From “No” To “Yes”: Making Rejection Work For Your Business Ideas

Here are five actions you can take when you feel like giving up

(Image: File)
(Image: File)

In August of 2013 I was scrambling. I’d lost my blogging job and needed to replace that income before September of 2013 (you know how that goes).  So I decided to start a class to teach other bloggers what I knew about blogging. There were charts, slides, and I had screenshots, stories, big boards of Post-It notes with everything I knew. I got my Google Doc presentation together and set out on Learning Annex and Eventbrite. I even reached out to my network to promote. Crickets.

Nobody was buying what I was selling. However, there was a call for writers for Blogalicious.  They wanted eguides written for bloggers. I had all of this course material at my disposal.  Having never written an eguide, I still pitched them one of my ideas from the class.

Boom. The “no” of the masses instantly turned into an amazing “Yes”.  That no resulted in me having the highest viewed eguide in the BeBlogalicious store. I could have sat in my home office and believed that, since no one was buying, the material had no value. Yet I didn’t give up.

Do you have a project, speech, book, class, podcast, blog or blog post just sitting on the shelf because you’ve heard “no” over and over? Well, here’s a few ways to turn the “no” into a “yes”.

1. Ask someone. I had the good fortune of having a network of people telling me that the class was valuable.  I also had the good fortune of not having some of my emails answered when I was trying to market the class. Several people who are mentors in my head didn’t say anything to me and that said a lot. There are plenty of times when I didn’t know what to say to a colleague who didn’t quite have their materials ready for market. If you can’t get your friends excited, then people you don’t know won’t get excited either.

2. Reevaluate. Maybe you’ve chosen the wrong market, or platform for your product or service.  What I have to say about blogging is valuable, but my audience didn’t want to sit through webinars to hear the information or maybe they didn’t want to hear it from me. Blogalicious is for bloggers and people who love learning about blogs. Bloggers didn’t need hand holding (the class), but wanted a quick read with action steps.

Try a one-question survey with your audience to find out what they want from you. Ask them, “What do you want from me?” Give them the options you can produce – book, audio book, ebook, speeches, retreats, high-level access to you with a members only website, one-on-one coaching, etc. This is your starting point.

3. Marry the info not the packaging. If you are a world-class speaker on physics, but no one wants to hear you talk about your new love of chess, you may have to give up on talking about chess.  However, what if you started a blog, a podcast, or even a fan site for The Big Bang Theory (where they love chess and physics)?  You might not make the same money you do as a speaker, but you have a chance for monetization and sharing your passion.

4.  Give up control. This one is hard.  As entrepreneurs we eat what we kill.  Period.  When we hand over our projects to someone else to help us “kill it” we then are giving over the profits, some of the pomp and circumstance, and lending our reputation to the other entity.  Blogalicious actually owns my eguide.  Honestly the “what ifs” have crossed my mind, but the conveyance of their reputation to my brand is invaluable. Oftentimes that gift works both ways.

5. Wait. This one is hard, but it works.  Sometimes the world just isn’t ready for your business ideas or you haven’t found the right home/audience/buyers for what you are trying to sell.  As an entrepreneur that is a hard reality, and one of the main reasons we need to have multiple revenue streams. I know I didn’t have long to wait for the Blogalicious opportunity, but as soon as I heard it I knew it was right for what I had in front of  me.  Like they say, you don’t have to get ready if you stay ready.

Here’s to more yeses than noes and noes that turn into yeses in 2015.

Ella Rucker is the co-founder of Weekend Startup School and director of operations for #MentorMonday with Paul C. Brunson, both of which serve minority entrepreneurs. She has made her living for the past three years working as a writer, editor and content producer with some of the most successful personalities, brands, and blogs.  She has also written an eguide for Blogalicious entitled Tick Tock Goes The Blog Clock: The What, Why and How Of Creating 365 Days Of Content TODAY.

Ella tweets at @ellalaverne and blogs at

5 Responses to From “No” To “Yes”: Making Rejection Work For Your Business Ideas

  1. VeePeeJay says:

    Another great article Ella! Way to turn things around. Thanks for sharing all these great tips!

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