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How Entrepreneurs Can Handle Rejection: A Writer's Perspective

Guest blogger Marianna Ashley shares tips for entrepreneurs on how to handle rejection:

entrepreneur rejection


How Entrepreneurs Can Handle Rejection:
A Writer's Perspective

As a writer, I'm very familiar with the idea of rejection. In fact, we writers are so familiar and obsessed with rejection that we can't stop talking about it amongst ourselves. We compare rejections of our manuscripts. We send links to reviews that pan our work. We share emails that editors have sent us about our poor word choice. Sure, we have a good bit of success too, but that doesn't mean we don't ignore rejection.

I thought I might share some common responses to rejection that writers use to get over rejection; I think such a list could be useful for entrepreneurs and small business owners as they strive to achieve their dreams. I imagine that there are more similarities between entrepreneurs and writers than we'd initially suspect, so I hope this list can be of some use to you in dealing with your own failures and rejections.

Fail Better

A popular quotation among writers comes from the famous Irish author and playwright Samuel Beckett, who once wrote in a play the following lines,

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

From this quotation, authors gain inspiration to continue to try, because through trying we can 'fail better.' The idea here is that it is the act of 'trying' that makes us successful as writers, for it is extremely hard for writers to create perfect art.

I believe this quotation could be useful to entrepreneurs because it reminds you to continue to try and try again, no matter the failures you encounter along the way. You learn from your failures, and you become better at failing, until one day you succeed!

Keep in Mind that Rejection Isn't Personal

In the world of writing, it is common to receive many from a form or boilerplate letters of rejection. These letters hardly reject writers as humans; instead, they focus on rejecting the writing itself. In return, we writers have learned to treat rejection as an impersonal aspect of the writing industry. By reminding ourselves that rejection isn't personal, we can maintain a professional attitude about the business side of writing. We let the emotions flow from our pen, but we are stoic and in control when we interact with a publisher.

Entrepreneurs must surely know how intense and fast-paced the business world can be. At the speed at which things get done, you would miss out on countless opportunities if you dwell on the personal side of failure. I guarantee that those who reject you in the business world give little thought to whether or not it's personal. For example, investors aren't concerned with personality when they consider whether or not to support your latest business venture. They care quite a lot about the return on their investment. If you keep this in mind, then you can brush off rejection.

Understand the Source of Rejection

Many authors new to the industry don't quite understand the source of the rejection or why rejection happens. In other words, some authors will send their writing to publishers who simply have no interested in that type of writing. For example, a writer of science fiction novels might try to send his or her stories to a magazine that only publishes romance stories. Naturally, this writer's work will easily be rejected, not because it's not 'good', but because it simply doesn't fit the publisher's editorial vision. Only after these authors figure out that they must research the markets and send their work to appropriate magazines and publishers do they begin to experience success.

Entrepreneurs must handle their projects the same way. they must learn what causes their failures, and they must research the industry to which they'd like contribute their business. It makes little sense for an entrepreneur to enter a market without having done any research. This could literally destroy the entrepreneur's financial base. It's far more logical to do the necessary research and to understand where exactly there's a need. This will help you fill that need, thus avoiding outright rejection.

About the author:

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to

Topics: Business Success Tips Entrepreneur Failure