If you are actively making an effort in publishing, you will certainly encounter some setbacks. The only question is how will you handle these setbacks. Will you quit or will you turn those setbacks into comebacks? Personally I recommend a comeback and here is how to do it.
One of the first things to do is step back from the setback and not make it personal. Yes, it was you who got the rejection, but the rejection is bigger than just you. Rejection comes with the publishing process, and you need to realize it is all a numbers game. You have to make X amount of attempts before you get some interest in being interviewed for instance, then you have to do Y amount of interviews to get a book sale. In every case the number of successes is smaller than the number of calls and interviews, and if this wasn’t true, we wouldn’t need you would we. You have to keep filling the funnel of interview opportunities with new calls, in order to have success come out the bottom.
Turning a publishing setback into a comeback requires a number of choices. The first choice is are you going to quit or go on. If you quit, the game is over, you lost and that is that. On the other hand, you can realize that winners lose more than losers lose. The difference is that winners, pick themselves up from an unsuccessful attempt at something, learn what went wrong, make corrections and go on. Winners “fail forward” by learning, making corrections and getting back into the game. Losers lose, give up and quit. The game is over for them. All of the greats in any field, such as sports, publishing, etc, lose more than the losers do. Fate doesn’t pick these people out and give them a break from the rules of nature; the winners just pick themselves up and go back at it. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team in the 10th grade. He made corrections, tried out again and the rest is history. It has been said that success lies just beyond the spot where you last fell and I agree with that.
It helps to remember that only wins count. No one cares how many attempts you made, they only care how many successes you had. Don’t be embarrassed or feel that you are inferior if it takes you more attempts to have a success than someone else, concentrate on the actual number of successes you have. The scoreboard only shows success; so keep your focus on successes.
Find a way to handle rejection, and make it work for you. One of my favorite stories is about the life insurance sales person that hated to make cold calls, but never missed a sale once he got someone that was interested in his product. The salesman developed a technique in which he made cold call after cold call on the phone, starting out with the question, “You don’t want any life insurance do you?” Of course most people said no and hung up and he could live with that and keep calling. And with that numbers game we talked about earlier, a certain number of people would say, “Why yes, I am looking for some life insurance.” Once they said that, he turned into the true salesman he was and never missed closing a sale under those circumstances. Rejection is part of the publishing process; your job is to find a creative way to make it work for you.
One way to reduce the number of setbacks you have and deal with them once they occur is to keep a positive attitude as you go through your day. If we have a positive attitude, positive things seem to come our way, and of course a negative attitude seems to breed setbacks. Fortunetellers know this and use this to predict a client’s future. A fortuneteller will talk to a client a few minutes and get a feeling as to if the client has a positive or negative outlook on life. Then the fortuneteller gives the client a fortune that reflects a positive or negative outcome, reflecting their attitude. Odds are the fortune will be correct. So be your own fortuneteller and predict good things for yourself.
It also helps to start and end each day with positive messages to yourself about how the day will go. Take five minutes in the morning before you do anything else, and five minutes before you go to sleep and say positive things about how your sales will go. This helps to get your subconscious going in a positive direction and lessen the impact of any setbacks and insuring more positive outcomes.
Use the 80/20 rule to keep you focused on your highest payback opportunities. The 80/20 rule states that you get 80% of your best results from only 20% of your efforts. So find out your highest payback efforts and spend more time on that area in order to increase you sales. The negative side of the 80/20 rule is true as well. 80% of your problems come from 20% of the areas you are involved in. Spend less time in those problem prone areas and you will have fewer setbacks. Ask yourself what you should do more of, what you should do less of and what should you keep the same.
I hope you are now on your way to fewer setbacks and well on your way to more comebacks. Stay positive and new levels of success in publishing will be yours.
Edward W. Smith is the author of Sixty Seconds To Success, he produces and hosts the Bright Moment cable TV and internet radio show, is president of the Bright Moment Seminars, is a motivational speaker, and publishes the free, daily, email of the One Minute Motivator (quick peak performance tip).