Rejection and failure have such a negative connotation these days, that the mere thought of them is often enough to deter even the most determined of people from pursuing entrepreneurship as a career.
However, what many aspiring founders don’t know is that rejection and failure can be some of the best things to happen to you when launching a company.
But if you don’t believe us, then take some advice from Benjamin Chong, who’s a Partner at Right Click Capital, as well as the Director of the Sydney Founder Institute (which is currently accepting applications).
According to Benjamin, early stage entrepreneurs who practice getting rejected can unleash their hidden “hustler”, forcing them to become wiser, more creative, and more resilient.
Read on to learn how to embrace rejection to ensure your survival in the world of entrepreneurship.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Word “No”
As children, we're forced into a mindset where ‘no’ is a bad word. We're taught that we should avoid ‘no’, so whenever we hear it, we receive a negative aftertaste. Because of this, in later life we don't push boundaries or ask for things that are good for building a business.
One of the most important skills an entrepreneur is the ability to articulate what your company is, what it offers, and how it differs from the competition. Whether you’re talking to customers, investors, potential team members, or anyone else who’s given you any attention, being able to describe your startup is essential.
However, the more people you talk to (and when launching and running a startup, there will be MANY people to talk to), the greater number of “no’s” you’ll receive. You’ll have customers who decide not to buy your product, investors who don’t think you’re worth investing in, and talented professionals who don’t want to work for you.
But that’s alright.
Getting rejected is a part of the process.
In fact, getting rejected is an indispensable part of entrepreneurship because it forces you to become better at your job. Which leads to the next point:
Failure Makes You Learn
The most important piece of hustle advice I've learnt is to love and believe in your hustle. Getting over the fear of rejection requires practice, and unless you have a sales job, you'll need to find ways of getting through life with more opportunities to practice constant rejection.
Some of the most important lessons are learned through failure, through getting rejected, through being told that you can’t do something.
Because, just like in weightlifting, having something to push against you forces you to become stronger.
Every time you fall in your mission, you have an opportunity to pick yourself up, reevaluate what went wrong, and try again. But next time you try, you’ll be a little more confident, a little more experienced.
Instead of giving up when someone doesn’t buy your product, get feedback. Ask why they aren’t interested in your product and how it can be enhanced. Then consider ways to apply that feedback to your product to make it more attractive to customers.
Did that investor decide not to invest in your company? Instead of walking away from entrepreneurship altogether, ask them why your company wasn’t good enough for investment. Getting critical feedback, regardless of how harsh it is, is a great way to improve your company and, therefore, make it more likely to attract investors in the future.
Another important lesson that failure teaches entrepreneurs is that:
Only the Tough Survive
As a startup founder, if you’ve been through the effort of combing through your business and being critical of all the aspects, you can go and talk to customers, investors and suppliers and give them a great deal of comfort because you’ve dealt with a lot of issues.
Not only should you learn how to handle criticism of your company from other people, but you should learn how to be critical of your company. Launching and running a company is incredibly difficult, risky, and stressful, so if you don’t have the strength to be brutally honest with yourself and fix what needs to be fixed, you’ll never succeed.
Think about it: if hearing negative comments from others and getting rejected makes you want to quit, do you really think you have what it takes to endure the turbulence and confusion of building a startup from scratch?
As painful as it is to get rejected or to receive harsh feedback of your company, it’s important to keep your perspective intact and remember that these experiences are the ones most conducive to the success of your company.
Entrepreneurship is about taking risks and coming up with solutions, not playing it safe and succumbing to problems. Which means that, as founders, it is your duty to embrace the chaos and to always progress.
Just ask Benjamin Chong:
It is practice and the engagement in a healthy hustle that will help you pick yourself off the ground and trudge forwards.