The Journey of a Start Up: My First Experience with Rejection and What it Taught Me

I experienced my first real knock as an entrepreneur this week.

This is still quite raw for me so difficult to write about but we promised you from the start that we would be honest. It is one of our key values and we truly mean it.

As recent as the event was, already it has taught me that although I am currently a solo founder of a start up business, I am not on my own. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by the most supportive friends, family and boyfriend (to cheer me up he came straight over with nature’s best medicine; chicken dippers and ice cream) and I could not be more grateful for them.

It also made me realise how bad I still I am at handling rejection (I thought it might have been something I would have grown out of by now). There is something about the two letters; N and O then when said together make my blood temperature rise, my chin start to wobble and my eyes leak. Now I understand that as an entrepreneur and 24 year old this isn’t also going to be the last disappointment I face in business (and in life) but there might be something I can do with the way I process them in my mind going forward.

I would also like to point out that this isn’t the only setback I have ever had in life, to be honest, I have had quite a few.

See examples below;

 

– I got ‘let go’ from my first job in a deli at the age of 14

– Due to a technical error, I got declined from all of my UCAS options (my dream at the time was to study Fashion Communication at Nottingham)

– I was made redundant from my 2 year paid placement

– I changed course 3 times at university due to various circumstances

– I had my heart broken whilst suffering with glandular fever

– I was rejected after countless interviews for my first graduate job

– I gained 1 stone in my first year of full time employment due to stress

– I failed miserably at the work-life balance

I decided to try something new, something I always read about but admittedly wasn’t the best at practising, especially when I wanted to play victim. I re-analysed these past situations with a positive mind-set and thought about the bigger picture.

So let’s try this again…

 

– I got ‘let go’ from my first job in a deli at the age of 14 – which forced me to find a new job at a local pub which I LOVED and remained for 2 years.

– Due to a technical error I got declined from all of my UCAS options (my dream at the time was to study Fashion Communication at Nottingham) – but ended up going to Northumbria last minute and had THE BEST TIME of my life with all my girlfriends and fell in love with a city where 8 years on I still don’t want to leave.

– I was made redundant from my 2 year paid placement – so went back to uni and changed course which introduced me to some great friends, one who I even live with now and will be bridesmaid at her wedding (eek).

– I changed course 3 times at university due to various circumstances – but graduated 4 years later (1 year more than most) with one hell of a story and one hell of a time.

– I had my heart broken whilst suffering with glandular fever – which taught me exactly what NOT to look for in a man and now I have a really great one!

– I was rejected after countless interviews for my first graduate job – but landed a role in one of the North East’s biggest advertising agencies and got to work with some great clients whilst collecting invaluable experience up my belt. 

– I gained 1 stone in my first year of full time employment due to stress – which forced me to get pro-active and seek out a nutritionist who taught me how to manage my cortisol levels and I was then able to shift the extra pounds.

– I failed miserably at the work-life balance – which gave me the drive to do something about it and turn my passion project into a full time job 

The key lesson I learnt here was that when something ‘bad’ happens to us it is really easy to individualise the experience to make it extra traumatic, we as humans are really good at self pity. But we should think about the event, take a step back and remember what came next…

It might have been 1 day later, 1 week later, 1 year later or even 10 years later but usually there is a chain of events from the catalytic moment that lead you on a different journey to a new destination you would not have got to otherwise.

And now, after my first knock as an entrepreneur, I can’t wait for what’s to come next.

 

Love, Rebecca x