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In the world of business rejection is inevitable. When it happens it feels like a dagger to your confidence and self-worth. Rejection one hundred times over and over, can cause you to give up on your goals and dreams. It can destroy your desire to be successful and force you into the pit of hopelessness. There is no way to avoid it but you can rise above rejection and build resilience. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, I have faced rejections in many areas of my life. I was rejected from every law school I applied to, rejected from grad school twice, and rejected from hundreds of jobs that I applied to. As an entrepreneur, I sent out several job proposals with absolutely no reply. I got leads for potential clients that felt like chasing a ghost. Over time, I had to force myself to increase my level of resilience. Here are four lessons I learned along the way:
- Do not take rejection personally: When you do not get the job you hoped for or failed to secure a contract with a particular client, do not personalize it. When we focus on a missed opportunity, rejections or negative situations, it drains our energy. Rather than viewing NO as a rejection see it as the Next Opportunity. Opportunities do not come just because we want it to. It comes when we are prepared and ready to receive it. You have to learn how to separate rejection from your business and who we are as an individual. If you internalize rejection, you will end up in a cycle of self-doubt. It is essential to guard your self-confidence so that the best of you and your business can shine. You need to find clients who are eager and willing to do business with you because they will value what you have to offer. You never know how strong your business is unless it has faced rejection. This is the only way to know if your business can stand the test of time and survive through economic hardship.
- Adapt the mindset of a champion: Be willing to stay on your chosen path regardless of how many times you fail. Success in business does not happen overnight. It takes years of discipline, hard work and sacrifice. Similar to athletes, to be a champion, you must practice what you do, take time to develop your skills and talents in order to improve how you perform. Be willing to incorporate innovative ways to serve your customers. Focus on things that are going well with your business and explore ways to expand. Champions always evolve and refuse to be stagnant. They expect good things to happen and remain optimistic. They have a high level of resilience and self-motivation. True champions keep honing their craft and keep pushing forward!
- Explore alternative routes to reach your goals: There are several ways to reach your goals. If plan A does not work re-route and go to plan B. Do not get side tracked or bogged down in the weeds. Life will throw you challenges that can easily take you off track. It is imperative that you must keep your eyes on your destination to reach your business goals. No matter what route you take there is a lesson to learn which can help you become more resilient.
- Choose your battles wisely: Do not take on every battle in business. Be selective on what battles you choose to fight. You must know when to take risk, move on or keep plugging away. It is important to preserve your energy so that you can dedicate your time to things that are important to you. When you worry about things you cannot control it weakens your faith in your ability to be successful and causes you to feel powerless. As an entrepreneur, you need to feel empowered and confident to deliver your product or service at an optimum level.
To build resilience in business you have to commit to being successful. You cannot allow negative circumstances or rejection to dictate your outcome. Rejection tests your faith, courage and strength. When you face rejection, you cannot dwell on it. Stay in preparation mode and expect great things to happen. You must believe that after knocking on various doors one must open. However, the doors to success can only open when you are prepared – when “preparation meets opportunity.”
Resilient people identify ways to make the greatest impact or influence. Resilient people take action, face their fears and eagerly take on challenges. They know their limits and stay within it. They strive for excellence in all they do. They believe without a shadow of doubt that giving up is not an option. Success in business is dependent on your level of resilience but it can only be attained through rising above rejection.
Stacey Berry is the founder and CEO of Bstellar Consulting Group, which provides soft skills and community development workshops. Stacey helps her clients connect to their inner confidence and inspires them to IGNITE their Inner Essence. Her company also provides consulting services in public relations and event management for non-profit and private companies.