Blog with Joel Brookman

Refuse to Accept Rejection

I want to share a story about a single mother that refused to accept rejection. She was living on government assistance, barely able to maintain a roof over her head. She had typed a 320 page manuscript for a children’s book. Since she didn’t even have enough money to pay for photocopies, she painstakingly re-typed all 320 pages every time she submitted it to a publisher. One publisher after another rejected her book. “Too long.” “Written for the wrong audience.” “Children’s books don’t make money.” Twelve submissions, twelve rejections. Then, the chairman of a small publishing house handed the first three chapters of the manuscript to his eight-year old daughter. She demanded more. That manuscript, and its series, became the fastest selling publication in history, generating billions of dollars and catapulting that writer into one of the wealthiest women in the UK. Who is she? J.K. Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter franchise.

At a Harvard commencement address in 2008, Rowling explained why she continued to seek out publishers after so many rejections: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all. In which case, you’ve failed by default.”

Most people have a tremendous fear of rejection. Any successful, self-made person has dealt with rejection. The ability to persist and move beyond it is what separates the successful from everyone else. You will not succeed until you push beyond your fears of rejection.

If there is one thing I ‘ve learned it is that not everyone has to buy what you are selling. You just need to find those that resonate with you or your product. Once you accept this you quickly realize that it’s a numbers game. The more people you get in front of, the higher the probability you have of finding that resonance. This is where persistence comes in. Instead of becoming demoralized and giving up because of rejection, chose to persist and move beyond the rejection. As you move past the fear, you will be willing to try more often. As you try more often, your skills improve and your confidence increases. Since people are attracted to confidence, it fuels your success.

In the end, the regret of not following your dreams is far worse than any potential rejection. Refuse to accept rejection.

Posted by Joel Brookman in rejection, Self improvement and tagged .


Join the discussion by commenting below!