Rejection Therapy for Ed-Tech Entrepreneurs and Startups

PW-22-1.pngI’ve recently decided to embrace therapy: rejection therapy, that is.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, you can read more about it here and here, but the premise is that so many of us are afraid of being rejected or brushed aside or being perceived as clueless or any number of things, so that over time we stop asking for what we really want. We just assume that people will reject us, and that makes us uncomfortable.

The official goal of rejection therapy is for you to be rejected by another person at least once every day. The idea is that by putting yourself out there constantly, it’ll push you out of your comfort zone and get you comfortable with the idea of asking for what you want, even if it’s unlikely that you’ll actually get it.

PW-22-2.pngI think embracing rejection therapy is a great idea, particularly for entrepreneurs. When you’re a startup, there’s so much to do and getting some help can go a long way. But it can be hard to ask for help, especially from people who you don’t know very well.  At least it is for me. I worry about coming across as that stereotypical pushy, self-promoting entrepreneur that tries to pitch everyone.

But I’ve also found that most people want to help startups. Any time I’ve asked for help, even when it’s from an acquaintance or someone I met once at a networking event, for the most part, they’ve all been more than happy to help me if they could.

PW-22-3.pngSo here’s my modified version of rejection therapy for entrepreneurs.

Every time you meet someone new (in your startup life, not necessarily advocating this for your personal life!), think of one way they could help your startup. And then ask them for their help.

Here are some ideas:

  • Ask for Marketing Help: Do you do Twitter/Facebook/etc.? Could you mention us?
  • Ask for Introductions: Do you know anyone who does X? Could you introduce me?
  • Ask for Discounts: I’m a startup and I can’t afford $Y. Could you give me a discount?
  • Ask for Feedback: Could you show our product to your students/peers/colleagues and get their thoughts?
  • Ask for Opportunities: I can’t afford the exhibitor’s fee, is there some other way I could participate or volunteer at your event/conference/etc.?

Put yourself out there (in a nice way, of course!) and ask for help.  What’s the worst that can happen? They ignore you? They turn you down? If that happens, be gracious, understanding, and appreciative. But in my experience, people are always very willing to help a startup!

In that vein, here’s my rejection therapy for the day: please help me promote The Startup Blog by sharing this post via Twitter or Facebook!  Thank you for your help!

Until next time,


See also:

  Have questions or feedback? Comment below or let me know on Twitter @professorword!

Photo Credit: Flickr user Oliver Symens, Betsy Weber, and VTdainfo






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