#56: Handling rejection

Show Notes: 

There's no getting around it - if you want to push your limits, you need to be prepared for a little rejection. In today's podcast, I'm going through how I bounce back from rejection and the self-talk that I try to avoid so that we can move onwards and upwards in pursuit of our goals!

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#56 Show Transcription

Hello, I'm Tina tower, and you're listening to Her Empire Builder. For my first decade of business I thought grinding and hustling and working harder than everyone else was my path to success. It was pretty successful by a lot of measures, but it led to burnout and adrenal fatigue. Then when I travelled around the world on my family gap year, I discovered the simplicity and the reach of online business, and I completely fell in love.

You have so much knowledge and expertise that's within, and I want to help you to package that so you can also help to lift others up. So, how do you build a thriving million-dollar business based on everything that's in your mind? This is Her Empire Builder to podcast.

Hello, and welcome to Episode 56 of Her Empire Builder. I'm recording this from gorgeous sunny Brisbane. So, I am in the middle of my book tour and I'm in the Carlisle Hotel which is one of my favourite hotels in the country. Actually, not in the country, in the world. It's beautiful here. Next time you come to Brisbane, I guarantee, come to the Carlisle, you will love it. It is gorgeous.

So, today I want to talk to you about rejection and bouncing back from rejection. So, I know I've been getting so many messages while on tour which has been very encouraging from people saying, “Oh my gosh, you're killing it. This is amazing. Look at everywhere you are. You're just non-stop. Win, win, win.”, here, there and everywhere, and it kind of got me thinking, “You know what? This is where it's really hard to see all of the highlights.”

When you put all the highlights kind of on social media, it's really easy to think that it is non-stop winning for people, but the thing is, like, I’ll sometimes look at different people on, on Instagram especially, and go, “They’re doing that so much easier than I am.”, but the thing is, it's never true. Never. Always, when you see someone who, who looks like it's nonstop winning, gosh, they're trying so hard, pretty much 100% of the time, and you know, in the last couple of days, I feel like I've had nothing but rejection, and that's not true. There's always, always wins peppered in there as well, but the pendulum has swung far on the side of rejection, and so that's what really made me think, “You know what? This week, I'm recording this on Tuesday, it's coming out on Wednesday, I really want to talk about it, and how I deal with that because there is absolutely no way that you can achieve great things if you're not okay with kind of getting pummelled in the middle of it and finding that joy through the struggle, and I just, I give it, I giggle a little bit there, and I have learned I giggle a lot and sometimes it's to, it's to hide the pain as well, and there I just giggled again. Oh my god, even when I say to hide pain, I’m like, “Hee, hee, to hide the pain.” It's painful you guys. Okay? Gosh, I'm just like, like throwing myself for a six here.

So, rejection. Let's talk about it. Rejection is something that is very dear to my heart. For those of you who have read One Life, you know all about it. So already, it's been incredible, just, you know, I've had the launch in, in Sydney and Melbourne and Launceston, and this week I have Brisbane, Gladstone, Gold Coast and Central Coast, and one of my favourite parts has been the Q and A at the end of those launches and, and really paying attention to the questions that people have and what people are really intrigued by, and a part of that is, you know, is getting used to that rejection and building up the resilience to it, because, you know, it's something that I learnt at a really young age. I learnt it in my childhood with the, with the constant rejection from my parents, and that kind of gave me, in a way, a bit of an armour to let things bounce off in doing that, and, and a way of developing a confidence that wasn't tied to what other people's opinions of me were, and so most of the time, my self-talk is very kind. My self-talk is very encouraging. I sometimes think that I was born in the wrong country that I should have been an American going, “Oh my gosh, how awesome am I?”, but no.

