Don't Sweat The Petty Things

You're going to work really hard, and you're going to be told, "no." And it sucks. But once you stuff that "no" in your purse or suitcase or briefcase or pocket (I don't know how much storage space you have), where you take it will define you.

If you're determined to get where you want to go, rejections will be a driving force toward success...not the other way around. 

Here's what I do when I'm rejected:

  1. Take a deep breath (corny, but it helps)
  2. Ask myself: does it matter right now? will it matter in an hour? Will it matter tomorrow? Will it matter in a year? 5 years? --this sequence works for everything from spilled milk to road rage to relationships
  3. Move forward, as quickly as possible. Create an action plan for how you're going to get through this turbulence.
  4. Keep going. Don't stop. If it's important, someone else's perception of the situation won't affect your progress.

Behind any respectable person of power or public status is a laundry list of rejections. Here's a few in case you'd like a little encouragement right now (thanks, Business Insider):

  1. Walt Disney -- lacked imagination
  2. Oprah -- too emotionally invested in her stories
  3. Vera Wang -- Once upon a time she wanted to be an Olympic figure skater. She pursued it, failed, kindled a new passion. $1bil+ designer business. You go, Vera.
  4. Thomas Edison -- over 1,000 failed attempts. Imagine writing 1,000 songs; pitching 1,000 proposals for the same project; making the same dinner 1,000 times until the recipe is perfected. Now try counting to 1,000. Even that is exhausting. Ya boy Tom gave the big old middle finger to his "no's."
  5. J.K. Rowling. I would highly recommend watching the documentary on her life (I wish there were a less boring way to suggest watching a documentary). single mom. broken relationship. hard-pressed for money. First billionaire author in 2004. nbd.
  6. Dr. Seuss! Omg, Dr. Seuss. What a badass. Like most successful authors, Ted "Seuss" Geisel's works were rejected again and again. He caught a break, put his career on hold to help WWII efforts, and eventually transformed children's literature from "See Dick run" to "I do not like them in a box. I do not like them with a fox."