Monday, February 16, 2015

Bouncing Back from Rejection

This past weekend at the Entrepreneur Magazine's Growth Conference, Shark Tank member Barbara Corcoran shared an inspiring story of how she was originally chosen to be on Shark Tank but at the last minute was rejected in favor of a "busty blonde half her age".  Corcoran has never revealed this aspect of her journey towards being the sharp, witty and focused business woman we know today on the show.

Image Credit: Richard Drew/AP
When Corcoran was first offered a role on "Shark Tank," she signed the contract immediately and told everyone in her life she would be heading to Hollywood. Four days before she was set to fly, she was told by the production company that her spot had been given to someone else: a busty blonde half her age.

Devastated, Corcoran shame-spiraled. She kicked herself for ever believing that, at her age, she would be cast on a hot, new TV show.

Her private pity party quickly morphed into something else. "I did what I do best," she says. "I got pissed."

The real-estate mogul wrote a brief email to Mark Burnett Productions and had an employee hand it to Mark Burnett directly. The email read: "I consider your rejection a lucky charm, because everything that ever happened in my life came on the heels of failure." Corcoran proposed that she compete with the other woman for the spot.

Burnett agreed, and the rest is history. "Five years, 37 businesses I've invested in — eight of which are hugely successful. Look at the wonderful second life I've given myself," Corcoran says.

What an inspiring story of what could have been permanent rejection and turning it into an opportunity where it allowed Corcoran to win!

Based on Corcoran's tips for success and her steps in this story, here are some tips to turn around your own story of rejection into one where you WIN:

Tip #1: Be honest about the circumstances.  Don't sugar coat it, don't be pie-in-the-sky about it, don't lie to yourself.  Be real with yourself about where things stand and how it effects you and what you're committed to do.

Tip #2:  Figure out a plan where you can put yourself in the best circumstance to win.  That winning circumstance should be based on your best talents and gifting. Notice how Corcoran took something out of her court and pulled it into her court...the area where she knew her experience would help her win.

Tip #3:  Keep rejection in its proper perspective.  Instead of choosing a path where the rejection could make Corcoran lose out on a great opportunity, she chose to take action that would cause the circumstances to line up with her perspective that she was the best one for the job on Shark Tank.

Tip #4:  Fight not to compete, but to dominate.  Notice that Corcoran didn't reply to Burnett on circumstances of being blonde and young (like the replacement they were considering).  She replied to Burnett in a way that would make him take notice on its impact to the success of the show.  Shark Tank is a hit because all the panelists have many years of business experience that they get to let shine in assessing the viability of the entrepreneurial ventures that make it to the show.  That bottom line has nothing to do with being blonde or young.

Tip #5:  You must believe in yourself and what you bring to the table.  Confidence is essential to achieving anything noteworthy as I wrote about for "A Tool for Your Goals".  Confidence under girds your ability to be able to look at any situation and use the tips above to orchestrate your own path to bounce back.  Confidence changes your perspective and causes you to muster up the will to win!

The confidence writeup includes a link to take "The Confidence Factor" for free.  After answering the 50 questions, be clear on where you stand, improve where you need to and do it now so that when it's your big opportunity, you play big and WIN!

Do you have a story of rejection?  How did you bounce back?


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