Seek rejection

This is a post first published in August 2011 from my long lost WordPress blog and reposted here for posterity.

I’m a massive fan of rejection. It’s what keeps me moving. If I wasn’t a fan I probably wouldn’t be in the business I am in.

Every day I send an email or make a phone call to someone that is likely to get me a rejection. I make sure that it’s about something big and meaningful — something that is likely to cause rejection but if it doesn’t will lead me onto something bigger, something interesting.

Yesterday I emailed a publisher I know about the potential for a book around Tourisms, the photographic travel guides.

The day before I emailed a Singapore-based agency about the potential for cross-collaboration on a different project.

The day before that I struck up a conversation with a NYC startup about a way to add a viral loop to their product.

Most days I get rejected one way or the other. I hear nothing back or I get a short response that the person on the other end isn’t interested in my idea and would like me to go away.

Sometimes it takes days or weeks to get the rejection but it usually comes.

The reason I do it is because when the rejection doesn’t come, when acceptance comes, it’s spectacular.

And every day I ask myself the question “what did I do to get rejected today?”. It’s my way of keeping score, of making sure that I’m still moving forward.

Seek rejection.

Every day.