I see this trend a lot in the online business world. Well-intentioned folks will build a website and brand, set up social media accounts, have a goal or mission, and spend a ton of hours getting ready to sell.
But then, something happens. Self-doubt creeps in. The second-guessing police show up at the door. Defeated, these well-intentioned people shy away from promoting and selling the thing they’ve worked so hard on. They say “no” on their customers’ behalf…even before the customers can decide for themselves.
If you’re afraid of rejection, go work for someone else
Working for yourself isn’t easy. You have to wear all the hats (and most of them feel like ugly fedoras). You have to juggle all the balls (hehe). You have to be a salesman/saleswoman. People are going to say no to you, because what you are selling is not right for everyone.
THIS. IS. OKAY.
If you fear rejection so much that it holds you back from promoting and asking people (more than once) to buy your product, running your own business may not be right for you.
And besides, working for someone else is not a bad thing. Sure, you aren’t going to end up on the front page of Inc. magazine, but who really cares about that, anyway? If it crushes your soul to ask people to buy things, work for someone else who is already doing that asking. Take a paycheck for work you don’t loathe, and live your life in a way that makes you happy.
If You’ve Built Something Worth Saying YES To, Stop Saying No For Other People
You may not even realize it, but you’re saying no for people by staying quiet about your idea.
Silence is golden when you’re a 3rd grader and you need to learn simple math. Silence is NOT golden when you need to put food on your table and get people to purchase your product or service.
I’m not advocating that you start hammering people with marketing and sales messages left and right. But I am advocating that you give your idea a chance. Put in effort, aim for a yes, and actually let people say no on their own so you can learn from the experience.
Remove these things from your mind or vocabulary:
- No one needs my product or service because other people are already doing what I’m doing.
- I’m just getting started. I don’t have an audience or any traction to get people to buy.
- I’m not sure what to ask for, so I’m just going to wait for opportunities to show up.
- It didn’t work when my friend/colleague/lover tried to sell this thing, so why would it work for me?
All of those are self-defeating thoughts, and thoughts that put the word “no” in someone else’s mouth before they can even do it themselves.
Instead, muster up the courage to promote and sell whatever you’re working on and embrace the actual no instead of the imaginary one.
When you do hear “no,” don’t just hide away to lick your wounds. See if you can learn more:
- Why wasn’t it a good fit?
- What didn’t they like or understand?
- Was the timing bad?
- Was the pricing off?
These are questions you should ask the people who say no to you. Don’t look at it as punishment, either. Look at it as a learning experience, and tweak/hone your promotion and sales strategies. Because I’m here to tell you, whatever you’re trying to sell isn’t going to sell just because you have a website, brand, Instagram account, testimonials, etc.
Selling takes effort, so be proud of the fact you’re hearing no because it means you’re actually doing the work.
Stop saying no for someone before they have a chance to.