There is plenty of information and anecdotes out there on what it's like to be an entrepreneur. Everyone has their own unique experience; but there is one universal truth for anyone on their entrepreneurial journey: every single one of us will face rejection.
Rejection is an unavoidable part of life for anyone who takes risks and puts themselves out into the world. And entrepreneurs will put themselves out there a lot, whether they are networking at conferences, pitching to investors, or selling their product.
So, if you've faced a lot of rejection or a have a strong fear of it, how will you move past it? Below are four tips for dealing with rejection as a pro and growing in the process.
Expect the best, prepare for the worst
Facing rejection in a poised manner has a lot to do with your state of mind. The next time you have a pitch meeting coming up, practice the mindset that you expect the absolute best to happen. Maybe the investor will love your business proposal and will be immediately interested. However, you will also be okay and see the positive if the meeting does not go well. Not everyone can love your ideas or will feel connected to you as a person. And that's fine — there will be plenty of people who do.
Ask for feedback
If you have been turned down, don't be afraid to ask for feedback from the rejecter. When you do this, most people will respect your grace and upfront attitude and will be happy to help.
Often times, you will find that it is nothing personal about you or your proposal, but it is simply bad timing or a mismatch. On the other hand, you may actually learn something you should improve. Either way, receiving critical feedback will clear your mind and help you move forward for the better.
Learn from your role models
It is important for everyone to have role models and mentors, especially as an entrepreneur. After getting rejected, take time to get advice or vent to a mentor of yours. Every single mentor will be able to relate with a similar experience (and if they say they've never been rejected, they're not being fully honest). Keeping in touch with your network in this manner will be important for improving relationships and your business.
Also take the time to read books, look up quotes, and find inspiration from famous entrepreneurs you admire. Podcasts are one great medium for hearing others' stories and getting motivated.
Take up healthy habits
Finally, take some time to practice self-care and keep up with healthy habits after a rejection. We all like to manage stress in different ways — exercise, meditation, visiting loved ones. It's important to find health-conscious ways to make yourself feel better when you may have been let down. These habits will do good in the long run and keep you motivated to take the next step in your journey.
Want to become a master at handling rejection? Check out Jia Jiang’s 100 Days of Rejection Therapy. Once a day, he asks for a favor with the intention of getting rejected. From requesting a “burger refill” to interviewing Barack Obama, he does it all with the intention of desensitizing himself from the pain of rejection and overcome fear.