Rejections Can Be Redirections for Freelancers — Only if You Let Them

Here’s how I handle rejection as a self-employed person. Feel free to copy my template and apply it to your business.

Rejections Can Be Redirections for Freelancers — Only if You Let Them
Photo by Per Lööv on Unsplash

Here’s how I handle rejection as a self-employed person. Feel free to copy my template and apply it to your business.

Yesterday, a client rejected the proposal I’d made.

We had worked together on a few articles that did incredibly well. I proposed to them if they’d like to work with me for videos as well, but they turned me down.

Which is fine. The video proposal was a shot in the dark anyway. I’d be surprised if it was accepted.

But in their rejection email, they told me WHY they don’t think videos are a good idea right now. This helped me understand what they’re actually looking for, which in turn gave me clarity on our partnership.

I got back to them after a few hours with a new proposal which they loved and instantly agreed. It was a win for us both and marks the beginning of a side hustle for me, another income stream to support my self-employed life.

But that reminded me of an aspect of rejection we so often ignore: how every rejection can be a redirection only if you let it be.

In this post, I’m dissecting the dynamics of how I handled the rejection and why it led me to an even better opportunity. Feel free to take the nuances of the framework and apply them to your life, business, or job. I’m sure it will work wonders for you as well.

Just ASK

When you feel better working conditions might emerge from your existing contracts, ASK.

Yes, I know it’s hard. I know you might feel awkward asking for more money.

But as the Nike slogan goes, just do it.

Don’t worry. No one’s going to think you’re too greedy if you ask for more. In my experience, proposing a long-term partnership and working out the details of a client relationship conveys that you’re serious about your work and are a thorough professional.

Clients appreciate that and would want to work with you more, even if they don’t go ahead with the current proposal you made.

Understand the WHY

You might get rejected, but rejections will help you understand what the client wants. Often, rejection emails will come with detailed reasons why the current proposal falls flat on its face.

Maybe they won’t detail out the next steps for you, but that’s on you. As an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to dissect the rejection email and understand what the client truly needs.

Based on that, you can either rework your current proposal to give them exactly what they need or get enough clarity to move on to other projects.

See where it leads you next

As my friend Jordan Gross once told me, “To a creative, rejection is always redirection.”

Keep this in mind when your proposal doesn’t receive the excitement you’d hoped it would. Not everyone would be ready for all your amazing ideas right when you want them. But that’s alright. There’s always something else to work on, somewhere else you can shift your energies to.

Focus on every rejection and try to see where it redirects you. The opportunities it opens up for you are going to be life-changing, for sure.

Closing thoughts

Rejection is always hard and totally out of our control. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur and so much of your next month’s financial plans depend on it. But trust the process and believe that great things are coming your way, only if you’re ready to welcome them.

Have faith in your hard work, and even if you can’t see it right away, know some great things will happen. All you’ve got to do is open your eyes, assess your situation, and see where the rejection is leading you.

Today, let’s make a promise to treat every rejection as an opportunity to learn something new and make a change in our plans to come up with even better ideas.

I’m in. Are you?

I’ve made a FREE 5-day course on how to be a highly paid writer to help people who are just starting out. Join here and be a part of this amazing journey towards financial freedom.

Want to read more honest takes on what it means to be a freelancer? Check out these articles below:

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Freelancing and Friends: Choosing the “Support” that Matters
My friends never supported me on my freelancing journey, but I found support and love at the most unexpected place.
How Being Self-Employed Has Given me More Freedom
Benefits of being a full-time writer I didn’t quite expect