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Published:October 23rd, 2007 09:45 EST
Rejected!  Next?

Rejected! Next?

By Simon Bailey (Mentor/Columnist)

I recently submitted one of my success guides to an international company for distribution. A few weeks later, a “Dear John” letter arrived in my mailbox. It stated: “After careful review of the information submitted, it has been decided that our distribution enterprise WILL NOT be accepting your success guide.” The letter closed with, “All the best wishes for your success!”

That letter arrived not long after I received a rejection email from another major international distributor. The email said in part, “Simon, we will not pursue carrying your success book. It is not strong enough. Thank you for sharing it with us. Continued success!”

Why was my book rejected? Apparently because my material wasn’t a fit with their product lines. Or perhaps they had more than their share of success guides. What’s ironic to me is their closing salutations – they wished me SUCCESS! How funny is that?

In the past, I would have looked at these responses and crumbled. I might have even given up and thought, “All that work down the drain!”

Instead, I answered the email rejection with an email of my own: “This is brilliant news! I am so excited. WOW! Stay Brilliant…Simon T Bailey.”

No, I wasn’t being sarcastic; I was being sincere. Now I celebrate rejection. I take the energy of rejection and flip it – like buying and flipping a house. I reframe it and see it as a gift, a blessing in disguise. My rejecters did me a favor – they saved me time, energy and money.

So what has happened to change my perspective? How can I be so positive and passionate about rejection? Well, there are a number of reasons, but mostly it’s that I’ve experienced rejection – and then success – firsthand. In fact, I have an advanced degree in Rejectionology. This is a word I coined to describe the art of bouncing back from disappointment, setbacks and non-acceptance.

If you’re a regular Brilliant Carat reader, then you know that I am fascinated by etymology – the history of words. According to the Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, the word reject, a verb, first appeared in 1415 and means “to cast out, dismiss, refuse to recognize.” It can be traced back to a Latin word that means “to throw back.” After I read that, my heart began to race. I realized that all of my life, at some level, I’ve felt like a throw back, a cast out – dismissed from the inner circle. And yet, I’ve learned to bounce back.

I’ve discovered that every rejection is one step closer to an acceptance. I self-published my book Release Your Brilliance over two years ago. Since then, I’ve presented it to numerous agents, publishers and distributors, and I’ve experienced mostly rejection. But do you know what I found out? It only takes one…one person or organization to believe, one person or organization to catch the vision. I was blessed to find two! My brilliant agent, Dupree/Miller & Associates, and my brilliant editor at HarperCollins Publishing have both caught the vision of Releasing Brilliance. I am honored to share with you, my Brilliant Carat readers, that a new and revised hardcover edition of Release Your Brilliance will be in bookstores nationwide on January 1, 2008!

So every time my success guide is rejected, I know I’m that much closer to finding “the one” who will accept it. Several corporate clients have already ordered hundreds of copies of the guide, and at a recent convention for an international organization where I spoke on the topic of success, the bookstore sold out of it. Is this bragging? Maybe. Or is it Rejectionology at its best? You decide. Rejectionology focuses on the yeses and rejects the noes. I seek out those who “get” me and lovingly dismiss the rest. That’s right – I reject the rejecters!

As fate would have it, I’ve been reading a new book by Donald Trump and Bill Zanker (founder of the Learning Annex) called Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life. Provocative title, isn’t it? (If you’re offended by the title, relax. Remember, you can eat the meat and spit out the bones!) Friends, get this book! It’s a must read. This is what Donald writes on page 27: “If you want to be a success, you have to get used to frequently hearing the word no and ignoring it. 98% of adults are conditioned to stop when they hear the word no. If you want to be in the top 2%, you have to get real. Do not let somebody’s arbitrary no stop you. Find a creative way to sidestep the no.”

I may have found a way to sidestep the noes for my success guide. Because my response to the email rejection was positive, another party who was copied on the email sent me a note saying, “Let me check with the online department of our distribution company and get back to you.” I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but what will I do if they reject me? Keep looking for the yes. That is my advice to you…keep looking for the yes.

I realize that many of you already know how to deal with rejection. In fact, some of you likely also have an advanced degree in Rejectionology. Today’s Brilliant Carat is for those of you who feel that you’ve been thrown away, thrown back, cast off and written off. Things haven’t worked out the way you expected they would. You’re discouraged, dismayed and dejected because you’ve been rejected.

Understand that not everyone is going to “get” you. There will be many people – too many people – who won’t see or recognize your brilliance. There will be people who will reject your genius and ignore your potential. There will be people who will not accept your love or your wisdom. Many will say, “No.” Get your noes out of the way and find your one yes!

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m inviting you to step out on faith. Move forward with your proposal. Request the raise or the promotion you deserve. Ask that certain someone to lunch. Try to sell your invention. Pitch your new idea.

Become a student of Rejectionology and discover for yourself the sweetness of acceptance after rejection:

  • Dare to be rejected.

  • Own your rejection and reframe it.

  • Look for creative ways to sidestep the noes.

Now, when I put myself out there, I think, “Reject me, baby! Tell me ‘No.’ Cast me off and kick me to the curb. I relish it!” In the words of the Terminator, I say, “I’ll be back.”

What about you? When you inevitably experience rejection, will you be defeated or will you bounce back?

Simon Believes…“No” is an invitation to grow.

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