Why a kick in the balls is a good thing

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I got a rejection this week from a literary agent. Not just a casual ‘not for me’, a fully fledged ‘not funny and don’t like your literary persona’. In other words I received a metaphorical kick in the balls

My initial reaction was my standard one. I had a period where my thinking went on the full assault. “My book is rubbish, its not going to work, it’s a waste of time’ blah blah blah. This was accompanied by a sulky disposition.

Then it cleared and I had a new insight that I wanted to share with you

Rejection is nothing more than an indicator that I am in action. I am taking ideas out there and making a difference. My value is not determined by the opinion of one person but by the feedback of many.

All the negative association around rejection is hard coded in us and it used to be pretty useful. Humans are social animals. If I annoyed someone and got kicked out of the tribe, it was unlikely I would survive long alone and would probably get eaten by a Tiger. As a result we avoided situations that could result in rejection. These days there aren’t so many dangerous animals wandering around our shopping malls and we are more than capable of surviving with out everyone loving us.

In business rejection takes many forms. It exists in the sales process but also when it comes to losing customers,failed marketing, team members leaving or suppliers stopping working with you. My conversion rate from appointment to client was about 1 in 8. That means for every client I gained there were seven others who decided not to work with me. That’s a pretty hefty rejection rate (not quite as bad as my dating tally but not a million miles away).

So my question for you is how much rejection do you need to process for your business to be successful? Get yourselves out there, shake things up and get more No’s under your belt.

PS My ex-wife used to work for a major publisher. One day she met a commissioning editor who told her about an author that came in to see her. He read her book and rejected it, telling her flatly ‘Kids are not interested in wizards’. You can guess the rest

Have a great week