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Fear of Rejection
And how your persistence pays off.


Back in 1994 I authored the first edition of The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret.  I was out promoting the book and trying to get bookstores to carry it.  Back then, one of the ways to do that was to go to bookstores and do what I liked to call “drive-by signings” (what can I say – I’m from L.A.).

A friend of mine said there was a local neighborhood bookstore that didn’t have any copies of my book. The store was literally on my way home one day, so I stopped off there. However, I couldn’t seem to talk myself into moving from the seat of my car—I was paralyzed with fear, and could not enter the store.

The “ask” was simple: Would they mind carrying a few copies of my book?  My nerves nagged me, “What if they say no?  What if they say they don’t want the book but thanks anyway for asking?”

It wasn’t a big bookstore, and I wasn’t sure that they would be willing to carry a book from an unknown author.  I sat there too embarrassed to make any moves toward the entrance.  I swear I almost put the key back into the ignition, turned it on, and backed out.

I was so close. Then I thought, Okay . . . if I don’t go in, what’s going to happen? I decided chances were pretty good that if I didn’t go into the store, absolutely nothing would happen and they’d continue to not carry the book. If I did go in and ask, there was a possibility they’d tell me they didn’t want the book; in that case, my position would not have changed.

Then I thought, What if I go in and ask and they say yes?  That question made me realize that the only choice, which would most likely lead to a positive outcome, was to go in.

Doing nothing would get me the same thing that I had now, which was nothing. So I literally sat in the car and said to myself, Suck it up and go on in. This will be over in ten minutes. Nobody is actually going to get injured. There will be no hospitalization involved. It’s not that big a deal. It’s just a possibility of a “no.”

So I went in. I brought a copy of the book and said, “I’m the author of this book. Some of the stores in your chain are carrying it. I live locally, and I just wondered if you would mind carrying a few copies, maybe three or four.  If so, I would be more than glad to sign them when they come in.”

They said, “Oh great! You’re a local author! We’ll get 20. Will you come back and sign them for us?”

Of course I would be glad to come back and sign them!

So they ordered 20 copies, and I came back in a couple of weeks to sign them all. I remember thinking back, that the experience was sort of a nexus point in terms of rejection for me. I could do something or I could not do something. Not doing anything would have put me in the same situation that I began with, which was having no books in the store.

Only taking the risk could result in success.

This is one of the reasons I tell people, “Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from doing what you are excited about. If you are excited about your business, don’t let rejection stop you. You have to embrace this when it comes to asking somebody to do something; some will, some won’t, so what?  It’s not the end of the world.”

I had to put myself in that frame of mind, believing I was facing not that big of a thing. I now do this same thing whenever I’m faced with a situation which opens up the possibility for rejection.  I just tell myself that if someone doesn’t want to do what I’m asking, that’s fine. God bless them. I love them. It’s not that big a deal.

A good friend of mine, Dr. Mark Goulston, likes to say: “We have a lot less control over winning or losing at something than we do over trying or quitting something. Always try. You can eventually win. If you always quit, you can never win.”

When people give up, even in their thoughts, it is game over. I make a point to remember that I may not be the most successful man in a room, and I may not be the smartest man in a room, but I am pretty confident that I am usually one of the most persistent men in the room. That commitment to always trying has helped me succeed. I think it is one of the things that consistently helps anyone have long term success. The whole process has to begin with the old axiom: if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’ll be right.

I’d love for you to share a story with me about a time you had to take leap of faith to do something and it turned out well.  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Called the “father of modern networking” by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. His newest book can be viewed at www.BusinessNetworkingandSex.com. Dr. Misner is also the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute, an international referral training company.

 

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46 Responses to “Fear of Rejection”

  1. Jason Turcotte Says:

    Great story… but I like the version told at conference where your parents show up. :)

  2. Ivan Misner Says:

    Thanks Jason. Actually, that was a different bookstore about a year later. People do love that story. My mom was an amazing women. She’d do anything for her kids.

    Ivan

  3. Trevor Cullen Says:

    What does not kill us only makes us stronger is a motto by which I build my business and your story very much echo’s that. Great story and even better message!

