The Best Form of Revenge Is…


Rejection. It can sting. Whether a potential employer or current supervisor that doesn’t give you the opportunity to shine, the reality is that sooner or later, you’re going to face rejection. How you deal with that rejection can ultimately determine your success.

I once heard that the best form of revenge is success. In other words, prove the naysayers wrong by not only succeeding, but doing something so well that they regret not giving you the chance in the first place. There are countless examples of people who’ve succeeded despite heavy rejection:

  • J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, was rejected by twelve different publishers and told that there was no money in children’s books. Rowling became the world’s first and only billionaire author.
  • Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, tried selling his “secret recipe”  to restaurant owners for a percentage of sales. He was rejected 1,009 times before he got a single sale.
  • Walt Disney was turned down over 300 times before he got the financing for Disney World.
  • Albert Einstein was thought to be mentally challenged because he didn’t start talking until he was four and didn’t start reading until he was seven.

Some people argue that you shouldn’t take no for an answer. I disagree. I think you should take no as a learning lesson so that you can find areas of improvement. What good is it if people keep telling you no and you don’t make any changes that will persuade them to say yes? They say that the definition of crazy is to do something over and over again expecting different results.

So the next time that you receive rejection, don’t waste your time and energy being bitter. Instead, thank them. Then spend your time thinking about how you can strengthen your ask/application for next time. Can you tighten up your proposal by getting rid unnecessary words, data, or information? Can you find a stronger partner who can help you with the pitch through a recommendation? Can you do some “pre-marketing” by planting the seed before you harvest it?

After that, take a moment to savor your future success, one where you think about all of the people who said “no” wishing that they had said “yes.”

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