There’s been a story circulating around the Internet a few years ago—a mega-inspiring story about a woman who (now) runs a successful photography business.
When this gal was first starting out, though, she was not so successful. At first, getting clients was a huge struggle. Sure, she had a website with info about her work, and sure, she told a few friends about her business, but… that wasn’t enough. She managed to book a few photo sessions here and there, but people weren’t exactly banging down herdoor and blowing up her phone begging to hire her.
She felt invisible. Money was not coming in. Things were looking pretty bleak.
But this woman was self-aware enough to recognize that “fear” was holding her back.
She was terrified of hearing “no” and her fear of rejection was suffocating her business.
Her fear was so strong, in fact, that she rarely actually sent out her portfolio to people who might want to hire her. Showing her work. Networking. Asking people to book a session. So much potential for rejection. It all just felt way too scary. She was paralyzed.
This woman eventually decided, “If rejection is my biggest fear—and if it’s the biggest thing holding back my business—then I am going to do whatever it takes to get over it.”
She decided to begin a personal project that she called “100 Rejections.”
The plan? To introduce herself to 100 potential clients, one by one, and eventually get to a point where she felt comfortable hearing the word no, no, no, no, no, no… 100 times, if that’s what it takes.
She began the project.
Guess what happened next?
She started working her connections. She started emailing potential clients and people who could refer her to clients. She started showing her portfolio to anybody who seemed even remotely interested. She asked people to hire her. She heard “no,” a lot, just as expected. But from time to time, she also heard a different word: “Yes.”
Doing a “100 Rejections” project helped this woman to finally come out of hiding… and it completely transformed her business. Before too long, she had a completely full client docket and she continues to thrive, today. She also inspired many other artists, coaches and business owners to follow in her courageous footsteps. “100 Rejections” projects are popping up all around the ‘net. Like this one. And this one.
I am obsessed with this concept and I cannot stop telling people about it.
Here’s my question for you:
Are you really serious about running your own business? How serious?
Are you willing to introduce yourself to 100 people—potential clients, potential customers, potential investors, mentors, sponsors, collaborators—between now and the end of this year?
We’ve got about 60 days left in this year. So if you’re aiming for 100 rejections between now and December 31st, that less than 2 rejections per day. Totally doable.
Are you up for it?
And you better believe… I will be doing this project right along with you! Here’s my rejection plan: I want to find delicious sponsors to donate books, chocolate, candles, pens, and other goodies for the swag bags that I will be handing out to people who are attending my CLEAR COACHES LIVE event in January. I am going to start emailing my dream sponsors, one by one, to propose a mutually-beneficial collaboration. And if I hear no? I will survive. Onward. Next!
What’s your 100 Rejections project going to be?
Fortune favors the brave. Be gutsy and act now. See if you can get your first “no” within the next hour… then keep going. Prove to yourself that you can hear “no” without crumbling apart. With every “no thanks” you receive, you’ll be one “no” closer to a “yes.”
PS. If the phrase “100 Rejections” give you icky shivers, then change the terminology tosomething else. Like: 100 Hellos… 100 Introductions… 100 Coffee Dates… 100 Why Nots?… 100 Free Gifts That I Am Doling Out To People I Admire… 100 Compliments…100 “Thank You” Notes… 100 Invitations… or 100 Lunches.
(I know a woman who did a 100 Lunches project and wound up having tons of fascinating lunch dates with people who went on to become new friends, clients, mentors, and more. All she did was email each person… and ask!)