In a world full of SO many overblown claims about how easy it is to make a million dollars online (seriously)… today, I’m keeping it real and talking about the one two-letter word that will be your secret weapon to building a 6-figure business. Is it easy? No. It’s it worth it? Oh yeah. Keep reading.
Hey guys, it’s Alex and this week I’m taking a little breather from my regular tutorials to talk about something that is very REAL in the world of entrepreneurship, and that is REJECTION.
Quite often I get messages from my Posse on Instagram or YouTube saying “Alex, I want to start freelancing, but I don’t have any clients”…
To which I say “Ok, how many potential clients have you reached out to?”
Yea, the answer is usually NONE.
The truth is, I have countless videos on how to get started but the biggest problem isn’t the lack of training and resources out there. In fact, I have subscribers who have started their copywriting business and got clients using nothing but my free videos available on my YouTube Channel.
Like Renata who shared this with me on a recent webinar I hosted…
“Alex, I’ve been watching your videos for 3 months now and I’ve literally taken your advice and got a job. I have a few gigs going. Thank you so much. Your work and your videos are amazing.” – Renata Lewis
Hearing stuff like that from my Posse makes me So happy. And it’s why I do this.
Now what about you? If you haven’t yet put yourself out there what is holding you back…
If I had to guess it would be that silly little two-letter word that holds SO much power over us.
Any guesses what it is?
No. N-O NO.
Now, if you’ve ever been afraid of rejection when it comes to starting your business, I can hardly blame you. There is so much misinformation out there about what it takes to start a business from the ground up.
In a world so full of overblown claims about how easy it can be to make millions of dollars…
I can see why hearing that dreaded two-letter word can leave you feeling defeated. Like, why can everyone else do it and I can’t.
Well honey, you heard it here. It isn’t easy and it’s not supposed to be. If it was, everyone would do it. And what’s the fun in that.
Listen, NO ONE you admire today got to where they are without hearing the word no, like A LOT. No, I’m not interested, No thanks, maybe later. Not today. Not a chance. Just NO.
Sound familiar? Great, you’re doing it right. And if you haven’t gotten a NO yet, what ya waiting for?
I can tell you all the motivational quotes in the world…
You’re going to fail, so fail fast and fail often.
You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.
When one door closes, another one opens.
But you know all that already.
So what I want to do today is help you change your relationship with the word NO baby. Because, once you get used to it, you’ll see there is SO much freedom and power on the other side.
Every NO is a stepping stone to a NEW OPPORTUNITY. See what I did there…
And speaking of new, if you’re new around here, remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Every single week, I release a new tutorial on copywriting, marketing and branding – and the occasional motivational rant – to help you ignite your business.
And now, here they are – 5 reasons why the word NO is your secret weapon to building a 6-figure business.
#1: NO Helps You Pivot
The struggle is real. At some point, mark my words, you WILL be turned down when you apply or propose for a gig or a job, especially when you’re at the beginning of your freelance business.
A client or customer might tell you that you don’t have the right experience or that you’re too expensive or that they decided to go with someone else. Or they just might ghost you all together.
And I know I know that sucks. But it takes time to build up authority and get to that point where clients and customers are coming to you, but here’s the thing — even the BEST copywriters, entrepreneurs and freelancers didn’t get to where they are without rejection. You know this. And I’ve been there myself.
But it’s important that you don’t take that scratch to the ego as a missed opportunity or a waste of time. Because it is, in fact, a gift.
Hear me out… When a prospective client or customer turns you down, instead of getting down about it — which you’re completely entitled to do by the way because hey, there’s no shame in being human — I encourage you to get curious.
This is your time to PIVOT and innovate.
Ask them: what could you have done better? Is there room for innovation or improvement on your part? What would it take for them to consider you again in the future?
This is your time to innovate or zhuzh up your portfolio for when you approach other clients or customers.
Because if you don’t do it differently next time, why would you expect to get anything other than a no? That’s the definition of insanity isn’t it — doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
If you’re lucky, they tell you exactly why they couldn’t say yes to you. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and so much to gain in simply asking for feedback in a constructive way. You might realize that that NO was just a not right now.
Or you may get 100 NO’s before you get a yes. But eventually you WILL get a yes and, as long as you continue to innovate, grow and add value, soon enough, you’ll be the one saying NO… which leads me to…
#2: NO Helps You Prioritize
NO is a two-way street. Just because you’re new to this whole world doesn’t mean you should say yes to every single project that comes your way.