So, most of the time my self-talk, which we're going to talk about later when I talk about how we actually bounce back from rejection. So, you know, I learnt it at an early age. My first business I had a toy store. You know, we would have, constantly, people coming through the shop, taking a look around, doing the loop, as you do all the time when you walk into a store, and then walking out with nothing in their hands, and that took a lot when I first started my business in going, I wanted to kind of grab these people and go, “Why aren't you buying anything? Do you not like my toys? Do you not like the way it's arranged? Like, is it too expensive? Like, what's going on?”, but really doing that for four years made me realise that, you know, maybe they weren’t in the market to buy. Maybe they just wanted to have a little bit of a look. Maybe they were comparing something else. There's so many manner of things that come into play, that if we’re taking rejection personally all the time, it's going to really inhibit you and stop you from, from doing many, many things, and then when I had my tutoring centre, you know, we had trial classes for children all the time, and then if those children didn't book, I’d think, “Why. Was I, was I not a great teacher? Was it the program? Like, what can we improve here?”, and so then we had that. Then I went into franchising and oh my gosh, the rejection in franchising. So, really, when you're in any sort of sales, you've got to face that rejection.

So, one of the things that I did to deal with that, in that respect was, was to work out how many no’s I needed on average before I got a yes. So, I knew you, you know, to get people to get a franchise, obviously, like, as the end result, I had to go through 100 initial kind of questionnaires. So, the way that our process kind of worked was we would have people apply online usually, and then they'd have a phone interview, then they'd have an in-person interview, then application and then they become a franchisee, and so it was quite a lengthy process, but I knew I needed to start with 100 of those initial applications and out of 100 of those initial applications, there was 20 that I liked for phone interview. Out of phone interview, there was about 10 that I liked that would come to in person interview. Out of in person interview, one of those would become a really great franchisee, and so on and on, it kind of went, and so every time, you know, I'd say no to someone or someone would say no to me, I'd go, “Alright. We’re one closer to getting that end result.”, but yeah, it can be, it can be quite difficult, and can be quite pol, quite polarising because usually the way business normally works is, you know, we have a little win, we have a little rejection, and so we don't really notice. It's kind of this, this win, lose, win lose, on this even playing field, but sometimes when it gets stacked against you, you can kind of go, “Oh my gosh. What's happening here? I'm facing this rejection left, right and centre.”, and that's when if you don't catch it, if you're not conscious of it, it can really put you into that tailspin of the whole negative self-talking going, “I'm not good enough for this. I'm not smart enough for this. Maybe I'm on the wrong track.” All of these different things that, that just kind of send us spiralling psychologically, but the thing is, you know, you can't win them all, and if you put yourself out there, past your limits, then rejection is inevitable, and there’s no getting around it. It does, it hurts. It hurts. It's difficult but be brave enough to try something that you haven't tried before, and that you have no control over the final outcome, because it's when you find that courage that you start to surprise yourself with just how incredible some things can be, and, and you'll continually raise your limits when you can do that because there's no way to raise the limits if you're not okay with failing. If you're not okay with getting that rejection, and you know, I said at the beginning, part of, part of why I wanted to create this episode today was, was for me, selfishly, was to really go, “You know, I feel like I've, I feel like I've been rejected a lot this week.”, and it's kind of got me in this, it had me in a bit of a tailspin this morning and I had to really consciously work to get myself out of that.

