I’m an Expert at Dealing with Rejection

Episode Transcript

Hello, everybody, and I'm so happy to have you for another episode of If I'm Honest with Julia Landauer. Before I had a speaking agent, I had a reminder set on my phone for every Tuesday at 10am, to send out pitches for speaking engagements. And this meant that I researched, you know, organizations, companies, associations, groups that were putting on conferences, women's leadership, conferences, athlete conferences, all this stuff, I did a lot of research, I had my template that I would personalize showing some of what I've done before. And of the 10 or 20, that I would send out every week, I my return rate was actually okay, I would hear back from like, two to four normally, and of those, you know, either none or one of them were interested. And, you know, every so often one of the interested ones actually materialized. But this method of sales, if you will, resulted in a lot of ignored emails and responses that were thanks, no thanks. And therefore just a lot of rejections. And it's something that I've become quite good at receiving, if I'm totally honest, if you do anything in sales, or if you are racer pitching sponsorship, or whatever it might be, you will appreciate this. And I've also recently gone through all of my journals and notebooks, you know, dating back to, I want to say 2012, like somewhere back in, in college. And they're full of to do lists and notes about meetings that I was going to have, and people I was going to be connected to and all this stuff. And it just reminded me of the hundreds, if not 1000s, probably close to 1000s of ideas that I've had and tried and figured out how to try to get off the ground. And many of them never off the ground, they you know, I would have this idea, I would think about it, I would try to find a connection, I would cold email, they would never work. The earliest example of this was back in high school, actually, Betsey Johnson was a really popular, like women's clothing brand. And she had these really fun colorful dresses. And I know that people in middle school and high school were would wear them to formals or different parties. And so I thought, Oh, my goodness, I love Betsey Johnson, and she's a New York brand. I'm a New York girl, she would be the perfect sponsor for my formula BMW USA racing series. Obviously, I look back in hindsight and recognize that this was definitely not the case. But you have to learn somehow. So I kid you not my parents supported me through this process. I think they wanted me to learn, but I, you know, typed up a cover letter with a pitch in it. I included my media materials at the time, which are so cringy I'm not gonna lie, but you know, got to start somewhere. And I literally walked this, you know, legal envelope with my printed out letters. My dad and I walked down to their headquarters somewhere, I want to say Midtown ish. But we were in New York. And so I went up to the receptionist on the main floor of their offices. And I clearly remember I went up to him and I said, Hi, I have a sponsorship proposal for Betsey Johnson, can you please see that she gets this? And he looked at me. He was like, Sure, thanks. And that was that and I left that building feeling so confident. I was so excited because I was about to get my first sponsorship, and it was going to be from Betsey Johnson, it was gonna be amazing. Needless to say, I never heard anything from Betsey Johnson and I didn't have any way to follow up without just leaving phone messages, which those went unanswered. Other ideas I've had that got a little further in the process, you know, like made it to conversation level. There were things like raising sponsorship or content creation or speaking engagements, but so many of them and we're talking so many pages worth of big notebooks full of ideas, you know, kind of initial conversations and then not having them go anywhere. And then some some of these these pitches really did work out like I had pitched Turo as a partnership and so we did a collaboration around International Women's Day and Women's History Month and they had a ladyboss campaign so that was really cool as a little victory that I got to you know, work with them and put together this campaign and be involved with them. Or you know, when I got my first paid speaking engagement that was really, really satisfying. And those are a couple examples of you know, little victories in the sales actually going well but moral of the story is that you know, many many didn't work out some did work out and I just got so used to and okay with receiving no as the answer. And don't get me wrong, I vented to my family, friends or my siblings, you know, I would write in my journal how I was feeling or if I got my hopes up for something or if I felt like something really had potential I would dramatically write about it in my journal. But I also very quickly would pick myself up and went on to the next one, because the end goal was really what was the driving force. You know, I wanted to be a racecar driver really badly, I wanted to be a motivational speaker, I wanted to be able to tell these stories, I've learned that so much of what I've loved doing is storytelling. And so I was motivated to pick it up