The world’s highest achievers got to where they are because they know how to prioritize their commitments so they can stay focused and deliver the best work they can.
Yet believe it or not guys — most leaders don’t know how to say no. Especially entrepreneurs who started from scratch. You might have the tendency to be drawn to every new opportunity, well, because of FOMO, and before you know it, your plate will be piled SO high and you’ll feel SO stretched and overwhelmed by the promises you’ve made…
Turning down the next opportunity or offer that comes your way might just be the best decision you can ever make for your career. It gives you the space and energy you need to focus on the commitments that will best serve you and your mission AND allow you to deliver your best work.
My advice – stay in your lane and say no to anything that doesn’t actually feel like something you want to do. My friend Roland Frasier, co-owner at Digital Marketer, invented something he calls the PFM method.
He’ll only say yes to something if 1) he actually likes the people he’d be working with 2) he thinks it would be fun and 3) if it has the potential to make good money. And that comes last. He only says YES to money if it meets the People and Fun criteria first. So there you have it. There’s an acronym for it, so it’s basically science.
So step back and really assess why you feel compelled to say YES to certain projects — is it out of scarcity, out of guilt? Or maybe you feel the need to be busy ALL the time because if you’re not constantly hustling or grinding, you’re not working hard enough… yup, I’ve been there too.
So just remember. If it’s not an F yes, it’s an F NO. And that’s ok!
If you need some tips on the best way to turn down a client or a business opportunity, check out the podcast, “How To Say No” by Tim Ferriss.
#3: NO Sets Boundaries
Just as you need personal boundaries in your relationship with others and yourself — professional boundaries set a clear understanding of what your role is (and isn’t)… And the terms on which you can best serve your client.
As you begin to navigate the freelance world, it can be a struggle to communicate what you’re cool with and what you’re not cool with because you’re figuring it out as you go along.
So take the time to recognize, establish and communicate your boundaries, guys, because the last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable, resentful, taken advantage of, or worse — just completely burn out. I’ve been there too.
Remember that as a freelancer, you have a responsibility to your client to do things to the best of your ability. So if you find yourself having to say NO to protect that ability — trust that decision.
And just as we strive to protect our own boundaries, we gotta remember to respect others too.
If a client says no to some of the terms that you’ve laid out, or makes a request that pushes up against your boundaries… Before you jump to “how dare you”, figure out how you can find some middle ground that creates a win-win situation, because a long-term mutually respectful relationship is definitely the best way forward in this biz.
#4: NO Makes You Stronger
Rejection is like running. The more you experience it, the easier it becomes. The first time you hear the word NO it stings like shin splints.
The second time, it stings a little less.
Resilience to rejection is like a muscle that needs action to get stronger and stronger. So make it your mission to get as many no’s as possible, because that means you’re trying something new and putting yourself out there. Good job.
And, the truth is, if you got a yes every time, life would be so boring. There would be no reason to celebrate and drink champagne!! Ok, maybe I’d find a reason to do that.
But every no you get makes the yes you do finally get that much sweeter.
Did you know that Walt Disney was turned down by 302 banks before he got a loan for Disneyland and J. K. Rowling had twelve publishers say NO to Harry Potter. Big mistake. HUGE.
So, wear your NOs like proud badges of honor on your sleeve and keep challenging yourself, you daredevil you.
#5: NO Helps You Grow
The word NO helps you grow and uplevel.
It’s kind of like dating — with every broken heart you get better and better at knowing the kind of person you want to be with. Don’t we all look back at the people we’ve dated and go “well I’m kinda glad that didn’t work out?” even if we fell to pieces at the time? You gotta kiss a few frogs before you find your price, or princess. Right? Right?
Whether you’re the one saying NO or hearing NO, no matter what it’s an opportunity to create space for something bigger.
I said NO to law school when many people would’ve said that was the downright stupidest thing I could’ve done after going to business school, and majoring in business law. But what did I do instead? I took an internship on the other side of the world and three years later started my copywriting business. And look at me now!
Man, what would my life have been like as a lawyer… All I know is I have no What If’s and I am grateful for my life right now… and for every NO I’ve said and I’ve NO I’ve earned.
Watch This Instead
What was a BIG NO you’ve had in your life? And how did it lead to an even better opportunity for you? Comment below and let me know. I can’t wait to hear your stories.
I Appreciate you guys so much for reading. Leave me a comment if you found this article helpful.
I’ll be back next week with another post. Until then, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!