In the beginning, I felt like my entire job was to send out emails in order to get a “Thanks, but no thanks” response in return. And, as if that wasn’t disheartening enough, if I didn’t receive a rejection email straight away, I was instead met with plain ol’ radio silence. Honestly, I think I’d actually prefer the rejection email.
Rejection sucks. I know you don’t need me to be the one to tell you that. We’ve all experienced it. And, no matter how many times you need to go through it, it unfortunately doesn’t get any easier.
The toughest part? Bouncing back. When I was trying to get my freelance business off the ground, I reached a point when it literally took every ounce of motivation I had in this body of mine to send out just one. more. email.
But, I did it. And, boy, am I glad I did—that perseverance truly does pay off in the end. So, today I thought I’d share a few of the tips and tricks I used to stay motivated when I was dealing with rejection email after rejection email from potential clients.
I know, this is that mooshy, inspirational advice you’re probably rolling your eyes at and brushing off as totally unhelpful. But, when you’re facing bad news after bad news, it’s human nature to zone in on only that. You start missing the forest for the trees.
So, it’s important to remember that those discouraging messages are really only a piece of the puzzle. Keep your end goal in mind and remind yourself that these are necessary stepping stones to reach that objective. You don’t need every single opportunity to work out—you just need one. So, keep going.
Well, this alone sounds discouraging, doesn’t it? But, it’s a good way to approach things with a decent balance of optimism and realism.
Of course, you want to hope for the best when putting yourself out there for a new opportunity. But, you shouldn’t anticipate it. Instead, you should prepare for a big, fat “no”. Why? Well, if you don’t end up landing that gig, it won’t be as traumatic of a shock to you. And, if you actually manage to get it? Success is even sweeter.
Nothing will kick your motivation into high gear like a deadline. And, a firm end date doesn’t need to be dictated by someone else. These can definitely be self-imposed.
So, when I was actively hunting for freelance work, I would set goals and deadlines for myself. For example, I would outline something like, “Pitch 10 new outlets by the end of this week.” It didn’t decrease the amount of rejections I was facing. But, it kept me moving forward—I wanted to at least fulfill that criteria. After all, it was one of the very few things that was actually within my control.
Sometimes it all gets to be too much. That doesn’t make you weak—it makes you human. All of us can only face so much rejection before we’re at our breaking point. So, it’s then that you just need to walk away for a bit. Step back and do something you enjoy. That way, you can recharge your batteries and come back to your project with a refreshed attitude and renewed outlook.
Staying motivated after being rejected is tough for anyone. How do you manage?
Until next time!