A 4-Step Plan for Surviving Investor Rejection

Being turned down can help you turn your business around.


3 min read

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Getting a response like, “Thanks, but no thanks,” or, “This offer’s not for me” from investors you’ve worked to connect with is tough to swallow. Like most entrepreneurs, you’ll be thrown off balance, and perhaps filled with anger, sorrow and sometimes hopelessness, but none of that negates the fact that rejections are great experiences to reflect on. 

To me, rejection exists on a typical learning curve. After getting passed over by so many potential investors whom I thought would follow my business ideas on local tech-based farming, I emerged better and more refined than before. Those experiences revealed so many mistakes I was making unknowingly, from my business plan and personal approach to who I should be meeting with and what the right things were to say. After making necessary adjustments and putting in the work, I finally found someone willing to invest.

With that in mind, here are four quick steps that can help you come out stronger and more successful after the rejections pile up.

1. Heal your inner self.

It’s crucial to get over negative feelings before you make any important decisions regarding your business concept. By healing your emotional hurt, you’ll gradually escape from feelings of inferiority. In fact, this healing process will not only encourage you, but also help to build up your lost confidence.

Related: Stories of Rejection from Eight Entrepreneurs

2. Discover why and what.

Discovering why and what could have contributed to these multiple rejections is another smart way to come out strong. For instance, It might be that investors find your idea too weak and generic, or maybe your pitch didn’t present your plan as expected. In a friendly tone, ask the investors why they refused to follow your ideas. Serious-minded would-be backers will definitely give you solid feedback.

Afterward, do a thorough self-reflection. Rewind everything that happened during your conversation; review your pitch, how you dressed, your social-media presence, etc. to help honestly piece together what contributed to the rejections.

3. Take it as a learning experience.

Another way to come out strong is by accepting rejection as part of a learning phase. As a focused entrepreneur, no amount of “no” should sway you off your dream. Be prepared for it whenever you’re discussing with a potential investor, and even try and embrace it when it comes. Learn from your mistakes, and it will surely unlock abilities you’ve never imagined.

Related: Why Investors Say No

4. Re-strategize and re-fire.

Now is the moment to demonstrate what you’ve learned far from your past rejections. Don’t be scared to try again. Re-fire after you’ve thoroughly completed the above steps and emerge with confidence. Reach out to a whole new set of potential investors with a unique approach. 

In Conclusion …

The steps discussed above will help you bounce back, and there’s always more that can be done. As an entrepreneur with unshakable vision, don’t be risk-averse and unwilling to hear a “no” from potential investors; rather, embrace it. Use it as a tool to come out stronger, smarter and more focused than you’ve ever been. 

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