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,
Tai
Tailopez.com

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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