and move to the next one, because the only way that I was going to make something work out, was going to be to act right. And to make those moves, I had control over my actions. And this leads me to one of my favorite quotes, which is from Winston Churchill. And he says, success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. I'm gonna say this again, success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Isn't this a great reframe? Once I came across this quote, and I'm a quote, girl, I have a bunch of quotes in my keynotes, I have quotes that I can just regularly tell friends, because I think these short peppy mantras can be really helpful in us recentering and us moving forward. So I kind of thought about this a lot. And I now try to look at each failure, or each non success, or each dead end, as an attitude reset, you know, that's part of what goes into it, we put all of our energy or a lot of our energy into one project, we're trying something and then when it doesn't work, it's an opportunity to have a blank slate, go to a reset. And I obviously analyze if there were things that I could have done better, and you know, things I could have done differently. And I remind myself, what I did well, and what I'm proud of. But this, this ability to move on is really important. And there was a time a few years ago where I had finally finally, after two and a half active years of searching about how to get to the right person at this company, that was kind of a sponsor that I was really hoping to have, I finally got to them, and we pitched them. And it was really exciting because the marketing people really bought into it, they loved the messaging, they thought it was really exciting. But then it just turned out that it didn't fit within their established marketing campaigns already, and it was a little too far out to think about next campaigns. And so it was nothing I did wrong. But it was a total blow. I'll be honest, when when I learned that they were not going to be moving forward with it, I literally cried. It was it was just a lot. It was also during the pandemic while I was living in Europe and homesick. But anyway, I digress. This, this experience was kind of a real test of if I was able to do what I preached doing, which is to have that reset. And the only way that I was going to get more racing in is if I was going to be able to convey that same enthusiasm that I had for that company, to the other companies that I thought could be good fits. So back to Churchill's quote, I realized that, regardless of if we are on our 100th pitch, or sale, or regardless, if we're feeling really rundown and defeated, if we aren't enthusiastic about what we're doing, and if we don't convey that enthusiasm, no one else is going to be enthusiastic about it either. And if we're trying to do anything in life, whether that's building a company, getting funding, going on a date, building a friend group, building a club working on a project, if we're doing anything that requires support, or partnership, or people getting involved, we need those other players to be enthusiastic. And so if someone were to come to you saying, Hey, I have this idea for a company, but four different people have said no, and it hasn't worked out. And I think it's a great idea, but you know, hasn't happened yet. That's not convincing at all right? If someone comes to you and say, Hey, I have this idea, these are all the reasons it's gonna work out. I'm super excited by it. I've talked to some other people about it want to get your take on it like that, that an enthusiasm? Oh, that was a terrible pronunciation. Oh, my goodness, I just sound like Ben and you know, he's English second language. So he has those weird accents at some points. It's very amusing anyway, that enthusiasm is infectious. And that enthusiasm is going to carry us both professionally and personally. Whether that's in a job interview, if you're looking for investors, if you're looking for business partners, if you're going on dates, you know, if you feel like you've been rejected from a bunch of dates, then you know, you got to make sure not to carry that energy because you want people to be excited by you. If I'm honest, before I met Ben, I had like a month and a half or two month period where I hadn't been dating in a little while and I just kind of was like ready, I was ready to go. And I went on so many first dates. It was like 10 first dates in that fairly short time period since I was traveling so much, and I got straight up ghosted by a few of them I got straight up rejected by a few of them, the other ones I didn't like, but it's just part of it. You have to take that and go to that clean slate and then bring the same amount of enthusiasm to the next to the next event, so that we can make people excited about being involved with us. Part of this maintaining enthusiasm also comes down to perseverance. And we can chat about perseverance at length. But But I want to focus in on the idea of how we how we maintain that excitement in one way, is by acknowledging and celebrating the little victories that we do get, you know, even I, as a very naturally optimistic person, at this point in my life with what I've accomplished, I have a decent amount of confidence. And