Many entrepreneurs don't make it because they get discouraged when they hear the dreaded "no." But when I chatted with Lauren Berger of Intern Queen, I learned a fabulous lesson: NO DOESN'T MEAN NEVER.
While completing a staggering fifteen internships during college, launching her own business in 2009 and publishing two books, Lauren has faced her fair share of challenges. More important, she overcame these hurdles--stronger and more confident than before. From booking speaking engagements to finding a publisher for her book, Lauren learned to be tenacious and unafraid to ask again, no matter how many times she heard "no." Being open to feedback and using it to F.I.O (figure it out), she realized that a closed door means "just not right now." Lauren now partners with some of the most well-known companies in the country and acts as the tenacious, persevering voice speaking on behalf of interns everywhere.
Here are three ways you can stay positive in the face of the dreaded "no."
1. Remind yourself that no is not forever. Just because you might not be getting exactly what you want right now, that doesn't mean it will never happen. Sure, when we hear "no" we may ask "why," but more often than not, we move on. Lauren is a perfect example of "following up on the no"--letting some time pass and trying again. When she hears "no," what she really hears is "not now," and that reframed thinking has helped her close some monster deals. For you: Think about what you want. Get specific, imagine it in pictures and images, and "feel" what it's like in your body. Go out and do the things that will help you get to your goal. Conscious goal-planning can help you achieve what you want--worrying and complaining changes nothing.
2. When you hear a no, step away and remember all the times you've heard YES! We have a tendency as entrepreneurs to be so hard on ourselves--particularly because we spend the day telling the world how wonderful our companies are--and we deal with the reality behind closed doors. It's not just important, it's ESSENTIAL to keep a good attitude. Success almost always takes a little longer than you first expected. Your enthusiasm can wane and blot out the achievements. Use past successes as motivation to take the next step.
3. Surround yourself with positivity. Have you ever tried hanging around a Negative Nellie when you're feeling down? It's absolutely devastating. Stay upbeat by placing yourself in a positive environment with positive people. And if someone you trust is negative after you get a "no," tell them to stop! Use negative events as part of the learning process rather than dwelling on them. Set yourself the goal of thinking a positive thought every morning--remind yourself of it during the day to brush off the bad times.
I learned those three secrets from Lauren on my All The Social Ladies podcast, but I've got one more bonus insight on the big "no."
4. Pay close attention to the WHY. The reason you got the no is important. Perhaps the business you're pitching has changing goals and needs to figure that out first. Perhaps it has less money than you need. Perhaps it's just not great chemistry between you and the decision-maker. When you look at why, and what you can learn from the why, you will be better the next time. Write down the reason for every single rejection and use it to make you stronger!
Have you dealt with a "no" or a "not now" recently? How did you face it? Share in the comments section below.