  4. Matt Roberts Says:

    Great story Ivan.

    I had some rejection which then turned into the biggest marketing opportunity and the most lucrative e-mail I’ve ever sent.

    Here in England on the BBC (which traditionally has no advertising whatsoever) there’s a weekly Sunday breakfast show that has a Gadget section. My company sells fantastically comfortable bean bags with beds inside and I thought they’d be great for the show so I e-mailed in.

    I received a rather frank reply from a researcher saying that it is not really a gadget and it was unlikely the series editor would be interested. Now, most people would take that as a ‘no’ however my time with BNI has taught me that No means ‘Not now’. I sent a nice reply thanking the lady for her response and saying that we’d gladly get involved (even last minute) in the future.

    Two weeks later I received an e-mail back saying they were doing an Oscars themed Gadget Section and that our ‘movie bean bags’ would be perfect. Almost 2 million people saw us live on the BBC that day and sales were fantastic. Three months later customers are still coming forward as a result of the exposure.

  5. Bill Watchulonis Says:

    How timely…. I recently started a new project that I’m super excited about but was dealing with those same deadly thoughts. Knowing all I needed to do was get into action and the fear would leave..it took a bit more pain and more reading of encouraging words just like yours to get over it.

    I guess it’s kind of like priming one of those old hand well pumps…it may take quite a few tries until the water starts to flow.

  6. David B Says:

    Ivan

    I am a financial adviser and decided to enlarge my referral sources by contacting over the phone chartered accountants.

    I have found that if done with a smile on my face when making the call people are either receptive or give a polite no.

    When calling a company that I didn’t have a name to refer to I have actually said ” This is a cold call” which has been received well as at least its honest. I have called around 20 now and have had 1 successful meeting off the back and another one lined up.

    It can be done.

  7. Kim Says:

    Wonderful story! I really needed to read this today. I make cold calls to doctors offices and make appointments to talk with the doctors. They can be very intimidating! My biggest fear is the “no”! However, I have survived being told no, and it didnt hurt :) I hear a lot more yes’s since joining BNI and learning and building confidence every week in our luncheons. Next time you are in Louisville, Ky. you should stop in and have lunch with us Dr.Misner!!

  8. Daniel Tay Says:

    I was once at a talk by Dr. Mel Gill. He asked a question to the audience. It was a riddle that I read when I was a kid and I knew the answer after he finished the first line of it. When Dr. Mel asked the audience if anyone knew the answer, no one moved forward. When he said he would throw in a free book of his, still no one answered.

    I am usually the shy type and I’m not sure what made me put up my hand, but I did and shouted out the answer in a crowd of almost a thousand people. It was the correct answer and I won the book. I had to go collect it after the talk.

    It was a small incident, but it was instrumental in my learning that in business, you have to have the courage to take the initiative. Only then can you move ahead of all the others who know the answer, but don’t make the initiative.

    Also, after the talk, Dr. Mel forgot about the book I won, and again I had to take the initiative to ask him for it. After I did it the first time, the second time was so much easier.

  9. matt nance Says:

    This story makes me think of a quote credited to Theodore Roosevelt (can’t confirm) that I think is relevant and encouraging:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – credited to Theodore Roosevelt

  10. Mike LaDew Says:

    Thanks for the insight and encouragement. After reading this article I started thinking how I can apply this to my own business. I own an Automotive Repair shop and I realized that I have been afraid of rejection by not going and asking certain fleet accounts for their business. (They already have a mechanic, they do their own repairs, ect.) Your encouragement has convinced me that I will NEVER gain their business by NOT asking for it. I will not fear rejection and I will go and present our services. Maybe I will have an update for you soon.

  11. Melanie Fullenkamp Says:

    My story is about launching a new BNI chapter. When two colleagues and myself decided to start a new chapter in our community, I gave it a lot of thought and hesitated considerably. I still remember the day the light came on for me and I decided to go for it full on. Seven months later we just welcomed our 30th member (yesterday). The Givers Gain energy in the room is palpable at every meeting.

