I’ve lived with the fear of not being good enough for as long as I can remember. Don’t worry, I’ve been to therapy for this. It’s probably why rejection has always felt like the end of the world. To be honest, in the moment of being rejected isn’t really not that terrible, a little disappointing, some gut wrenching sensations and then I’m over it and on to the next thing. It’s the moments of fear before the rejection that are actually the worst.
I remember asking a boy I liked to go to Homecoming with me in High School. He said no in the nicest way possible and I was heartbroken. For about 5-minutes. I then proceeded to tell an upperclass friend of mine what happened and she marched right up to him to tell him what an idiot he was and what he missed out on. The rejection is 100% worth this memory. It was pure magic.
This week I was rejected once again. I received the nicest rejection letter that was so well written and complimentary that I kind of want to frame it.
I’ve been reaching out to licensing agents to see if I can expand my art and business by partnering with other brands and I finally heard back from one of the 6 agencies I’d written to. It was a no.
However, the feedback in the letter gave me a new level of confidence. It wasn’t because I wasn’t enough, it was simply timing. Most of the no’s I’ve gotten in life were a timing thing. Boy’s saying no to high school dance invitations were because I was too old for my age, it would have never worked out. No’s because my art is too similar to an artist they already represent. No because they just started, the funds aren’t in, they just finished a project with someone else and might reach out in the future. And when you wait long enough, some of those no’s actually turned out to be not nows. (not in the case of the homecoming dance. We’ll just let that one be.)
Cold emailing, marketing, and sharing resources have been a part of me since I started my first business at 16. I’ve never been afraid to reach out and try. Because if the worst they can do is say no, then I know I can survive that. I’ll just move on to the next thing, because at the end of the day its all about timing, it’s not about me. If I reach out enough or time it just right I’ll get that yes and things seem to snowball after that.
Don’t be afraid of the no’s. They’ll be there. Sometimes to guide, other times to see if you want it enough. If you do, you’ll wait for it to turn into a yes so that in the end it was really a not now, not a no after all.
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