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When you put yourself “out there” doing what you love, you will hear “no.” You will submit your heartfelt article to a website and get a polite “no thanks” or even worse, no reply at all. You will apply for jobs that you are sure you are perfect for, speaking gigs where you know you are the expert they need, or sports teams where you are ready to be the star player, and you will get rejected. You will design a complicated and sexy website that the client will refuse. Unless you are the luckiest little leprechaun in all the land, you will get turned down time and time again as you move toward your goals.
Understand this: every no is moving you closer to your next yes. You are figuring out where your audience is. You are narrowing down who is not on board with your idea to find those people who will think you are a genius. You are refining your offering and getting better every time you try again. Don’t quit.
If you persist, you will find the places where your work is welcomed. You will find your groove, your voice. You will find your tribe. Your best efforts will make your people light up, and they will welcome you into their fold.
Writer and web designer Paul Jarvis calls this finding your “rat people,” the small percentage of people who love exactly what you love. What you do is not for everyone, every site, every club, every team, every employer. You will find your place, but only if you move on from those rejections and persist.
This time of year as the temperature outside starts to cool off and the leaves in every tree start to change from green to red and gold, my front porch is overrun with spiders. These spiders build elaborate, complicated, lovely webs. Unfortunately, many of the webs they build I have to tear down. The web built across my front door in the night got torn down. The web that stretched across my front steps heavy with morning dew had to be destroyed so I could get to my car.
The spider doesn’t quit. The spider doesn’t curl up in a ball, cry, take an office job in some cubicle, and refuse to build another web. He starts all over again, and he creates another glorious, intricate web. Each spider will do this repeatedly until he finds a spot where the web is welcome, and the spider can thrive.
Be that persistent little spider. Spin the beautiful web of words, paint, numbers, or sweat, that only you can create. Shrug off the rejection, persist, and you will thrive.
Katie Craig is a writer, speaker, coach and karaoke mic hog in Asheville, NC. Her book Truth and Fiction in Ashevegas is available here. Learn more about coaching opportunities at www.KatieMotivates.com. Follow her on Twitter.
Featured image courtesy of Thomas Leth-Olsen.