How To Rise Above Rejection

Don’t let the weight of a NO hold you down.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again…but expecting a different result.

Quite true.

So, with that understood and accepted: Should we stop going after something we need in business because we’ve heard no a few times?


It can be tough to bounce back after hearing a no. And especially difficult if it’s happened a few times, and what we’re asking for is important to our business. But we have to.

Here’s the thing – if insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but hoping for a better outcome, than doing the same thing over and over again…but tweaking it just a wee bit, is genius.

Let’s look at how you can bounce back from a no, and keep up the pursuit of your goals.

Why were you asking in the first place?

Start with remembering why you were going after this goal to begin with.

Maybe it’s landing a hot new client. Or getting published. Or snagging a spot on the shelf at your favorite boutique.

Why was that important to you and your business? What’s the impact achieving it will have?

This is your answer to the question you’ll undoubtedly ask yourself when you’ve received that first/third/hundredth no: “Why bother trying again?”  

Try filling in the sentence below:

Because accomplishing ________________________will mean that I can _______________, my business will _______________ and I’m one step closer to ____________________.

See? Far too important to give up now.

What needs to change?

One of the important skills to cultivate in your entrepreneurial toolkit is conducting a lessons-learned analysis on your business. It’s all about continuously improving your actions and results – so that you’re moving towards the genius, rather than the insanity.

Questions to ask:

  • What did I do?

  • What was the result?

  • Why was that the result? (Note: the answer to this isn’t going to be found in placing blame on yourself, or others. Keep it constructive.)

There are lots of reasons why you may have asked for something in the past and received a no, for example:

  • asking the wrong person

  • at the wrong time

  • using the wrong communication tool

  • being inflexible in accepting any changes to what you were asking for

  • asking for too much/too little

  • not listening to what the other person was saying to you

  • accidentally not really asking at all, but getting all wishy-washy and kind of hoping the other person guessed what you wanted (you’d be shocked at how often this is the case!)

The length of your ‘what went wrong’ list may astound you. And that can be overwhelming. But here’s the bright side – the longer this list, the more variables you have to play with in your pursuit of a yes. All is not lost – it’s just temporarily misplaced, and you now have many places you can look.

All is not lost – it’s just temporarily misplaced, and now you know where to look.

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Super A+++ Bonus points

Go back to the person that gave you the no, and ask them for feedback. This takes guts, but can be the quickest path from a no, to a yes in your business. Not sure it will help? Think back to when you’ve interviewed for jobs but haven’t gotten them. Asking the interviewer for a reason why you weren’t a selected candidate gave you something to brush up on for the next time around – whether in your communication skills or your education. You learned. You grew. You landed another job. Same here. Ask, so you can grow.

How to keep going

Now that you have your list of variables, it’s time to start playing with how you’re asking. Put on your chic white lab coat and goggles, and get to work in the laboratory.

Unless it’s based on specific feedback (your A+++ bonus work above) there isn’t necessarily a right, or best place to start.

Trust your gut. If you have a hunch that tweaking one of the aspects of how you’re asking will make a difference, try that one first. 

But resist the temptation to change a whole bunch of things all at once – sure, it may get you the answer you’re looking for…but it won’t be of much use to you in figuring out how to achieve consistent results down the line.

The rhythm you’re after?

Ask -> Tweak -> Ask -> Tweak -> Success!