Rejection – 5 Tips to Shift and Bounce Back
I recently submitted a proposal to do business with an organization, and the person in charge rejected it.
The company sent me a “Dear John” e-mail that basically said, “You are a nice guy, and we think you have
a nice product, but we do not see the potential or believe there is an audience for what you have to offer.”
Okay—stop the press. I put all of my eggs in this one basket and crossed my fingers and toes, hoping that
they would say yes. Instead it was a profound, “No!”
When I read the e-mail, I felt like the dejected guy at my high school prom who asked the prettiest girl in
the room to dance with him, and she gave him the “h-e double-hockey-stick” NO stare. In other words, I
felt like I didn’t have a chance.
Then, I decided to take a dose of my own medicine and let it go. What led me to this SHIFT was a question
from a friend who asked, “What did you learn from their decision to go another direction?”
I got quiet and started reading, and I came across this quote by Bill Bradley – “Don’t make today’s loss the
enemy of tomorrow’s victory.”
Here are the five tips that helped me Vuja de (flip it and see it differently) this situation.
Put the shoe on the other foot – You’ve likely heard the phrase, “It’s not personal; it’s just business.” The
person making the decision is not a bad person. They are just a person who made a business decision on
behalf of the organization that gives them a paycheck. My product didn’t align with their strategic
objectives, and they wanted to invest their dollars elsewhere.
Catch and Release – When I met with them 45 days prior to giving my written proposal, they were all
gung ho, and everything was right with the world. My product had caught their attention, but it didn’t
capture their heart. When you don’t have the head and heart of the decision maker, the hands will not
sign the check. The next best thing to do was to release them to their destiny by wishing them well and
thanking them for their interest. We didn’t belong together. Bless them, and release them because
something better is around the corner.
Be a Multi-Dimensional Thinker – Many times we can take a linear approach in matters of business. One-
size-fits-all, put all of your eggs in one basket, sit by the phone and wait for the call, hope and pray that
the best will happen. However, MDT’s (Multi-Dimensional Thinkers) work all the angles. Ask all of the
questions, have plan B, C, and D. Do a 360-degree assessment of the potential outcome instead of settling
for a 45-degree perspective.
Practice Vuja de – Cynthia Barton Rabe, a proponent of zero-gravity thinking, says: “What we know limits
what we can imagine.” That is so powerful. Just think about it for a moment. If you always see things the
same way, then very rarely can you be open to seeing the new in the old and old in the new.
Ask for help – Stop trying to do everything by yourself. The days of being a one man band are over. In
turn, help see how you can help others. Both asking for help and lending a hand to someone else makes
us feel supported and empowered. Malcolm S. Forbes said, “You can easily judge the character of others
by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.”
Rejection is one of the greatest gifts one can ever receive. It becomes your friend not your foe, rejection
becomes an invitation to grow.