So, there was a big, high level, excuse me, high level mastermind in, in the US that I applied for. They only took seven people and I was not one of them, and I was devastated. I was like, “Oh my gosh, come on.” Like, I didn't even, for a second, consider that, that I wouldn't get it. It was just, it was like a no brainer for me and so I was so surprised and shocked when I got the email to say that I hadn't progressed through, that I was like, “Oh what?”, and then that makes me question why didn't they put me into that mastermind? Am I not earning enough? Were my goals not enough? Did I not express myself well enough? Did they not like me? Was it a personality issue? Like, all of these things that you kind of tie to your self-worth and then it's publicity for the book. So, I know to a lot of people it looks like the book’s kind of everywhere, but that’s because I'm putting it everywhere. I am hammering it out. So, every day, you know, we're trying to get more publicity for the book in the local places that I am on. On radio, in print, and TV, on blogs, on podcasts, on all of the things, and you know, for everyone we get, there’s hundreds that have said no, and so, you know, again, it's with that, with that thing and going,  “Was my story not very good? Like, am I unrelatable? Do they just not like me?”, all of that happens, and then we're trying to get into all of the bookstores. So, we've just got accepted last week into Berkelouw books, which is fantastic. So Berkelouw and Harry Hartog, so they're mainly in Sydney, but a, a good book chain, but I'm still not in, like Dymocks and the big bookstores, which is driving me bonkers because it's kind of a chicken and an egg thing. You know, if, if you're in one of the big bookstores, the book goes really well and kind of, kind of takes off because it's visible, whereas, if it's not visible, it's not going to take off because no one can buy it. I'm having messages from people, all over the country, going, “I went to my nearest bookstore but they don't have it so I couldn't get it.”, and “Where can I get it?”, even though I know you can just search online and can find it online, but people still want a bookstore as much as people think bookstores are dead, and so with that, it's like constantly trying to call these stores and going, “Hey, can you stock us? Can you buy a couple of books? Can you get them in there?” and having to really push that and sell that myself, and I know that was a conscious decision. If you listen to my podcast episode on self-publishing, that was a conscious decision that I made was, I chose to self-publish and not go with a publisher, and the biggest benefit of a publisher is that you have placement. So, they already have deals with the bookstores to stock their authors because they've had, they've got that credibility. They've been pre vetted and so, you know, for me, coming from a self-publishing point of view, it doesn't have that publishing label attached, so they’re like, “Will it sell? Is it going to be any good? Have you just knocked this up on your home computer?”, so it’s having to really prove that worth, which is not easy, and honestly, it's not going all that well. So, I talked to your, my, my, my book co-ordinator and the PR firm that's doing it and all of that sort of thing and, and you know, they're all, they're all like, “Yeah, it's all working. It's all happening.”, but for me, I go, “You know, the books been out for two weeks now and it's just not fast enough.” It's just not, not having, actually, it hasn't even been two weeks. It came out last Monday, it's now Tuesday. So maybe I should get more patient but I'm like, “How is that not been accepted yet?”, because I do often believe that, you know, effort is equated with reward, and so, the effort that I'm putting in should be reflected in the results that we're getting, but I feel like I'm just coming up against a brick wall and brick wall and having to try and find ways to get creative.

So, if anyone was following Instagram stories, you know, one of my biggest goals is to get the book stopped in airports, and, you know, we don't even have a shoo in with that at all. There's, there’s, it's a hard thing to, to kind of penetrate and do, and so, while I've been travelling around the country, I was like, “You know what, maybe we could do like some, like a reverse stealing.” Instead of, like, we’ll get the books and just plant them in airport bookstores so that someone will pick it up off the shelf, they'll go to the counter, they'll scan it, and then they'll have to be all confused, like, “Hang on a minute, this book isn't on our system.”, but it will be on their back end system as an available book and then hopefully it will get to the manager and the manager will go, “Oh, maybe we need to get this in.”, and I did leave a note in front of each of the books, you know, explaining what I was doing and saying, you know, “This book isn't stocked yet but here's where you can get it from, and the person who found this book can now have this book for free.” So, it's just trying to try everything, but yeah, so this week, I've kind of felt like just not winning, even though, and this is the crazy thing, when it comes to rejection, this is how it kind of got me out of the funk was when you sit down and you work out, “Hang on.” What's actually happening here is I'm trying to push the limit on a lot of things, but we are winning big time. So, the book is going really well. In terms of self-publishing, it's already broken, you know, what the average and what good expectations are for that so I'm very happy with that. We've had our biggest, like revenue month, every month for the last six months. So, every month, it just keeps going up and up by like, 20 to 25%. So, we're doing great client work and doing all of that. So, if I focus on that part, I'm like, winning, but you know, it's when you push those limits that you're like, “I just want to do more.”

