You've decided to start a card business and you've been working on designs for six weeks. Your friends love them. Your mom loves them. Your coworkers love them. You think they'll be hot sellers.
In your car, on the way to the printer, you decide to stop by the local card store to show them to Sally, the owner.
With a smile, you pull out your cards and wait for Sally's reaction….but slowly, like a candle melting in Death Valley, you can see it in her face... she doesn't like them.
Your heart hits the ground as she tells you what all the problems are, but you don’t hear anything because your stomach hurts, even though she continues to give you great advice for the next 10 minutes.
Rejection hurts. You slowly wrap up the cards, put them back in your bag, and decide on the spot you want to go back to school and become a radiology technician.
WAIT....STOP! REWIND this story. What happened here?
This isn't a story about rejection. This is a story about an artist who doesn’t know what to do when their designs are rejected.
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Remember, rejection is not a bad thing. It's a great opportunity to learn from an expert!
Most professionals in the card industry are happy to help artists who are willing to adjust and try new things. Ask Sally what your next step should be. Just like envelopes and paper are part of the card business, so is rejection.
Your goal in card design, is to get emotionally close to your customer. Rejection by a store can help you steer your art towards knowing your customer. Just make sure you never leave a meeting without a notebook full of advice. Find out WHY you were rejected. Otherwise, rejection will only be experienced as something negative.
In the story above, imagine what would've happened if the artist just drove to the printer first, and not the card store? Not only would she experience rejection, but she also would have lost money by printing a poor design! This artist was really smart to seek out professional advice, and not just limit it to family and friends.
I experienced similar feelings when I started my business. My first two card lines were rejected, but I went on to try a third, a forth and a fifth, a sixth, most of which were successful. Store buyers were even willing to meet with me after hours and help me. The more I tried, the better things got.
If you are ready to give up and go to radiology school, first stop and ask yourself these ten questions below, so you can learn how to deal with rejection in a more rational way.
Tip 1: Are you approaching the right market?
Tip 2: Are you trying to sell handmade cards to a drugstore chain, or in a rural area?
Tip 3: Did you get feedback on "why not"?
Tip 4: Is this just one person's opinion?
Tip 5: Are you taking rejection personally?
Tip 6: Are you willing to make adjustments?
Tip 7: Have you thought about luck and timing?
Tip 8: Are you making weekly goals?
Tip 9: Are you in the waiting phase?
Tip 10: Who in your life really wants you to succeed?