    I can still remember when becoming a BNI member was a clear “no” for me, based on a lack mentality in terms of time and money. Now I have the pleasure of watching one person after another change their own mind about those same limitations, when their membership dues pay for themselves within three months of joining our chapter.

    The real joy is how many people we are witnessing find true help in their personal lives as a result of joining this team. The fact that my business is literally being saved because I am completely dedicated to success for all concerned, is icing on the cake. Now I’m preparing to take my locally owned business online thanks to the connections I’ve made. Thanks to your outstanding system, Dr. Misner. Thank you for constantly inspiring me to say yes instead of no. I live and breathe BNI now. Just ask my family.

  12. Jaymie Testman Says:

    Ivan,

    I just came back from a chapter meeting today where I had the pleasure of reminding people that BNI is not for everyone but how do you know if you don’t ask! When I opened my email after the meeting this is exactly what I needed to see. I am sending it to all of them in case they missed it.

    Thanks!

  13. Kathy Bram Says:

    I love your stories, they always seem to come at a time that I need them most. Thank You.
    I work at a Funeral Home/Cemetery in Trinity FL. After working here for a number of years I have been asked to do outside marketing. This position is new and really came with no instructions. I am to seek out speaking engagements and talk to groups about end of life decisions and how to plan ahead for the inevitable. When calling on local clergy, directors of over 55 communities, assisted living facilities I am very nervous about broaching the subject. I am passionate about the necessary of people being educated on preplanning but fear of rejection makes my stomach hurt.
    You have inspired me to just keep at it and stop assuming.
    Thank you.
    Kathy Bram

  14. Liz Says:

    Love this article! I was on a pragmatic career path for almost 20 years and in 2011 decided to take a leap of faith and leave corporate to start a business that I had been planning for years. As you say, it was all about getting over the fear of rejection. And then persistence.

    I’m in a reality show called “Failure Club,” currently airing on Yahoo Screen by producer Morgan Spurlock, that explores how the fear of failure limits us. There are 7 characters on the show, all getting out of our comfort zones to pursue goals and dreams that seem totally unrealistic. We are 6 months into the year of filming and all of us have been knocked down and picked ourselves back up (with the help of Morgan and the group) over and over. Our successes are all attributable to persistence. Dr. Misner, I’d love you to check out the show! http://screen.yahoo.com/lifestyle/failure-club/
    Best to All, Liz Picarazzi

  15. Lyle Shapiro Says:

    Ive been in the telecom industry for almost 20 years. I know one thing very well and that is phones. The last year I’ve been struggling to pay my bills and I have been stuck making the same amount, if not a little less for the last 2 years. A good friend of mine is in the medical sales industry and has been telling me to come work with him for the last year or so. I always thought about doing it as he told me I’d be working less hours, enjoying more than double the pay I’m making now and not having to live paycheck to paycheck anymore. Of course I never actually took the offer. I know my job well. I get medical benefits and I’m just comfortable not to make any changes.

    Last Friday I woke up and and as normal on every payday, I was stressed because over half that paycheck is already gone to rent and bills. I barely have enough left over for food for the week. As it is, I do not eat breakfast or lunch as I simply just can’t afford gas money and food. So I got out of bed went into work and went straight over to my bosses office. I turned in my two week notice, called my friend and told him I’d like to learn the medical sales trade. Age 40 and I start a whole new chapter in my life on May 14. I do not know if I will succeed, but finally I talked myself into taking a leap and not just pondering one. I did it. I took the leap and now I give myself a chance to better me. I look forward to my new job and to learning a whole new trade.

  16. Zurriane Says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Each time that I try and believe I have found that I can do it. A couple of years ago I started writing acticles just to see if I could now I have over 39,800 readers. Last in May I started a radio show called the Zurriane Show the last time I checked I had over 8000 listeners.

    You are right we can not let fear Kill our Dreams.

    Now I am growing my Mobile Social Media business. Easy no worth it YES! With BNI I am on my way.

