18 Reasons Why Your Rejection Is My Favorite Aphrodisiac

I have grown to love rejection. I used to absolutely hate it. I used to fear it, loathe it, and avoid it at any cost. If there was any chance you would say no I would run for the hills… and never come back unless I had a guaranteed yes in advance.

Now, after twenty plus years of business and forty plus years on Earth, rejection has become my favorite aphrodisiac. Let me explain why…

1- Don’t Waste My Time

When you reject me… you are no longer wasting my time. It simply allows me to move on without being strung out on a bunch of false hope and promises. Tell me NO and let me not waste any more of your time, as you are no longer wasting mine… so thank you for rejecting me.

2- Your No Brings Me Closer To Someone Else’s Yes

Once you say no, I know I am just one step closer to someone else saying yes… and someone will say yes. Because of that, I very much appreciate your rejection.

3- Being Rejected Means I Am Being Proactive

There is no way I can be rejected if I never TRY, thus, the more I am rejected, the more I continue to be proactive, take action and go after what I want. For that reason, rejection is great.

4- Being Rejected Means I Am Doing The Opposite Of Reason # 3

Being rejected means I am not sitting on my ass. I don’t think anyone can accomplish anything sitting on his or her ass. Opportunity comes to those who create it, not wait for it.

5- You Remind Me Of My Favorite Movie Scene

When you reject me… I am reminded of one of my favorite lines regarding rejection, from a classic Eddie Murphy movie, Coming to America, when Eddie Murphy is dressed up as a barber. The line is (I’ll let you fill in the blanks): “F- – k You, F- – k You, F- – k You… Who’s Next?” … If you are not familiar with the scene then I suggest you watch the movie. You’ll get the point (plus it’s a great movie). That saying has become a motto I use (in my mind) for time management that I have come to I live by. It is what I am thinking while you are trying to muster up the simple two letter word that will allow me to get out of the room and move on…

6- You Build My Rejection Muscles

The more I get rejected, the more my rejection muscles grow, thus the more rejection I can handle. The more rejection I can handle, the more impetus I will have to keep going out there until I succeed. It’s called growing armadillo skin, something every person with aspirations and dreams needs in order to achieve success.

Show me someone who hasn’t reached success through rejection and I will show you a deadbeat trust-fund baby who sits around, void of any aspirations. Let me be clear: There are plenty of people I know who have been ‘trust-fund babies’ who have still created something for themselves and worked like hell to build on what they already had. I am talking about the other kind that you and I both know.

Here are some other things I think of when you reject me. They are great examples of what others have done with rejection in business, literary, sports, music and film…

6- Walt Disney

When you reject me, I think of… Walt Disney being rejected by 302 banks before getting the financing to start what is now one of the most successful entertainment businesses in the history of the world.

7- Tim Ferriss

When you reject me I think of… Tim Ferris, author of The Four Hour Workweek being rejected by all 26 publishers he first submitted to. He is now one of the most popular and best-selling authors of our time.

8 – Stephen King

When you reject me I think of… Stephen King being rejected over 30 times and throwing that first book (Carrie) in the garbage because he felt so, well, REJECTED. He decided to take it out of the garbage (at least his wife did). 350 million copies later, he understands the importance of those first 30 rejections.

9-  John Grisham

When you reject me I think of… John Grisham, author of A Time to Kill who was rejected 28 times until he got one yes. He’s sold over 250 million total copies of his books since. Not too shabby.

10-  Robert M. Pirsig

When you reject me I think of … Robert M. Pirsig and his the book,  Zen & The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance being rejected so many times (121 times to be exact) that it won a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records… before it became one of the greatest selling books of all time.

11- JK Rowlings

When you reject me I think of… JK Rowlings. Her first Harry Potter novel was submitted to twelve publishing houses. All twelve rejected her. She caught a break when the daughter of one of the small publishing houses liked it and decided to print some copies. Now she’s a billionaire.

12- The Beatles

When you reject me I think of… The Beatles, who were rejected by nearly the entire music industry and by one very popular label who told them “guitar groups were on their way out” and “The Beatles have no future in Show Business”

13- Michael Jordan

When you reject me I think of … Michael Jordan– Rejected from his Varsity Basketball team, he went on to become (arguably) the greatest player who has ever lived.

14- Herschel Walker

When you reject me I think of … Herschel Walker– Grew up bullied because he was overweight. Used that rejection to fuel him and started doing pushups and sit-ups everyday starting at about twelve years old. Before he knew it, he was doing 5000 (yes thousand) pushups and 5000 sit-ups a day. He became an unstoppable machine and had the greatest 3-year statistics of any running back in the history of college football.

