Nobody likes rejection. In fact, most people go out of their way to avoid it, sometimes at the cost of their own success and happiness. Instead of risking a rejection from the job they really want, they’ll stay at the job that just pays the bills and doesn’t have much chance for upward mobility. Instead of taking the plunge and starting their own business, they’ll make excuses and stay where they are, all because they’re afraid that someone will say, “No.”
That’s one of the reasons Daymond has a huge amount of respect for all of the people who show up and make pitches on Shark Tank. Some of them aren’t ready for funding, and some of them have some of the weirdest ideas for products that he’s ever heard of. The thing is, though, not one of them is afraid of rejection. They all know that when they go on the show, the Sharks are going to break down and analyze every single part of their business model, and they know there’s no guarantee that the Sharks won’t all pass.
That’s the kind of courage that Daymond looks for in entrepreneurs. He looks for people who (in addition to doing their homework) aren’t afraid of rejection and are willing to put in the time and energy into making a project work. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to suck it up and just forget about your fear of rejection. For a lot of people, that’s like asking them to forget that they’re afraid of heights or spiders — it’s not going to happen. But what if we could help you change your perspective? What if you could see that rejection is sometimes the best thing that can happen to you?
REJECTION AS CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
First of all, whenever Daymond rejects a pitch, he tries to give solid reasons for passing on it. Savvy entrepreneurs will listen to what he tells them about why they aren’t ready. Then they’ll take that information and use it to revamp their business plan and pitch it again later. Daymond has made more than one investment on Shark Tank when entrepreneurs came back and re-pitched ideas that he’d originally passed on.
REJECTION CAN BE MOTIVATING
Next, before you pitch an idea to an investor, try some practice rejections. That sounds kind of crazy, but let me explain. Go to people you respect who know your business and ask them what they think of your idea. Pitch it to them and see if they can come up with reasons to reject it. Chances are pretty good that they’ll come up with more than a few reasons to shoot your project down, but that should just be good motivation to improve your pitch and fine-tune your idea.
REJECTION KEEPS YOU ON YOUR TOES
And here’s another great reason to embrace rejection. According to Andy Grove, the CEO of Intel, “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure.” In other words, if you’re not pushing yourself to the point where you’re getting rejections on one level or another, you’re going to end up feeling like you can’t fail. You’ll think you can just throw money and people at your problems, but then you’ll end up with a problem that can’t be fixed that way.
Getting rejected can be the best thing for you when you need to keep moving, innovating and improving. Just like being broke keeps you from spending unnecessary cash, getting rejected keeps you on your toes and moving forward. Embrace it, and you’ll be on the road to success.