14 Ways to Deal with Rejection

Lady sitting at desk

Hello, hello! I hope you’re having a great week, Babe. We choose small business topics that are educational and positive, because we want you to have information & inspiration you can carry into your day and business. The topic of ‘rejection’ might not come off as having a silver lining, but we promise it does! We asked 14 business owners how they deal with rejection, because let’s face it, no matter what your business is or your experience level, we’ve all had to bounce back from not being chosen for the job. Take solace in the ways these amazing women have become resilient, focused, & positive about letting go of what isn’t a good fit. You can bounce back, too! Stay boss. xx


Amy Braswell | PaperFinch Design

Amy Braswell | PaperFinch Design // IG

“Wallow in it. Okay, hear me out-- whenever I have a big disappointment, I give myself a little time to wallow in it. And then when I know my wallow time is up, I just move on. The amount of time I give myself is proportional to the size of the disappointment. It can be anywhere from 5 minutes of venting to my husband/BFF all the way up to an entire evening where I allow myself chocolate cake and wine for dinner. (That was my go-to wallow whenever our IVF cycles ended in a big fat negative). But allowing yourself to get it out is cathartic! And it frees up your brain space to truly move on and do great things in the future!”

St. Petersburg, FL

Andrejka Hirschegger | Andrejka Photography

Andrejka Hirschegger | Andrejka Photography // IG

“Do not take it personally! Look at your past clients and their feedback. Chances are the positive feedback and clients that come back over and over outnumber the little bit of rejection that is bound to happen with every business.”

St. Petersburg, FL

Ashley Izquierdo

Ashley Izquierdo | Ashley Izquierdo // IG

“I think that rejection always allows for growth. Yes, it hurts, but what can you learn from it? What can you do better as a business to prevent this from happening in the future?”

Tampa, FL

Becky Leu | Leu Interiors

Becky Leu | Leu Interiors // IG

“Use some of the extra time you now have (that you would have spent on that project) to be a rockstar at your other current projects and turn them into sure referrals.”

Des Moines, IA

Emily Ganey | The Ganeys

Emily Ganey | The Ganeys // IG

"When dealing with rejection I generally take the approach that it wasn't mean to be. Some rejection still really hurts, but many rejections have led to a better client for the same date down the road or a free weekend to relax (which is rare and needs to be prioritized as well). I take rejections as learning opportunities. I generally ask for feedback if we met with a couple and they decided to go in another direction. Sometimes it stings to hear what they have to say... but it always gives me closure. Ultimately, I try to remember that better things are on the horizon!"

St. Petersburg, FL

Jade Timmerman

Jade Timmerman | Jade Timmerman Interiors // IG

“Rejection always stings and I will admit, I take it personally and beat myself up when I am first rejected from a potential client. But I have learned that every "no" should be treated with an attitude of gratitude. I was listening to a podcast with Maya Angelou and she said every time she was told no, she said thank you. You say "thank you" because that rejection is opening you up to a bigger possibility and even though it stings, that opportunity was not meant to be. So, I am trying to practice that attitude and it definitely helps me change my outlook!”

Kelli A. Stirrett | Even Keel Ops

Kelli A. Stirrett | Even Keel Ops // IG

“I try to look at rejection as leaving space and time to take advantage of the right opportunities which are out there waiting for me.”

North Myrtle Beach, SC

Kelly Maronpot | FairyTail Pet Care

Kelly Maronpot | FairyTail Pet Care // IG

"Take the time to understand why it did not work out. Is there something you may be able to improve on and take away from the situation? Or was it simply because you or your company were not the right fit? Rejection can, in fact, be a positive thing!”

Tampa, FL

Maggie Shaffer | Sagebrushed /

Maggie Shaffer | Sagebrushed // IG

“Rejection really hurts. These are a few steps I take to get past rejection:

1. Don’t judge yourself for feeling hurt. You’re human. And you are not alone. Remember that everyone experiences rejection.

2. Turn the discomfort into an opportunity to reevaluate and redirect. Strength and growth come from adversity, not perpetual acceptance. 

3. Be thankful for the chance to try again and just go for it!”

Tampa, FL


Ren Altizer | Wolf&Rabbit Marketing // IG

“Smile and let them know that you’re thankful for their honesty! 

When we express gratitude we diffuse any negative energy or any awkward tension. The last thing you would want to do is experience rejection AND burn a bridge! 

It can be hard to not take it personally, even when it comes to your business, but we have to constantly remind ourselves that we aren’t for everyone! And everyone is not for us. When we face rejection we can simply remember that it is better to happen now than to be working with someone that you have no chemistry with and that you dread daily. Dust your shoulders off and move on to the next great opportunity.”

Tampa, FL

Olivia Herrick

Olivia Herrick | Olivia Herrick // IG

“The only way I have survived in this industry is to remind myself that nothing is ever personal. When clients give feedback, it’s about the design, not me. The number of times I have gotten an email saying “I’m sorry, we decided to move forward with someone else at a lower rate”... That’s just a numbers game and there is a client for every price point! It’s never personal!”

Twin Cities, MN

Salma Benkabbou | The Benkabbou Law Firm

Salma Benkabbou | The Benkabbou Law Firm // IG

“Rejection is a learning opportunity that teaches you to either redirect your efforts to something else or to make changes. The answer comes from understanding why you were rejected.”

Tampa, FL

Samoa Blanchet | Ink'd by Samoa

Samoa Blanchet | Ink'd by Samoa // IG

"I think that feeling of disappointment we feel when we're rejected is usually for two reasons: deep insecurities, or because we're controlling. I've gone through both. Once I realized that what I provide is priceless and the transformations my clients go through, my outlook changed. When I get rejected by a client, or for a project, I no longer take it personally. I just see it as either the person is missing out, or that they don't need the transformation. It's nothing against me, they either don't see the value, or the transformation isn't meant for them. That doesn't make me, or what I offer less valuable.

For the control freak bit, I just realized that you may be able to control your own thoughts and your actions, but you can't control other people. And it's not nice to control people anyways. Ha. So just do your part, let people make their choice, and know that you did everything you could and move on.  If it was meant for you, it would've been yours."

Sheila Vaske | V’Enza Creations

Sheila Vaske | V’Enza Creations // IG

“At the end of the day, you will not always be the right fit for every customer or client you think or envision you will be. If they reject your product/company/etc… then they will not be the proper channel to advocate for you! Align yourself with others that will!”

Apollo Beach, FL