February 9th, 2011 10:44 EST
5 Tips to Help You Bounce Back After Rejection
I recently submitted a proposal to an organization to work with them, and the person in charge rejected it. They 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 really believe there is an audience for what you have to offer." Okay, stop the press, I had just 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 ballroom to dance with him and she gave him the h-e "double hockey stick" - NO stare. In other words, there`s not a chance. Then after musing on it for a little bit, I decided to ping out a message to my Facebook followers and Twitter tweeps (peeps who follow you on Twitter) that said "I was just rejected by a major organization. Yeah!!! They did me a favor. Vuja de baby!" I let my fingers do the talking but deep in my head and my heart I was royally pissed off. Can you relate?
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 FB friend (Norm Hull) who asked "what did you learn from their decision to go another direction?" I got quiet and started reading and 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 often 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 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. Bill Taylor, author of Practically Radical, says "We are living in the age of disruption. You can`t do big things if you are content with doing things a little better than everyone else."
Ask for help - Stop trying to do everything by yourself. The days of being a one man band are over. The moment I told my FB acquaintances that I had been rejected, I received a ton of IM`s (instant messages) from people asking what they could do to help. Encoded in the DNA of every rational human being is a desire to help someone. When you help someone, you pay it forward. Every deed you do has a boomerang effect. 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.
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