rejection isn't exclusive to entrepreneurship, but we sure do open ourselves up to it
the first rejection I remember is from when I was 9,and had auditioned for the 'Jakaranda Kinder Koor'. I got a brand new dress for the occasion, and I sang my little heart out while the conductor played piano. I was so excited and optimistic, so when my mom got a call a few days later to say that I had not be selected for the choir, I was devastated. It's very tough for a child to understand rejection, and little did I know that that was only the first of many rejections I would have to face throughout life (and I'm just shy of 30 now, so I am sure there are many more to come).
Rejection does build a thick skin and character though. The next year, I went back and subjected myself to the scrutiny of the choir AGAIN, and got rejected again (lol).
So now, even though it is 20 years later and I still remember the pain of the rejection, I can look back and learn from that, and all the other rejections I have experienced.
1. First things first
You need to allow yourself to mourn the loss of what you thought was ahead.
In 2021, Blooming Goods product line was cut from a major e-tailer due to sales being too slow. I was shattered. My business partner was calm and immediately asked what I had learnt from the experience, I told him 'Nothing, I'm not done crying about it yet.'
Every rejection has a take home lesson if you look for it, but you need to process the emotions first.
2. Get feedback
If at all possible, get feedback from the person or entity that rejected you. If you know why they didn't give you that loan, or list your products, or partner with you on whatever it is you were trying to undertake, you can take steps to improve your chances going forward
Once you know the reasons for the rejection (even if you had to try deduce them yourself if feedback was not given), you can plan ahead.
Perhaps you were barking up the wrong tree and need to look for more suitable partners, or you need to change your offering to be in line with what the market is looking for at that time.
It isn't always easy to embrace change, especially when you worked hard on the original offering (whether it be a service or product or even just a plan), but it is almost guaranteed that at some point you will have to 'pivot' at some point along the journey.
In the words of James Clear; 'Start now, optimise later. Imperfect starts can always be improved. Obsessing over a perfect plan will never take you anywhere on its own.'