Okay I know.
Nobody likes being rejected. No one wakes up in the morning saying, "I would love to hear plenty of no's today!" I get it. This article isn't actually about loving rejection (though I get to that a little later). It's about not being afraid of it.
Lately, I've been hearing the word "hustler" a lot. I've heard various entrepreneurs, go-getters and myself described as a "hustler." Hustlers are successful, I'm told. Gary Vaynerchuk's newsletter is called the "Hustler's Digest." If you want to run a business, you have to hustle. In fact, if you want to do anything with some modicum of success, you have to hustle.
What do hustlers do? They go through life in constant motion. They achieve their goals through forceful persuasion. They don't give up. And most importantly, they're never afraid of being rejected. The word "no," while unpleasant to hear, is not a dead end. It's like debris on a road. It might take some time to clear or you might have to take another path, but the destination never changes. In the mind of a hustler, a "no" is always "no for now."
That's exactly what venture capitalist Alan Patricof is thinking when he has to say no every year to the hundreds of companies pitching him. He tries to do it in the kindest way as he details in the video below.
Is that kindness out of the goodness of his heart? Yes. Is there another motive? Absolutely. As Patricof would attest, you rarely close the door fully on anyone. You never know when someone's idea will matter in a few months or years time. You never know the person you rejected may be the one you need further down the line. You never know when a "no" becomes a "yes".
So what if you are good at handling rejection? Does that mean you necessarily love it? How could anyone love such a thing?
You would if you read this next part carefully.
Rejection is a necessary part of success. Nobody is immune to it. In fact, rejection feeds success. I've never met one single person who's become incredibly successful without a chip on his or her shoulder, carved there in time through a series of slights, rejections and dare I say, insults.
I'll never forget my talk with one of the most successful women writers in the country, who told me her bathroom wall was once wallpapered with all the rejection letters she received from book publishers. She used that to fuel her writing. The same for so many other people I've spoken to through the years--millionaires and billionaires who are constantly being rejected and who then use that to power them to a higher level.
This is no different than that classic saying: turn lemons into lemonade. And who doesn't love that?