  17. Jeff Davis Says:

    Great story. Persistence is everything. I hope one day over a beer or 2 you and I can exchange some of our best over the top, persistance stories. I’ve got LOTS of them! :-)
    Jeff

  18. E. Mark McGhie Says:

    Great story Dr. Misner. Reminds me of something my Mother used to tell me when I was young. Whenever I wanted to do something I would ask my Mother. Whenever she told me to ask my Dad, I would typically say, no, that’s ok. She would remind me that at the present, I wasn’t going to be able to do what I wanted, and that in asking my Dad I only had something to gain, not something to lose. Later in my life, having gone into business with my Dad, he told me to go out and get some business. I had never cold called anyone. I asked him how I was to do that. He dropped the phone book on my desk and said every company we did business with, and every potential company we could do business with was in it. I asked him what I should say when meeting these people. He said tell them our story. Tell them what we do and how we can help them. So I embarked on cold calling. Much like in your story, I had intense fear of being rejected. The rainbow in my story was that I called on a particular insurance adjuster and was rejected. I went in the next week and was rejected again. I resolved I would call on her each week for a year, and if I did not receive any work after that I would give up. I called week after week only to be rejected. She was pregnant at the time and each week I watched as she grew until she finally delivered and went on maternity leave. During that time I actually came to look forward to how she would tell me she had nothing for me. With her maternity leave I had met my challenge and ceased calling on her when she returned. As fate would have it, the contractor she was using to do her work, turned out to be the father of her child, and they were married sometime after her delivery. At that point she could no longer use him, and all of a sudden I started getting work from her. My persistence paid off and I wound up doing about 10% of my gross sales with her each year until she left the company! It’s my Dr. Misner book store story! Thanks for sharing, and for reminding me about the power of persistence. In this market I need to hear it often.

  19. Michelle Vogt Says:

    I was driving back to my office on the way home from a BNI meeting earlier today & saw a lawn crew taking care of a housing addition. I thought they would be great candidates to try our new endurance product. So I drove to the office & started grabbing some product to share with them. Then I thought to myself…”what are you doing, they won’t want this”. Still continued to add my information to the product. Self…”they are probably already gone.” Almost talked myself out of it. Got in car & headed their way. The truck was pulling away. Stopped a few feet away to pick up workers, but now I had a car behind me & no place to park. Turned around and headed back finally connecting with the crew foreman. He was grateful for the samples & asked about other products. Within 5 minutes, I found out he was interested in products to help with weight lifting & he is connected with UCF fighters, fitness professionals. He was super excited to try the products. Now to follow up & possibly get the whole company on the products before the summer heat arrives! Sometimes fear is tissue paper thin. All you need to do is take a step & it give way!

  20. Paul Says:

    Ivan,
    Great article. I have to make a great deal of “cool or cold calls” to make. I will follow up with you in a few months and update you if their is a reduction in stress!

    Kindest regards,
    Paul

  21. Charles Ogwyn Says:

    Ivan,
    Great article. The key to overcoming the fear of rejection is asking yourself the right question – which you illustrated so well. Sometimes I also like to remind myself that my odds are better than 50-50 that stepping out of my comfort zone will produce a favorable result.

  22. Rob Friedman Says:

    The greatest leap of faith I made was to start an entirely new career at the age of 60, doing what I felt passionate about, and overcoming the fear that it would fall flat on ot face. While it hasn’t been the easiest road, I’m still at it nearly four years later and still having fun. (and thanks to BNI, the profits ARE increasing!)

  23. Steve Wiegert Says:

    Hi Ivan,

    I remember back in 1985 when I started sales. I stopped at a Big Boy restaurant & went over my sales materials for 2 hours, because I was afraid to make calls. Then I drove to a strip mall & sat there in my car for 1/2 hour, trying to get the guts to go in & make the call.
    Finally, I told myself “If you don’t go in there, you will be a UPS man for the rest of your life.” That scared me more than the call, so I did it. I was shaking, and made no sales that day. Within a year though, I had sold to every business in that strip mall!

    I learned that I can get better by doing what I fear.

