Get Rejected Faster

So many people are scared of getting rejected in business.

I get it.

But the fear of rejection comes from the idea that there’s a way to move through this world without being rejected which isn’t true. What’s really going on in those cases is that the people have figured out only how to delay the inevitable rejection and make it more painful for everyone. This is often a case of collapsing.

Imagine you romantically like someone but, rather than telling them and making it clear at some point early on in the proceedings, your fear of rejection highjacks you and you pretend that all you want is to be their friend. And so you pine away and suffer in their presence until one day you finally speak up and… are either rejected or embraced. The rejection (or embrace) was coming anyway. You were only delaying it.

The strategy to delay rejection is all about being neutral.

It’s about evoking a maybe response from people. We never ask for the business so they can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. We never really put out our point of view so we’re always seen as a ‘maybe’ candidate but no one ever hires us. We live in the land of fuzziness but what we don’t see is the cost of this. What we don’t see is that people might actually be rejecting us for our mediocrity. The idea that you can be everything to everyone is a myth. There are those who won’t like you because you’re such a generalist. There’s no way to win the entire marketplace. And so, given that there’s no way to avoid being rejected, given its inevitability…

I recommend the fine art of getting rejected faster.

10891943_10155030148285195_5263621552349272916_nTo be clear, I’m not suggesting your court rejection or seek it out.

But I am suggesting that you take risks that could result in your being rejected.

This means seeing marketing not as being about convincing anyone to say ‘yes’ to you but rather about filtering people out as efficiently and artfully as possible.

In practical terms, this could look like many things.

It could mean that, you start off your cold calls by cutting right to the chase of the problem you help people solve to see if they’re needing help at all.

It could mean that you get really clear about your point of view and clearly communicate it in all of your marketing material.

It could mean tightening up your home page so that people who aren’t a fit leave faster and stop wasting your time.

It could mean being much clearer about what it looks like to work with you.

It could mean creating an Are You Sure? Page that people visit after your sales page so that anyone who isn’t a fit doesn’t sign up.

It could mean letting loose and writing a really good rant.

It could mean saying to someone, “You know… I think I might be able to help you with this issue. Would you be open to hiring me?” and seeing what kinds of conversations it opens or closes.

It likely means getting clearer about your niche.

And it always means being vulnerable. It means having your outcome being to get to the truth of if it’s a fit as directly as possible.

Here’s what else getting rejected faster means.

Less wasted time.

Less suffering.

The end of ‘hope’ being used as a drug as you convince yourself that ‘there’s so much potential business in the pipeline’.

Time freed up to find and work with people who are a better fit.



About Tad

  • Hi Tad, excellent post. Did you know there is actually a ‘rejection game cards deck’? A friend of mine bought it, and supposedly it’s quite hilarious.

    I also remember reading this in a book by Melody Beatty (I think) (it was the ‘Dance of Fear’ but not sure). There was a man, who was so afraid of being rejected, he never asked a girl out (at all). He went to see a therapist (the author, in this case) and she said something like: “how many times did you get rejected at all?” He said: “not a lot, because I never take the risk.’ She suggested he’d go to the mall and to start asking women out on a date. Not just any kind of woman, but really women he liked. And he couldn’t come back to therapy until he had 75 rejections in his pocket. Months later he came back saying he did not succeed. He was rejected a lot too but had stopped counting the amount of times he actually got a yes. He did not manage to get to the 75. I remember the author described that this cannot be ‘therapy’ for everyone – someone needs to have at least a little resilience – and needs to like the game part of the deal too. I found that idea uplifting. It’s confronting but challenging too.

  • I love this post, Tad! I found myself resisting the post for a bit, falling into the “please accept me” trap that says I want everyone to like my work and offers, and I want everyone to buy. Well – reality check – that’s not possible or even desirable. Thank you for the bucket of ice water. I needed it!

  • I was going to mention Rejection Therapy also.

    In addition to what OdinProductions mentioned, there is this guy, Jia Jiang, who put it into action and turned it into a very interesting YouTube channel and ultimately a book.

    I know you’re not necessarily recommending courting rejection so aggressively, but it is kind of fun and inspiring to see what Jia Jiang did. And as in the story OdinProductions shared, he ended up getting way more yeses than he thought he would and some of them were very moving, went viral, and surprised him about how giving people could be.

  • James Zakaria

    Yes, Tad I understand rejection therapy works but it’s like getting a steak after one hour of waterboarding torture. Okay I will make those calls, painful as it is :)

  • Thank you for this article. I totally don’t mind being rejected, because it means I don’t have to live up to expectations I cannot meet, which makes my life so much easier. Also, getting rejected faster can also mean to clean up your subscriber list. What’s the point in keeping people on the list, who haven’t opened your emails the last 20 times? They are obviously not that into me, so that’s when I start to reject them ;)