I have a decent amount of belief in myself, which both lend themselves to helping me maintain that enthusiasm. But I still find it so, so helpful, and so important to actively celebrate my little victories, and celebrating little victories is such a great fuel. And I love a racing pun. And I think this is the first real racing pun that I've had in a podcast. So it took a hot second to get here, but here we are. So as I was saying, you know, having a little victory and celebrating that little victory is great fuel, you know, did I just get a response to a cold email Go me or I gave a great keynote with an enthusiastic audience, high five girl or I was nervous that having a conversation and prepared for and I got all my points across coherently Hell yeah. Now, obviously, this is a little tongue in cheek, and there are different ways and different levels of involvement you can get, but taking the time to acknowledge what you've done well, and what might be a little bit of luck is, is really important, because that gives us that momentum. And that energy, and that excitement in that little dose of whatever chemical gets us ready to go and turned on and excited. And, you know, I, I know, this is kind of a tricky balance. I personally like to live my life on a wildly emotional roller coaster, like I get super invested in things, I get my hopes up a lot. And I always see the potential and things and I always see how things could work out or why things should work out. Which also means that I have to deal with frequently let downs. But that's what makes me feel alive. I think that by conveying that into seeing the potential, again, it's a little exhausting, sometimes I'm going to be totally honest, but But it feels so cool. And it gives us electricity to life. And, and it's really empowering. Now, I do appreciate that kind of being this emotionally invested is made easier if you do have somewhat regular victories or if you have things to offset what's not going well. And I was in my early 20s, when I realized that not everyone likes to live like this. So when I was in college and dating someone, he lived his life very differently in the sense that he actively tried to not get his hopes up, not hope for the best. Because if he didn't get his hopes up, then he wasn't as likely to be as disappointed. So he wasn't going to have the highs, but he also wasn't going to have the lows. And this was really interesting to hear, because it was so foreign from my own personal approach to life. But then I also really get that right. It's a defense mechanism for some people. And so I think finding your balance of letting yourself get emotionally invested in things and getting your hopes up will naturally help you convey your excitement and enthusiasm for something which then will help others get on board. But I do understand also needing to protect yourself a little bit and you know not be down in the dumps a lot because things you know, you get your your get your hopes up for and then they don't work out. So I I recognize that that segment was a little indecisive. But I think that just shows that it's a tricky, tricky debate and tricky, tricky subject and I don't know that I have the right answer. I wouldn't say that my balance is necessarily the best. That's what works for me and I encourage you to, to think about maybe either channeling it back, bringing out a little bit more you know, figuring out what that balance is that allows you to be excited and to also protect yourself. Yeah, I don't know it's just cool to get excited by things in my opinion. And I'm I'm most interested in getting to know people who have no shame in what they're excited about and, and want to share that enthusiasm, especially for the little things. I think that being cool as a cucumber is just kind of boring, like it's good in certain things, but it's kind of boring and people are going to have a more human connection with and a closer connection with and be able to relate with people more if we're conveying enthusiasm for what we're doing. And that pretty much covers what I wanted to talk about. You know if we're going after, you know, living a certain lifestyle and cool stuff, there's gonna be plenty of times where we get rejected, we don't find success, things don't work out, you know, people don't become the deeper relationships we hoped for. And I think it's our responsibility to take the initiative to have that emotional mental reset to remember why we're doing what we're doing to convey that enthusiasm to other people to remember Winston Churchill's quote, that success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. And when we do that, and when we, you know, get our hopes up, but not too much, you know, finding that balance. That's when we get to feel really present and be really involved in what we're feeling. And that's when we can be the best prepared to go after what we want to go after. And that's really exciting to go after it and to bring people on board. So that's our show. Thank you so much for tuning in. Please share this episode. If you liked it. I would love it. If you could leave a review rate the podcast, follow the podcast. Thank you for letting me be honest with you and I look forward to seeing you next week.