100 Days of Rejection…

yes_no-is-lifeIt’s January and I am moving along full speed ahead. With this in mind, I decided to download some inspirational podcasts that I could listen to while I am walking. I am training for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day/60 mile breast cancer walk in September, so I have to get moving!

For any of you who are training for an athletic event, you know that good music or podcasts to listen to make the exercise routine fly by. While I was on the TED website, I came across a really interesting talk called, “What I learned from 100 days of rejection,” by Jia Jiang.

This talk really hit home for me. It’s about 15 minutes long and you’ll be hooked from the “get go.” Jia Jiang starts out with a classroom story of when he was 6 years old and learned what rejection felt like. I don’t want to give the entire story away, but rejection is tough and can carry on with us through our adult life.

In order to deal with his fear of rejection, Jiang decided he would find 100 ways of being rejected, so he could deal with his fear “head on.” Some of his stories are really funny. I remember having his “same fear of rejection” and it wasn’t until I started working in sales and got rejected constantly that I realized rejection was not about “me,” but about the situation being rejected, i.e. no budget, no response from advertising, etc.

This could be fun!  Let’s all share a story of a rejection that turned positive.  

I’LL START. The reason I got the job in sales was because the Hiring Manager “rejected” my application for a Managing Editor position. He said I was extremely tenacious and because of my humor I would make a great copy writer. “We’ve already hired someone, Good luck,” he said!

WHAT??  GOOD LUCK??  I wasn’t going down without a fight. Since he was nice enough to compliment me, I took the chance, wrote him back and asked if he’d meet me for an “informational interview.”  HE SAID, “YES.”

At the interview, we talked and he asked me how I was so tenacious. I explained it was my family, but also going to boarding school. Turns out he had gone to boarding school too. So, he said to me, “If you stay on the editorial side, you’ll never make money; however, if you go into Sales you can make a lot of money and I happen to have a sales position available.”

Well, you guessed it!  I decided to try sales. It was a powerful experience. There was “one special day,” where I realized rejection was NOT about me, but the situation. I had been pursuing different customers for advertising. I started thinking I was not cut out for the job, because of no response when I would call, submit proposals, etc.

Then one day, I called a fellow that I had been pursuing and found out he had not called me, because he was in the hospital, he had had a heart attack! This was a game changer for me!  I realized that if customers didn’t get back to me there could be a “valid reason” and not just because they were “tired” of hearing from me. Moral of the story, NEVER assume anything, go by the facts.

The Taming of the Muse (a fellow blogger), shared a good rejection story called, “Opportunities – Sometimes, things have to fall apart so they can fall into place.” 

Like Jiang says, “Rejection, if tackled head on, can turn out to be a good thing!”


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