by Ray Keating
Business Tips on TV #1
How do you deal with rejection or failure?
That’s an ongoing question in business - whether it be a business that goes under; being fired; a product, service or project that failed to meet expectations; or not getting the job even after a great interview.
In the October 3, 2010, episode (“Head Case”) of Castle, while Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) are working to solve a murder case, Castle’s teenage daughter, Alexis (Molly Quinn), gets word that she is rejected by Stanford. After having her heart set on attending the university, she is understandably upset and depressed.
Struggling with her feelings, Alexis asks her father about how he deals with rejection. She is bewildered that Castle keeps his first manuscript rejection letter framed and hanging on the wall of his office.
Alexis asks, “How can you stand having it there?”
Castle replies, “Because it drives me. Man, I got twenty more of those before Black Pawn ever agreed to publish In a Hail of Bullets. That letter, that letter reminds me of what I’ve overcome. Rejection isn’t failure... Failure is giving up. Everybody gets rejected. It’s how you handle it that determines where you’ll end up.”
Rejection, and yes, failure, are nearly inevitable at some point, or points, in a career. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that’s the case. Indeed, some of the most successful entrepreneurs in history previously had been serial failures.
The critical issue is to treat rejection or failure as a learning opportunity. Entrepreneurs excel at capitalizing on opportunity. In the end, to succeed in whatever career choices are made, we all have to be entrepreneurial in how we treat rejection or failure.
Ray Keating is the author of “Chuck” vs. the Business World: Business Tips on TV (available at Amazon.com). He also is an economist, weekly newspaper columnist, and adjunct college business professor.