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4 Ways business owners can cope with rejection

No one likes being rejected; each of us want to be accepted, and we want our ideas to be appreciated. It’s no secret that, as business owners and entrepreneurs, we’re closely attached to our creations.

As a result, any rejection – of us, or of our ideas – can feel absolutely terrible.

After all, we put so much of our energy into our businesses. When they get turned down, it feels like we’re getting turned down too.

But rejection is an essential part of growth: it’s only through creative thinking and taking risks that real innovation happens.

When we learn to accept rejection, we can start making real leaps: after all, when viewed properly, rejection is just a process of trial and error on the way to success.

Learning to accept rejection

Rejection is inevitable. And so is the anger and frustration and sadness that can follow it. Accepting rejection doesn’t mean pretending those feelings don’t exist, but it does mean making space for them and allowing yourself to feel them.

Make sure you have a support system in place for when you do face rejection; having someone who will acknowledge and speak to you without judgement can be incredibly helpful. Learning how to address and cope with your feelings will help you build resilience and control; and having a coping process can help empower you to continue pursuing your goal.

Look for the silver linings

If you’re rejected by an investor, take the experience and improve your business. If you’re rejected by a customer, accept it as a win: you want clients who love your work – not ones who will hound you for more information and changes 24/7.

Sometimes, when no one else believes in our product, we have to keep fighting for it. But a lot of the times it can be a great wake-up call that some change is necessary.

Try to view rejection as growing pains: they’re just part of the journey.

Focus on growth

When you face rejection, focus on growth. What could you have done differently? What could you have improved? What tactics could you adopt next time?

By using rejection as a springboard towards personal progression, you not only reduce your chances of being rejected again but improve yourself and your ideas.

Change your view of rejection

When our ideas are on the line it’s easy to interpret criticism against them as attacks against ourselves. For those of us just starting out, this can be even more magnified: but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

Whenever you feel rejected, take the time to critically analyse the situation. Why were you rejected? Was it really because your product is bad, or just because it wasn’t the right fit for the customer? Did you interpret honest feedback as criticism?

It’s important to learn to separate criticism from rejection from personal attack.


Rejection is an inevitable part of business ownership. But it can be a positive stepping stone on the way to success. Reframing how we view rejection, cope with it and see it in the scheme of things can help better equip us to learn from it, and to avoid it in the future.

Lena Klein

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