In this InvENting 101 post, we’re going to focus on a topic that no one really wants to hear, but everyone needs to know about to be a better inventor…REJECTION.
Inventing is hard, that’s not a secret. Even those who have had tremendous success have had to deal with naysayers or those of differing opinion.
In the past, we’ve talked about working through FEAR as an inventor. While there are many causes of fear, one of the main catalysts is fear of being rejected. Well, now it’s time to stare rejection right in the face, and we’re going to help you through it.
Let’s lay out a scenario…
You’ve finally decided to share your idea. You’ve chosen to submit it to Edison Nation and have been patiently waiting for movement to the next stage in the evaluation process. You check your email and refresh your Dashboard multiple times a day, so much so that your finger now has a cramp. Then, you finally see it – an email that says your idea has moved! You hold your breath, cross your fingers and click into your EN account. And there it is…a red X. Your idea was declined.
Your heart drops. If you’re an Edison Nation Insider, you’ve received feedback. Sometimes it may make sense to you, sometimes you may disagree, but either way, you’re at a crossroads. Whether you realize it or not, your reaction will now determine the path for that idea and potentially, for future ideas.
So your idea was rejected. Do you give up and succumb to the rejection never to invent again? That is bleak, very bleak indeed, and we’re going to give you some tools to make sure this is NOT an option.
Give yourself time to process the rejection and then let it go.
Did you know that the same area of our brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain? Rejections hurt, and the majority of that pain is usually self-inflicted. We doubt our ability, punish ourselves with negative self talk and more. Doing this is unhealthy and self-destructive and will definitely not lead to growth.
Allow yourself time and then let it go. Especially when it comes to inventing, your ideas are your babies and the more emotionally invested you are in them, the more time (and potentially money) spent, the more rejection hurts. Give yourself some time after a rejection to process it, then move on.
Don’t get angry.
It is only logical that a certain level of discouragement and heartbreak come along with a rejection. In these cases, it is best not to let your emotions get the best of you.
The best offense against negative emotions is to remain focused and at your best. Do whatever you need to do to regain clarity. Brainstorm a new challenge, take a walk or seek some positive reinforcement from your peers – the EN Forums are a great place for this!
Understand that rejection is inevitable, but it is not personal.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop rejection, and that lack of control can bring about fear. Understand that rejection is part of the journey and sometimes an inevitable truth. Don’t take a rejection as a commentary on your own worth or ability.
Make a mental list of all the good things you have going on. Two of the most important attributes you can possess are passion and tenacity. Remind yourself that this was a decision based in fact, it is not personal.
Review any feedback you received and think about how you can change your innovation concept to address that feedback. If references have been provided to you, study them. If you ultimately determine that you want to move on from that idea, do so with the new knowledge you gained from the experiences and resources you’ve been given.
Look for the silver lining and never give up.
After receiving a rejection the easy road is to give up and move on, but that is not a solution to move you forward.
Instead of seeing that red X as a symbol of a decline, look at it as a key to a new opportunity. Revisit the idea, fine tune your pitch, clarify or, if necessary, move onto something else. There is value in being turned down when you can maintain composure and use the redirection as a learning tool.
Contrary to popular belief, the Edison Nation evaluation team gets no pleasure from declining ideas. We want ideas to be successful, that’s our bread and butter. That being said, we also want our inventor community to be successful, and sometimes that may take a learning experience to bring you to your next great idea and ultimately, a licensing deal!