It is inevitable. Failure. Rejection. Dread. You will face them, often and consistently. Specially if you are a freelance writer or small business owner. More so when you are an entrepreneur with hopes tied into those small milestones that help achieve that final goal that tells you, you are a success!
When I started writing, it took me 60+ rejections and approaches before I found my voice and my way into one publication. I pitched and re pitched and heard nothing back. And the grief was real! Each and every time. I felt like some part of me failed miserably. Finding time to write something and apply anywhere with two kids vying for my attention was hard enough. The stress of not hearing back at all is heart wrenching. Disappointment at not succeeding at the numerous goals we set our eyes upon is hard.
And now as I struggle to find collaborators, connects etc for my initiative, the rejections continue. Even in the form of someone committing but later, not having the time to follow through.
We pitch an idea, and most of the times it is crickets! If we are lucky, we will know the status of our defeat in the form of a rejection. If we are very lucky we will get feedback so we may improve. And when our idea pans out, it is akin to hitting the jackpot!
But what do you do all those times when you are disheartened by the response or lack there of you get to your amazing idea?
Give Yourself Time To Get Over That Icky Feeling
Not a great description but that is what it is. A very real feeling of dread that maybe we are just not good enough. Maybe we aren’t meant to be walking this path. Maybe we will always be one of the many millions who have the pipe dream of making something of their passion.
Give yourself x amount of time to process this. Do something to distract yourself. Go for a drive. Meet up with friends outside this circle of passion. Hug your kids harder. Let your spouse pamper your sadness away. Do something just for yourself. Give yourself time to rejuvenate, away from the rejection.
Assess If It Is Your Idea or Approach That Has Failed.
If you are lucky enough to get feedback, work on it. If you aren’t try mixing your idea and approaches and figure out what it is that isn’t working for you. Remember, none of your rejections are personal. There is no one sitting out there waiting to reject you. Most people in fact are happy to encourage talent that is strong and in pursuit of success. There is always, always a lesson hidden in any sort of rejection. Take time to figure the lesson out. That is your win within the sadness.
Remember This Won’t Matter The Next Day/Month/Year
The only way in which this one rejection matters is when you stop trying. So, sit back down and write the next pitch or email. Keep putting that one foot ahead of the other. Fellow freelance writers/entrepreneurs can attest to the fact how every minute success adds up. Either you will keep at it and succeed or you will fail beautifully and use the lessons you have learned to create something else extraordinary.
And if you have a friend who is going through the above, please understand that entrepreneurship or the life of the arts is a really lonely, turbulent albeit brave journey with many, many obstacles, trials and errors. Specially in today’s online space where opportunities are endless but every connection is like walking down the dark alley unsure of what’s going to happen next.
The most important thing you can do for them is to encourage their talents. Applaud their effort. Let them know you are proud of them for not giving up!
First published on Thrive Global.