15- Colonel Sanders

When you reject me I think of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.

16-  Jack Canfield

When you reject me I think of… Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, rejected by 141 publishers – eventually went on to sell over 100 million copies in 41 languages. He asks audiences, “What if I had given up after 100 rejections?”

17- You Say No, I Say Next

Jack Canfield (mentioned above) in a great speech I heard, was telling an audience that his principle was, “You Say No, I say Next”… and that is what he did until he finally met that ‘next person” who gave him a shot .

These words have become a motto that comes into my mind every time I get rejected. You will notice that the last word from both this quote and the Eddie Murphy quote is, “Next.” That is what I think of as soon as I am rejected, “Next.”

18) Rejection Fills My Walls

I have a wall of rejection that has letters of all the rejections of all the literary agents that rejected me before I got an agent, all the publishers that rejected me before I got a publisher, and all the producers that rejected my screenplays before I finally optioned my first. I hope to have a bigger wall soon as the more rejection letters I get, the more successes I will eventually have. That is one thing I know.

So the next time someone rejects you say, Thank You, as they are giving you the opportunity to move on to that next person that will eventually say yes.

Have a great day!



“MJ takes a new and exciting approach on how to teach entrepreneurs.”

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Co-host of ABC's, 'Shark Tank'

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14 thoughts on “18 Reasons Why Your Rejection Is My Favorite Aphrodisiac

  1. This is an excellent article with great examples. I tell my team to imagine a jar of stones. In that jar you have 4 diamonds as couple of ruby’s, three emeralds, and a couple of sapphires. The rest just useless stones. You just do not know in what order they will come. You may go through a hundred stones (no’s) before you get to an emerald. But if you quit you will never get to a gem.

    1. Thanks Daryl. Great example. It is true, you never know when that next stone will come up emeralds… Nice, man. I hope your team appreciates that example. It reminds me of the guy digging for gold in Think and Grow Rich. Thanks for stopping by :-)

  2. Rejection is what separates those who can press on and those who go curl up in their cubicle and wait for the next easy task. For me, rejection from potential clients helps refine my speech and be bolder with the next folks. You learn what speech worked, what didn’t. And after so many rejections you learn to refine and harness what you’re offering. Rejection streamlines you.

    Good, motivating stuff MJ. My 1st time stopping by.

    1. I agree Jacob. Great points. I think it is very hard at first but does get much easier and stings a whole lot less once you have some rejection behind you. I think it’s the only real way we can really acknowledge the fact that we are taking action and trying! Thanks my man-MJ

  3. I love this post and list. Each no builds to another yes, and the law of averages says that each no helps you get there. Love your examples!

    Whenever anyone feels down, this is the place to go.

    1. Thanks so much Skip. It is very much appreciated! Yeah, I think those type of examples help keep people believing that, whatever they are doing, there is a chance if they press on. As they say, you only fail when you give up. Have a great one -MJ

  4. Cool .. Rejection creates challenge and might well do all the great things you’ve mentioned above. It might also be an indicator that something is seriously wrong. It’s the kind of person you are that will determine what rejection might do to your life. Thanks for the super inspiring article.

    1. Thanks Gihan. Yes, I agree, I think our reaction to rejection is the most important part as we can make it work for us or just as easily work against us. Best- MJ

  5. One of my mentors taught me that each ‘No’ was one step closer to a yes so tell them thank you with a big smile.

    I taught myself to handle rejection from in college. I was 15 during my first semester and figured that the fastest way to get used to rejection was to try and talk to all the prettiest girls. It worked for a few minutes until the first one didn’t believe my age, asked for ID and then asked to help her with schoolwork (she assumed that being a freshman at 15 meant I was a genius). From then on it was easy to talk to the rest.

    1. Great story David. Yes, approaching the prettiest girls is a great way to build up your rejection muscle! Have a great night. Best- MJ

  6. Great article MJ. So many examples (many of which I never knew) showing how rejection doesn’t mean the idea or person was wrong. I’ve just shared your article in my newsletter. Thank you.

    1. Hi Clive- Thanks so much for your comment. Yes you are right. Rejection doesn’t mean the person was wrong… often times, it may just not be the right fit for who you are pitching! Have a great day my man. Best- MJ

  7. Awesome article. Rejection is a small sting to me because I have always had the attitude of. OK! So maybe it’s not the right timing or not mines to have, so next move. Some things require three to four attempts maybe more depending on the situation and there are moments when other components or circumstances interfere in getting that, yes. Never give up because that absolute yes will come, greater. Better! X100. :)

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