Did you get a good laugh from watching the TEDx video about rejection?
I love any video that includes donuts, but there were also some great quotes from it. Here’s my favorite that describes rejection perfectly.
[The rejection] was incredibly personal and impersonal at the same time.
I want you to watch it because it introduces a sensitive and tough topic in a fun and lighthearted way.
This is when we can learn from the business world.
In business, not everybody will be your customer or client. When you are starting out you may not have any. Or, if you have so few you can’t pay the bills, you are facing lots of rejection.
It’s easy to talk theoretically about the reality that a very small percentage of people you meet will become your customer. Rationally, we all know that’s true.
However, when you put your life’s work into something, and people reject it, it can hurt. It feels like they are hurting you directly in some way – even if they are polite about it.
And then the worries can creep in. “What if this never works out – and I have to live in a van down by the river?!”
“This venture is probably junk; it’s not gonna’ work.”
In the same way, when you raise missionary support, most people will not partner with you financially. You view your work as God’s calling on your life, and you put so much work into raising the funds: crafting an excellent presentation, calling, emailing, following up, and so on. And yet so many people reject partnering with you.
Of course you didn’t expect everybody to support you financially, but it still hurts. And then you can start to become anxious: “Where is the support going to come from?”
Or, “Maybe God has not called me to this since so few are willing to partner in this ministry.”
(I’m getting depressed just writing this!)
Helpful Insight from Rejection TEDx video.
Jia Jang brought up some really helpful stuff addressing rejection. He points out that rejection helps us to improve and grow. And the crazy thing is, sometimes people will say “Yes.” Of course, if you never give anybody the chance to reject your request, you also never give them a chance to say “Yes.” This is a lot like the concept of optionality. (Optionality is a future business lesson.)
Unlike Jia Jang, when raising missionary support, you don’t get to come up with all sorts of crazy stuff to see if people will reject you. Rather, you have to subject yourself to the rejection of people not wanting to partner with you financially over and over again.
This is one reason that I strongly encourage people to get training on how to raise missionary support. Since you will face a lot of rejection, it is hard to know what is actually working when you are raising your missionary support. If you talk to 100 people, and only 10 of them decide to support you on a regular basis, how can you tell if you are doing a good job?
With training, perhaps you could have gotten that percentage from 10% to 20%. Either way, it feels like such a small percentage that it can be so hard to tell if you are doing the right things. I mean, even if 20 out of 100 people end up supporting you, you would have received 80 rejections! That’s a lot of rejection.
You know, there’s just no way around the rejection. However, I love what Jia’s wife told him:
We cannot have any regrets.
Heed that advice; what God has called you to is vitally important on an eternal scale for his own glory. Don’t have any regrets about shying away because of rejection.
How have you dealt with rejection?
How will you deal with rejection?