No one likes to hear the word “no” when they have goals they are looking to accomplish. Whether it’s raising capital for your startup and the investor says no to your proposal you spent months working on, or you’re looking for press and the journalist declines your pitch, the denial can sting.
But, if taken with the right mindset, no can be your best friend. Especially for us entrepreneurs, here are five reasons you should embrace it when people turn you down.
It forces you to go back to the drawing board, or at least consider it.
When you get that rejection, your first instinct is to fight it. Unfortunately, that’s a mistake many entrepreneurs make. It happened to me this week when I posted about an upcoming article and asked for recommendations of startups to research. I got hundreds, but some were totally irrelevant. When I told one sender that, they got defensive and argued with me about why I passed on their idea. That is the wrong reaction. Instead of fighting the no, embrace it and figure out why that’s the answer you got.
As many people have said, when you fail and learn from your failure, then it is not a failure at all. If someone tells you your story is not interesting enough for them to cover, then it’s time for you to sit down and come up with a more interesting story. Every rejection should teach you something and make you more capable of getting a yes the next time around.
It can become a catalyst for a pivot.
The hardest thing to do for an entrepreneur is pivot. This person is presumably very passionate about their venture–otherwise they wouldn’t have started it. So to pivot and abandon your plans is never easy, but if there is no demand for what you’re building, it might be time for a pivot and getting rejected might help you realize that.
It brings in an objective unbiased opinion.
The last thing any entrepreneur wants to be surrounded by is yes men who encourage everything you do even if they don’t really believe it will succeed. The most important thing is to get objective opinions on what you’re building. When someone says no to you, you know they’re objective and you can take their feedback seriously.
While it may not be fun to hear the word “no” as entrepreneur, it might be the important most word you’ll hear along the journey of building your business. Embrace it and learn from it. It’ll only help you in the long run.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.