Anyway. Okay, so I want to talk to you about how I bounce back from that because I know I'm not alone. I know that you have experienced this before because that's what makes up being human and I know if you're listening to this episode, you are someone who also tries hard. You know, in the book, I endearingly call myself a try hard because, because I do. I'm willing to put myself out there and, and put in the effort kind of above and beyond what other people would do because, because I want those rewards that are above and beyond what other people have.

Anyway, so this is how I do it. So how we bounced back. So, a lot of it comes down to resilience, which, you know, I talked about in One Life quite a lot, but I think a big part is acknowledge the disappointment. So, when, you know, you can say, “It's no big deal.” when something happens, but the thing is that it is a big deal to us and when you just kind of ignore that emotion and just kind of hop along, it does simmer and fester in there. You can think you're dealing with it really well but trust me, it's in there somewhere. So, I do like to really take a moment to journal or to get my thoughts out and really consciously examine what's happened. Why am I disappointed? What would my expectations and, and everything from that? Most of the time, you know, people will say, “It's okay, everything happens for a reason.” I'm not necessarily sold on that idea of everything, you know, happens for a reason. I don't think everything does happen for a reason but sometimes, you know, the thing isn't right for us and we may not know it then, but what we do as humans is we're super resourceful in going when something doesn't turn out for us, we can then get that and turn it into something else because we make lemonade out of lemons. That's just what we're so good at, especially the high achievers among us. So, it can look like everything happens for a reason, because we never would have done that if we hadn't have had that rejection in the first place, but sometimes we have to acknowledge that you know what, that sucks. I wanted that so bad, and if it doesn't happen, that would have just made everything so much sweeter, and that's okay. It's okay to be disappointed and it's okay to be bummed. It's just a matter of how long and that's where kind of I come into it and go, you know, I'll throw myself a pity party for, for a good hour or two if it's a big thing, but any longer than that, and it's just, it's just too long. We don't want to let a disappointment turn into a bad day or a bad week or a bad month because we've got too many awesome things to do to really wallow in that self-pity. So, wallowing in the self-pity is a very different thing to acknowledging the disappointment and acknowledging the emotion. So, you know, for me, I know even, even when I know that logically, something is a long shot, I'm still disappointed.

So, you probably know this about me already but I do have an inflated sense of self confidence and I know that's not a widely, kind of, good thing to say because we've got tall poppy syndrome and all of that sort of thing, but, but I do. I'm a pretty confident human. I'm, I’m very ballsy. I will try things that, that a lot of people kind of wouldn't try because I’m used to, I'm used to the rejection. I'm used to the resilience. I'm pretty good at bouncing back and I know that my life is proof that the end result is worth the sacrifice along the way. So, but because of that, it does come as a real surprise to me when something doesn't work out. So even though with different things that I've tried, like you asked nine out of ten people, you know, do you expect to self-publish a book and have it nationally across all airports and bookstores within a week? Most people are going say, “No. Like, how does that even, even happened?”, but yeah, it was a long shot, but I still expect it to happen. We'll find a way to make it happen. You know, there was, there's a saying I used to have on my wall in my early 20s that said, “A big shot is just a little shot that kept on shooting.”, and I loved it so much, because it's kind of letting time do its thing and, and being able to not have everything hinged on one thing, but just to chip away at something until you really get there, and so for me, I go, “Okay.”, with the, with the book in the airports example, like, “I'm so disappointed that it hasn't happened yet but I won't stop until I get it there.”, and so, it's not really a question of when, or if, it's a question of when, and how is the big one, and you know, eventually it will get there, and I do think that, you know, when you can master rejection, that it does give you that superpower ability to be able to go, “Okay, I'm not viewing this rejection as absolute. I'm viewing this as a little bit of feedback that I can then take, refine, learn from, adjust and go again.”, so that we can kind of dust ourselves off and shoot again. Oh, the other thing, I think is, is de-personalise it. So, it's really easy to take rejection personally but most of the time, it's just getting the right place, right time with the right person, and if you don't have that, it's not going to come together, but that doesn't mean to stop. That means readjust and find the right place, the right time, the right person, because I do think that, you know, this one is the most difficult, being kind and compassion, compassionate to yourself, but you can't place your self-worth on other people. As I said at the beginning, you know, with the toy shop example, it's just it may not be the right person, it may not be the right time, and so if you're facing rejection, it may not have been the right thing for you or maybe you're just not up to that point yet, but you are a damn sight closer than if you'd never tried.

