Before the Harry Potter series started influencing lives all around the globe, JK Rowling was wondering if her idea of a wizard living in a cupboard under the stairs was really any good. And there were plenty of people who told her it wasn’t! Before her series was published, it was rejected by no less than twelve publication companies. 

Lord of the Flies was rejected twenty times before someone finally agreed to publish it. Gone with the Wind was rejected 38 times. When Louisa May Alcott originally tried to publish Little Women, she was told to “stick to teaching.”

See where I’m going with this? What do you think would have happened if any of those people had given up? What if JK Rowling stopped trying after her twelfth rejection, and didn’t try that thirteenth time? I wouldn’t have had the chance to dress up as Hermione Granger for three consecutive Halloweens, that’s for sure. 

But that fear of rejection can be crippling, can’t it? And as entrepreneurs, you rely on others to help you get your business up and running. You need investors to believe in you. You need your family to support you. So how do we get over that fear? How did Louisa May Alcott find the determination within herself to keep trying, even after she was told to stick to teaching?

Focus On What Matters Most

All too often we place our attention on things that are out of our control while losing sight of what is within our power. When Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit was rejected time and time again, she published the book herself. 

You are in control of your own path. Decide what truly matters to you and pursue it. 

Find Your Sense Of Personal Identity

It’s easy to take it personally when you face rejection. Especially as a business owner, your job is personal. But when you are confident in who you are and what you do, the people who don’t see that or appreciate it won’t matter. Your own passion and belief in yourself is what matters — and others will see that. You just need to be patient. 

Be Kind To Yourself

I always say that anything that comes easily isn’t worth it. Building your business takes work — and with that comes missteps, blunders and the occasional doubt. So whatever step you’re at right now, be kind to yourself. Rejection means you are pushing your limits, and that is to be commended. Don’t give up. Take these moments as opportunities to grow and improve.

If something matters to you, fight for it. Rejection is inevitable for anyone pushing themselves. Whenever someone says they don’t think you can do it, smile and say “watch me.”

by: Emily Brady

Emily Brady received her Bachelors at Brigham Young University Idaho where she majored in Communication Sciences with an emphasis in journalism and professional management. She has written for Scroll News and Deseret Digital Media and is currently a freelance writer. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading and swinging in her hammock.