Rejecting Rejections

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Nowadays, what surprises me is if I get what I want in a single attempt. I'm now very used to being rejected: Getting told "no" repeatedly and from lots of people. It's happened in almost every area of my life. 

After almost drowning in a river in Otuabula 1, Bayelsa state, while learning to swim, I decided to get a professional swimming instructor. The lady, a swimming pro, I found while on a job in Abuja told me "no" repeatedly. In the end I got a "yes" and got great swimming tutorials. Now I swim almost every week.

But the one that got to me most was being told "no" by HRs. I used to think that I'm invisible to the HR dept of all companies. It's either they genuinely do not see my job application entries or they all choose to ignore me. Then there are the very annoying cases. During the application they request me to do an online test. I get asked questions like: Do I consider myself ambitious; Do I work well under pressure and deadlines; Do I like working with large details or do I easily get overwhelmed with details... And the result is always the same -- Thank you for your application, we are sorry to inform you... And I was like, "How the heck can I keep failing a personality test?" 
I stopped applying for jobs the regular way, via HR. I began targeting the manager of the department I want to join in the company or the company CEO. I got better treatment from them, rather than the silence treatment and system generated mails HRs gave me. 

I don't read our national newspapers anymore. And it's partly their fault. In 2012 I wrote them all a great pitch, giving them samples of my excellent write-ups and a compelling explanation of how I would help them cater and connect more to the more forward-looking youths in their readership, and ultimately grow their newspaper sales among youths. I printed everything on a N100/page sheet & ink. Paid a fortune. Then I used a courier service to get it delivered to the right person in each of the newspaper company. I had done my due diligence and made calls in some cases to find out the name and position of the person to address the pack to. None replied. 

Ever heard: The first million is always the hardest? Well it doesn't relate to money alone. I think every worthwhile activity in life is extremely hard at the beginning. Even the ones that shouldn't be. I still wonder why people aren't calling and mailing me like crazy, requesting for my business data analysis magic. Then the few that call almost always say they wished they've found me long before now. And I'm like, "O boy, God knows how many more sleeping potential customers I have. They need me and just don't know it." I have been reading a lot about growing a small business, growing a consulting biz, growing sales, marketing, advertising and everything there is to building a business. I'm told to keeping knocking on doors, making calls, putting myself out there till I get all the "yes" I want. I was told about real people that did it and against huge odds built the business and life they wanted. Even writing about it now is already inspiring me. Keep ignoring all the "no" you get and seek the "yes" you want. It's even got a clink of bravery in it. Like the Knight in a shinning amour who braves all sorts of obstacles.

For me, reality hasn't been very nice. I know I will get the "yes" I want if I bug enough people. So the real trouble for me has been: Is it going to be worth it? I don't want to be known as the jerk who won't stop talking about his consultancy biz. Someone you wouldn't want to invite to your event; always trying to make a sales pitch out of every opportunity to talk. Always boring everyone with the miracles Excel can do and annoying people who just want to gist and have a pleasant time. Some "yes" aren't worth it. And that's my dilemma. And it makes me feel terribly sad when a new client says he need me like yesterday. I feel like I'm not marketing my biz enough. Then I try to market more, and soon I feel I'm overdoing it and ruining personal moments. And then, as usual, the deluge of rejections, "no", comes and I start thinking maybe I should just leave it as a part-time gig and stop killing myself over it.


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