In Episode 36 of Commerce and Chill, Jessica and Waleed discuss pitch competitions, RFPs, and how to handle rejection in your business and personal life. They also get deep on the value of feedback and Volquez tries to keep his job. Read on for a quick lesson on rejection.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, there have been a number of grant programs, loan programs, and pitch competitions sprouting up to provide relief funding and business opportunities to both small and large businesses nationwide. While many businesses were able to receive much-needed support, many others have been facing rejection for PPP grants and loans, among other programs. At JSB, we submitted applications to four business programs and were unfortunately rejected from all four. We also submitted an application to a podcast accelerator program for Commerce and Chill and were rejected from that opportunity as well. While these rejections were disheartening for the team at first, we were bolstered by JJC’s cogent reminder that “if we don’t win, we learn.” In the process of reflecting on our rejections, we were reminded of important questions to ask ourselves with the podcast and in our businesses that led to some great learnings:
1. How are we doing things currently? 2. Why are we doing those things? 3. Why aren’t we doing the things we aren’t doing?
We were also reminded that small businesses are small for a reason, and that with every application or pitch that a small business submits, its owners are usually involved in the pitch process which can take them away from actually running the business. The more involved and complex an application is, the more the business owners may be required to step away from their duties to contribute to these pitches. At Johnson Security Bureau, The Soap Box, and Commerce and Chill, we are fortunate to have self-sufficient teams that are able to navigate many of these processes so that Jessica and Waleed can manage the day-to-day businesses. That said, we learned to more deeply value that the time we spend on proposals and applications can be put into marketing, securing new business, and generating revenue for the business.
If you run a business or are growing in your business career, have you pursued opportunities that took your focus away from your main business objectives? How did you get back on track?
At The Soap Box, we applied the information we gained from our rejection for various RFPs (requests for proposals) and repurposed the application content which helped us target new customers and prospective clients. This was a major win for Waleed and the TSB team. At Johnson Security Bureau, we were able to use our failed applications as an opportunity to hone in on our messaging, hone in on our presentation, allow our team members to sharpen their production skills, and to stretch the team in ways that will improve future pitches as well as our current business. Thumbs up, JJC! With Commerce and Chill, we were able to create great content about the application process and set an audacious goal to 5x our Youtube subscriptions by the end of the year. This is an important goal for us because we want to reach as many existing and aspiring business owners as possible and to provide you with insights and tips that can fuel your business growth. Our 5x goal is also important because “that which doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done” and the more we focus on outreach, the more we can ultimately help. The fate of our new creator, Volquez, is also tied to our success (maybe) so check us out and if you like what you hear, subscribe and tell a friend!
Our greatest takeaway from the rejections we received involves the root of rejection, which is “to throw back” in Latin. With every rejection we may receive as a business, we find an opportunity to throw our energy back into our own operations and our own teams. In fact, the act of applying and trying new things, regardless of the outcome, puts our teams in motion instead of staying stagnant. Every rejection is then a re-direction rather than a failure.
As an applicant or business owner, read through applications, contracts, and RFPs in their entirety to make sure you understand the scope of what you’re applying for. Put yourself in the best position to win or decide if perhaps not applying for certain opportunities is the best option for you. Spend your time wisely and focus on your margins. Finally, if someone rejects you and comes back around later or you receive another opportunity to get what you applied for, be the bigger person. Whether it’s in personal relationships, business, or your career, there is power in being the stone that the builders rejected, so don’t take rejection as the end: there may be someone or something out there that is better suited for you. As Psalm 118, Verse 22 in the Bible states: “The very stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” In the face of rejection, throw your effort back into yourself and your team so that you can become (or remain) the cornerstone that bolsters the foundation of your business.
For more on this topic, check out the Commerce and Chill podcast and follow Jessica Johnson-Cope and Waleed Cope at the links below.
Feedback is not required but we welcome it.
► Listen to the Commerce and Chill podcast on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/commerce-and-chill — — ► Follow Us Online Here: Instagram: http://instagram.com/waleedcee Instagram: http://instagram.com/jessicajohnsoncope LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/waleedcope/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/msjessica... Youtube: Commerce and Chill