How To Handle Rejection As An Entrepreneur

Featured | Mature businessman in gray suit in the office | How To Handle Rejection As An Entrepreneur
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The key to success, especially in business, is knowing how to handle rejection. Here’s how you can deal with rejection and even turn it into a tool to improve your business.

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In this article:

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  1. Find Your Grit
  2. Support System
  3. Read About Other People’s Success Stories
  4. Get Rejected
  5. Don’t Take It Personally
  6. Rejection In Business Isn’t Always Permanent
  7. Listen Carefully (Know Why You Were Rejected)
  8. Identify Areas Of Improvement
  9. The Buoyancy Principle
  10. Remember Your Victories
  11. Confidence Poses

11 Tips On How To Handle Rejection Like A Pro

1. Find Your Grit

Grit is the passion and perseverance to continue pursuing your goals regardless of challenges, failures, and setbacks. In other words, grit is mental toughness.

The first step in handling rejection is continuously searching for motivation, especially in the face of constant “no’s.” Having grit translates to having a growth mindset that takes advantage of those “no’s” and using them as part of your learning experience.

In fact, successful entrepreneurs know that only those willing to dig deep have a chance at real success. They put in the necessary work to reach the level of success they want.

2. Support System

People Meeting Seminar Office Concept | How To Handle Rejection As An Entrepreneur

Starting a business can take its toll on your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Because of this, it’s important to maintain a strong, healthy relationship with your family and friends who will act as your support system.

Constant feelings of rejection tend to fuel negative emotions, making it hard to remember why you are doing what you’re doing in the first place. Having people in your life who will push you to fight on despite the challenges you face can help you persevere towards your goals.

As much as possible, avoid naysayers who tell you to “be realistic” about your aspirations. They are confidence vacuums who suck the drive and motivation out of you.

Instead, surround yourself with friends and family who will encourage you to dream big and chase after those dreams. Talk to them in times of doubt and you’ll get that much-needed boost in confidence you need.

3. Read About Other People’s Success Stories

Learn from successful entrepreneurs. A lot of them have inspiring stories that show exactly how valuable grit is to stay and succeed in the game.

For example, EL James, renowned author of 50 Shades of Grey, has now published and sold over 150 million copies of her book. Before that, however, she was rejected by numerous publishers until she decided to self-publish and sell 250,000 copies.

Barack Obama was also told to wait his turn by almost every figure he admired back in 2008. Still, he persevered and became one of the most influential presidents of the US.

The success story of other people can give you an insight not just on the specific techniques they use or the habits they have. Their stories show the kind of mentality it takes to deal with rejection to achieve success.

Social media is a great avenue for you to meet and talk with other entrepreneurs if you don’t know any. They will most likely have faced similar challenges in the past and will know how to deal with rejection best.

4. Get Rejected

One of the fastest ways to learn how to handle rejection is simply to get rejected. Getting over your fear of rejection entails facing it head-on.

Eventually, constant exposure to it will desensitize you from the discouragement that often goes with rejection. It will no longer affect your psyche the way it used to.

Instead, you’ll grow stronger and also start to see “no” as an opportunity to learn.

5. Don’t Take It Personally

Sad Asian businessman losing job, depressed employee | How To Handle Rejection As An Entrepreneur

A big part of understanding how to handle rejection is knowing how to take it with the right perspective. As much as the rejection may have caused you pain, it can still be turned into a good thing.

Keep in mind that when your prospects say “no,” they’re not rejecting you. They’re only rejecting your offer.

You might think that the service or product you’re offering is part of you. To your prospect, however, it’s not.

From a business perspective, perhaps they simply don’t need what you are offering. It’s also possible, they find the product or service too expensive.

In those cases, you’d be better off when they decline your offer instead of leading you on.

It’s also possible they only think they can’t afford or don’t need what you’re offering. If so, then it is up to you to convince them otherwise.

6. Rejection In Business Isn’t Always Permanent

Remember that in business, rejection is not necessarily permanent. Just because your prospect didn’t take your offer today doesn’t mean they still won’t tomorrow.

The conversation doesn’t always have to end after a “no.” With a growth mindset, you should focus on knowing what you need to do to get a “yes.”

Perhaps the prospect thinks it’s not yet the right time. Maybe they have an objection you need to ask about.

In dealing with rejection, it’s important to develop patience and know how to ask good questions. These are the keys to finding out what conditions you need to meet for your prospects to accept your offer in the future.

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7. Listen Carefully (Know Why You Were Rejected)

The best way to approach rejection is to take the reasons behind the “no” as constructive criticism.

Talk to your prospects. Ask questions, listen, and know exactly why you were rejected.

Instead of focusing on the feelings of rejection, why not take a more proactive approach towards it?

It’s actually beneficial for you to take a more direct approach and ask them why they are rejecting your offer. This should help you figure out the next step in your process.

Knowing the reason behind the rejection should give you an idea about what you need to do next. With this in mind, you’re more likely to win in the future.

8. Identify Areas Of Improvement

Two businessmen discussing ideas written on sticky notes | How To Handle Rejection As An Entrepreneur

One of the best ways to deal with rejection is to make sure you are in control of the situation. Instead of believing that things were beyond your control, try identifying areas where you could have had a better approach towards the sale.

Chances are, you could have done something to have gotten a more favorable result.

Perhaps you failed to anticipate objections your prospect made. Maybe you didn’t ask the right questions.

Approach the situation with this in mind and you will become more confident the next time you make a pitch. This increases the chances of you closing the deal next time.

9. The Buoyancy Principle

Buoyancy lets a person persevere despite facing constant and numerous types of rejection. It lets you keep on going despite hearing “no” over and over again.

Buoyancy is key if you want to succeed in influencing other people. One of the main factors of buoyancy is interrogative or negative self-talk.

The principle of interrogative or negative self-talk says that instead of the usual advice of always saying, “I can do this,” you can instead say or ask, “Can I do this?” While this seems counter-productive, it can actually be more effective.

Framing your self-talk as questions demands answers. To answer them, you’d have to formulate concrete strategies to make sure they succeed.

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They allow you to anticipate objections your prospects may make and prepare you in case they come.

10. Remember Your Victories

Constantly hearing the word “no” can easily make a person drown in negative thoughts and emotional pain. Instead of focusing on them, why not focus on all the times you heard “yes?”

In the sales industry, hearing the word “no” is inevitable. Nevertheless, you can still make it easier to deal with the feelings of rejection.

Focusing on your victories lets you put a perspective on things. It helps you realize that rejections aren’t permanent, helping you stay motivated at times you need them most.

11. Confidence Poses

Finally, another key aspect in knowing how to deal with rejection involves knowing how to not allow it to eat at your confidence. This is where “power poses” come in handy.

Body language actually influences how you feel about yourself. In fact, studies show that smiling can actually make you feel happier.

The same goes with confidence poses. They, too, have the ability to make you feel more confident.

The next time you’re going on a meeting with a prospect, spend 10 to 15 minutes doing confidence poses. You’ll boost your confidence and maybe even avoid getting rejected in the. first place.

A lot of successful entrepreneurs has faced that dreaded “no” at some point in their careers. The key, however, is knowing how to handle rejection and turning it into something positive to motivate you to keep going in spite of anything life throws at you.

Do you have other tips on how to handle rejection? Share them with us in the comments section below!


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