  24. Jerome Wittner Says:

    In 1964, I had just opened my chiropractic practice. I was having lunch in a neighborhood restaurant when I saw a woman wearing a cervical collar. It wasn’t easy for me to approach her but I figured, I’ve got nothing to lose and we both have everything to gain. Within less than a week the collar was off and members of her family are still patients today!!

  25. Susanne Altman Says:

    I was a two year BNI member and experienced “Givers Gain” in practice. Our group were great givers; so much so I was contimeplating starting my own CPA practice.

    As a SCORE volunteer it is sometimes nice to ask for advice. I was asked two questions:

    1. What would happen if the business fails?
    I could go to work for the PUD or another accounting firm.

    2. What happens if you don’t try?

    Thanks to my BNI group and my SCORE buddy I would like to report that my CPA firm is seven years strong and growing. It was one of the most rewarding moves I ever made and my BNI group has been very supportive; the first tax season they provided me with 67 new clients in less than two months. BNI works.

  26. Samantha New-Fielding Says:

    Last summer, we decided to migrate our family from the UK to New Zealand. It’s taken us 10 mths to bring it all together, and we’re still waiting for the entry visa for our 15yr old son! Ever optimistic, our flights are however booked for Mon 7th May!!! We’re going to a country I have never visited, where I have no business (as yet) and where the first job on our long to-do list will be to find somewhere to live. What pushed me to persist so consistently with this life-changing dream is the number of times I have heard someone say “I wish I’d done xxx sooner”. Life is not about soon, it’s about right now.

  27. Karen Gallagher Says:

    Great reminder that one of the hardest and most productive things we can do is simply to try. Dr. Goulston would have loved my Jr. High basketball coach. We had just finished a terrible season. He put up a huge sign going into the locker room that said “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” We went undefeated the next two years.

  28. Johnny Wilson Says:

    Hello Dr. Misner,

    I am a retired Navy photographer living in Colorado Springs, Colorado and working as a photographer. I collect hand-written inspirational, historical stories and then create a photograph that relates to the story.

    I thought I had a great idea when I first started but was afraid to share it with anyone. One day I made a flier and asked for permission to put the flier out at the VA office in town. They met with me and liked the idea of what I was doing and approved of me putting the fliers out. To make a long story short, I now have 50 inspirational stories with photos, I have done 3 gallery shows with the images, two on my own and one with the local Lupus foundation which has led to donations for the foundation and tons of awareness. I have been contacted by the local cancer center to collect stories for them to align the walls of the cancer center with the cancer story’s for other cancer patients to read.

    My first story was from a WWII veteran that was in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. Ever since that story I ask everyone I meet if they are interested in telling their story. If they say no, that means I’m getting close to a yes, so I move on, looking for the next amazing story. A few of the stories are on my web site at http://www.whats-yourstory.com.

    Enjoy, Thank You. Johnny

  29. Karen Gallagher Says:

    The article also touched a personal nerve. I was working as a waitress in a greasy spoon and no one in my family had ever been to college, although we were certainly encouraged to consider going. I knew nothing about the process and the whole idea seemed terrifying. I drove to the local Junior College and couldn’t even get out of the car. I didn’t see where to get a parking pass, and that seemed a good enough reason to leave and try again later. The next trip a few days later I actually made it up the stairs to take a look at the first 10 feet of what looked to me like an overwhelmingly large campus. A few weeks later the third time was the charm as I made it into the admissions office and actually figured out how to sign up. I took a class or two at night while still working full time. When I transferred to the local 4 year college, I had scholarships that required full time attendance. I was again paralyzed as I still had to work all day and had no idea how I was going to manage everything. I gritted my teeth and tried it for a quarter and low and behold, I managed. It happened again when it was time to apply for law school. I mean, what the heck was an LSAT, I hadn’t even taken the SAT’s in high school. Suffice it to say, I made it through the LSAT’s and law school and am now enjoying my law practice. None of which would have happened if I didn’t get out of the car, even if it did take three tries!

