Rejection Stinks.

Snoopy RejectionOn Sunday I got an email from the Urban Craft Uprising that said:  ”We appreciate all the work you put into your application, but regretfully are unable to offer you a spot at our upcoming summer show.”  Darn it!  That was supposed to be the craft fair where everyone saw my pillows and couldn’t live without one!

I had turned in my application and photos on March 20th and I was, for some reason, pretty confident that I’d get in.  I’d heard a lot of rejection stories, but that didn’t sway my confidence.  Until Sunday, when I checked my email, I saw it there in my inbox, and even before I opened it I knew it was going to say “Thanks but no thanks.”

The funny thing is, when I read the email I wasn’t at all upset.  Well, honestly, my initial thought was Why didn’t they like my pillows??  My pictures were so good!!  But then I was kind of relieved.  Now the pressure to get everything done for that big sale – only two months away – was gone.  Now I would have more time to focus on the other things on my sticky board, like hosting another Art Walk sale on May 8th, improving my Etsy site, and creating a site of my own. I also have a web-site to finish and another to start.  Plus, I will hear back in May if I got into the smaller Urban Craft Market which is part of the Seattle Street Food Festival. I think I might also apply to the Renegade Craft Fair, a new Seattle craft fair happening August.

I’m sure I’ll apply for the Urban Craft Uprising again some day.  But first maybe I should get some smaller shows under my belt. Sure, I would have liked to have been chosen, but I’m totally okay with how things played out.

 A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.

- Bo Bennett

What’s weird is that about two weeks ago I got a different and totally unexpected kind of rejection, and it wrecked me.  After receiving an email inquiry through the contact form on my web design site, I scheduled a phone interview about doing some freelance web work for an on-line marketing company.  It turned out to be a conference call with a couple of guys – the owners – who started by explaining their business, followed by me explaining my process.  However, just a few minutes after I started talking, I could tell they were totally uninterested in working with me.  They wrapped up the call pretty quickly and said they’d be in touch.  What just happened?  I was baffled.

I followed up with an email thanking them for their time and immediately I got a response back that they weren’t interested right now, but that they would keep me in mind if future projects came up that were a better fit.  This time, I was devastated.

I’m pretty confident about my web work and my process, and I was totally confused.  What did I say wrong?  What am I doing wrong?  I didn’t sleep well at all for two nights.  I wrote imaginary emails in my head defending myself and explaining how they must have completely misunderstood me.  I wondered if I should write them back at all.

Soon after I got this brief email newsletter from Tai Lopez:

The tough truth about life is that some things just take time. Most people aren’t strong enough to deal with that fact.

Stay on the rise,

It was exactly what I needed to hear, and it totally turned me around.

Finally I decided to write back and say “Thanks for keeping me in mind if a future need arises” and included a quick blurb about me and my process.  I liked it, and after I sent it off I felt so much better.

The whole experience really made me think about who I am, the type of work I want to do, and what I’m good at.  Just because they didn’t pick me, would I have picked them?  Would I have wanted to work in that type of environment?  Who knows.  But it made me think a lot about what I want, how I present myself, and how I need to own who I am and how I work.  When you’re working for yourself, that is something that takes time and effort and experience.  I need to be patient and to keep the faith.  I need to remember my commandments.

I think another big issue is that to me rejection = no money and I want to make more money.  But making money means doing work I am capable and proud of.  And let’s face it, weather it’s making and selling pillows, or doing freelance web work, I’m still pretty new to all this.  I still have a lot to learn, to develop, and to present well.

Unfortunately I’ve never been a very patient person.

Rejection isn’t failure. Failure is giving up. Everybody gets rejected. It’s how you handle it that determines where you’ll end up.”

- Richard Castle

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