So, the final thing I like to do is to learn from it. So, first I go through that kind of emotion of it in, you know, acknowledging that disappointment. Working out, you know, what is it that, that I'm upset about? What, where is that sadness coming from? Is that triggered something in me that's to do with self-worth, which, let's be honest, 99% of the time, that's what it is. Then, once we've kind of acknowledged that and, and sat in that and appreciated it, and, and kind of talked to our self in a really kind way, and as I said, like, my self-talk is one of my biggest advantages and that's something that's really conscious. Mind you, it's, it's a discipline to do. So, there was a moment this morning, where, you know, I had a good 5, 10 minutes in going, “Maybe you just think you're better than what you actually are? Like, maybe you're just not that good and you're just not worthy of being there and you should just chuck it in because you're, you're a bit of a loser?” That happens and it happens in all our minds. It doesn't matter who you are, but it's being able to, kind of, be disciplined enough in the mind to catch that and go, “Hold up.” Like it's, it's, does anyone watch the Simpsons? It's like that good, good Homer and evil Homer. It's like, “Hello evil Homer.”, but anyway, it's acknowledging those parts of your brain and going, “You know, is that helpful to do that in your mind?” Very rarely, is that ever helpful. Sometimes the negative can tell you something you need to know, to be able to adjust, but most of the time, it's just if you leave it like a monkey brain, it's not going to be helpful in getting you closer to your goals and where you want to be in life. So, you want to really consciously choose those thoughts and so when that happened this morning, I then replaced that with, “Alright, let's actually look at this pragmatically. Let's, let's look at the wins that we've gone though. Let's look at all of the feedback that I can find that I'm actually doing a really good job and that what I'm offering the world is very valuable.”, and if you look for evidence of what you are trying to achieve, it's there. You will find enough evidence to support it, and then just look really pragmatically. So, what can you learn from it? You know what went wrong? Can I get feedback if something went wrong? You know, where do you go from here? That's a big one for me. So, when I'm kind of sitting in the emotion of it, how I actually get past that is to then, you know, you know I love a plan. So, it's to work out, “Alright, what I've been doing to this point, obviously isn’t working, so what can I change up? Who do I need to speak to? How do I need to get there? Like, what is this next pathway going to look like? Where do I go from here?”, and then once I've got that, I can then get re-energised and re-focussed and go, “Alright. Okay, that was in the past. We learnt from that. That happened. Let's go forth and conquer again.”

I do think you need to believe that you were made for this. That you can do big, crazy, audacious things because what you're trying to achieve is worth it. It's helping people. It's inspiring people, and you owe it to the universe to move past rejection, to bring your gifts to the world. Now, I'm giving you a big mental bear hug, like I actually have my arms out. I'm hugging and I'm saying we can do it. Today it's as much to myself as it is to you, but you know what? We can do it. Have a great day.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Her Empire Builder. If you loved it, please share it on Instagram and Facebook for your friends and if you really want to deliver me smiles, you can pop a review on iTunes.

I'd love to hear from you so if you have any questions, email me at [email protected], and if you want to know more about what we do, head over to tinatower.com. Now I truly hope this podcast gives you so much value and you can use it to dream big, plan well and take massive action in building your very own empire that’s perfect just for you.


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