  30. Lloyd Bing Says:

    Ivan,

    Years ago I had a similar experience. I froze right before going into a Coca-Cola plant to ask for their business. I realized, as you said “the worst that could happen is that they would say no.” BNI has helped me overcome a lot of my fears. Thank you so much Ivan. I’m now a Regional consultant with Ambit Energy thanks to your philosophy of Giver Gain!

  31. Leonard Brezarich Says:

    I used this story this morning for our education moment. Thank you Ivan. It got the point across beautifully and Jenni Nering fed off of it during her keynote presentation to our chapter. A terrific, effective and productive meeting today.

  32. Edwin Selvam D Says:

    I am a marketing professional based in Bangalore. I was in bad debt and was wondering how to solve my problem. All my resources were exhausted but I still had to clear a certain debt of S5000 for which I did not have resources to do. But still, I had faith and guts to ask a friend less known for help. I was thinking if he does not help, I will be where I am and try other ways but if he does I will be quite relieved. To my surprise, I did get what I wanted just with my face value. It was fantastic.

    Your article says it all. Get up and go for it. Keep trying and be persistent and you will get what you need.

  33. Carol Reynolds Says:

    Samantha New-Fielding – we will welcome you to New Zealand. And you are arriving next week! We live in Hamilton which is a 1 1/2 hour drive south of Auckland. I’m sure all of the BNI members of our chapter would be happy to help you get settled. I am not sure how to communicate with you but our chapter is the BNI Legends Hamilton, NZ

  34. Marilyn Bakker Says:

    Hi Dr. Misner,

    We must be related – I have persistence too and my story is very similar.

    I wrote a children’s book, called “Danger at Devil’s Cove” set in the 1950s on the Coromandel Peninsula, a beautiful location in New Zealand. My story almost mirrors yours. I wanted to promote my book in the little township of Coromandel and walked into a beautiful gift shop. The owner looked at my book and said, “Yes it’s lovely but this is a small town and I don’t want to get off side with the local bookshop. Go and see them first and if they won’t stock it you can come back and see me.” I went to the book shop. As soon as I entered my heart sank. It was a jumble overflowing with editions. I didn’t want to leave my book here. I approached the owner who was pretty curt. She hardly glanced at the book nor listened to what I have to say and said she had approaches all the time and wasn’t interested. My confidence was at an all time low and it took some courage to walk back inside the lovely gift shop. “Okay I’ll take 5 books” she said and has continued to turn them over on a regular basis ever since with many going to overseas visitors and local holiday makers for their children back home. Now I am just about to launch my second book, “The Mystery of the Missing Artifact” and yes I will be visiting that cool little gift shop in Coromandel which has a list of clients waiting for the next book in the series of the adventures of Josephine Mary Cresswell.

  35. Michelle Cove Says:

    I love the Henry Ford quote” whether you think you can or you can’t….. you are right! Your article is a wonderful example of this concept. Thank you for the “real world” example of the power of courage and positive thinking !

  36. Stacy Ayotte Says:

    Not quite fear of rejection, but similar: I was at an intersection waiting at a red light, with about three cars ahead of me. The light changed and many cars started honking. I saw a car in the middle of the intersection, trying to go the wrong way onto a one-way street. After a few seconds, I realized the driver must be confused. I turned off the car, got out and walked to the car blocking the intersection. I explained to the elderly driver that he couldn’t go down that street; if he turned left into the parking lot I would come help him figure out where he was going. While I walked back to my car, all the other drivers applauded me! I thought to myself, “Any of you could have done the same thing.” Later than night as I related what had happened, I told my daughter, “Never be the person sitting in the car honking. ALWAYS be the person who takes action.”

  37. Al Diaz Says:

    Appreciate you for sharing…great stuff, and totally understand. Went from having just a corporate job to travelling around the world as International Keynote Speaker, who also happens to BE an author and radio host.

    Thank you for BEing a joyous blessing in our Life…

    Ilumine Ao, Al Diaz

  38. Nixon Lee Says:

    It is a great story. Simple but inspiring. I will share this about “inviting guests” with my core group members of a new chapter aimed to be 40+ at launched.

