art, vision and craft are so near and dear to us, any rejection becomes personal, even though it was never meant to be.
But it is easy to be sensitive. As a creative entrepreneur, someone who dedicates themselves to the construction of businesses, the marketing, the advertising, the vision and branding and all of the imaginative parts that as an entrepreneur we conceptualize and then tie to the ground, water with consistency and sit with and toil over until something green sprouts-- as such, we live and breathe our passion.
But so many times that passion is refuted.
- The customer doesn't buy it.
- The investor says it lacks scalability.
- The client says, "I don't know. I just don't like it."
So as you toil away to produce something that solves the pain of others, in whatever fashion that may be, to create a pretty penny, you receive an endless amount of no's along the way.
I entered into business thinking that with one idea and a huge amount of effort, I would be insanely successful. I mean, that is what I had done previously with school. A lot of "knowing everything", ensured no chance for failure on that all-mighty test.
But entrepreneurship is different.
You cannot throw hard work at an idea and expect that to suffice. I have had to develop thick skin and patience, because hard work alone doesn't cut it. There is no cookie cutter formula, and one should expect quite a bit of NO along the way.
So what can we agree on up until this point?
No will be a common obstacle and it is not personal.
Just the other day I offered to do FREE work for a New York Time's Best Selling Author, and was denied.
How does free get denied? Well, it does!
But the beauty, for anyone that knows marketing, is that no is rarely ever final. No simply means "not right now and not in this way".
So the next time an investor or your client laughs at your $100 million idea, or tells you that your photography isn't what they're looking for, take it with a grain of salt. Realize that people's life situations change, their needs, budgets, vision, etc. all change. Meaning, your product or service could be what they need next, even though they initially said no.
Don't give up because of one solitary no or even 100.
Figure out a better way to reproduce yes!
Some added bonuses:
- UNDER 30 MILLIONAIRE tells you what success is really about and why NO is not final.
- I've included a list of the Top 100 Creative Entrepreneurs of 2010. They inspire me to see that art and business can be profitable, and are true example of what the opposite of no looks like (I'll give you a hint, lots of 0's are at the end of it).
How many no's do you think they got?