  39. Marjet Smits Says:

    Being there, and experienced the situation that only I can force myself doing things that fears me. Fear because I’m too afraid to be rejected.

    I did not always succeed in being so positive to myself that I tried to do what i was afraid of. Nice to read that everyone is in that situation sometimes! Take it with me, for the next time I’m in such a position again. (I’m sure that will come soon enough)

  40. Denise McClenny-Hempstead Says:

    After working at a spa for 8 years as an aesthetician and licensed massage therapist I moved to a smaller business closer to home to be more available to my children. After 2 years there and a deteriorating work environment, I began to plan my exit. After some trepidation I began to let clients know I was leaving and assured them the business owner would be able to book them with other therapists. Every one said they would come to where I relocated. The relief I felt leaving was worth whatever loss of income I might have to endure.

    Much to my surprise, every one of my previous clients loved the new location and the quiet environment they walked into.

    Even though clients lives and circumstances change which can in turn affect my income, the knowledge that I took the chance to go out on my own to develop a practice is awesome. I just passed my 3rd year as a business owner and will never go back. In addition, joining BNI has added to my confidence and has made me more aware of positive and continued forward movement to widen the circle of influence we can have on others.

    We never know what response we are going to get so the lesson is to never assume. Life will always surprise you.

  41. Geoffrey Shalet Says:

    Great story, and may I add to it?
    Cold calling is 90% ‘fear of rejection’, and also 90% ‘what do I say?’. How come? If you can overcome the ‘fear’ then you will easily find what to say. Or, if you can ‘find what to say’, then the fear reduces to 10%. So find something to say or do. I had note pads printed, and found it easy to walk into my target companies offering them, and reciting a short, planned, script. No one refused my ‘useful’ note pad, and my business card that accompanied it. In fact it became easier, because I returned at regular intervals saying, “I’m sure you need a replacement note pad…”; until the day I am asked for my services.

  42. Mohan Says:

    Dear Dr. Misner,

    I’am almost a year and half old member at BNI in India.

    I have really been admiring your simple philosophies. Having read the Fear of Rejection blog written by you, I have lost all fears of being rejected.

    Thanks for publishing such a wonderful article.

    Regards,
    Mohan

  43. Hannah Poole Says:

    I just read every comment trying to pump myself up to make phone calls, I can feel everyone’s ‘anxiety”; so I know I’m not alone – I play scripts in my head over & over but can’t get it out of my mouth!! more of the “What do you say” than being afraid of hearing a “NO” (at least then you can keep moving -) it’s getting started..I’ve been trying to force myself to get out of my comfort zone. I’m in my main business over 22 years & was persistant with that; now doing other networking which is more of a challenge for me.
    BNI has been really helpful for me in all areas of life.

  44. Laura Says:

    Thank you for sharing your fear stories. When I got into BNI and started listening to you, I thought: “this guy is confident, wise, very knowledgeable, successful.” I am glad to hear that we have much in common and that I can a difference in myself to be the same.

  45. Gabby Bruce Says:

    It was indeed a great story. I was a DJ for many years and could get up in front of 10,000 people at a festival and speak with no problem. Getting in front of 3 with something to sell is entirely different. I got over it for the most part especially after joining BNI (10 year member). One fear I had was an idea I came up with for the BNI Foundation. I wanted to setup scholarships for Business/Marketing students that each chapter could participate in. It took me 2 months to get up the courage to email your wife Beth about the project. She loved the idea and was very encouraging. I can’t believe I almost didn’t contact her. But your story and her kind words have given me a whole new outlook. BNI truly is a family of wonderful people.

  46. William W. Dunlap Says:

    A Incouraging word from Theodore roosevelT:
    Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
    That Quote from Teddy makes an bold statement that people want to do business with people who not only are knowlegable about a product,but they are looking for the Quality person standing behind the product.
    Note: that’s what builds networking relationships.
    William W. Dunlap. Success Chapter, Barboursville WV.

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Look Up!

What Can Business Do About It

Networking Is Like a First Date

Networking Is Like a First Date

What Can Business Do About It










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