“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” -Winston Churchill
When I first applied for my Pure Barre franchise, I was turned down. To be clear, I can’t say I was surprised. I was 21 years old, living in Nashville, Tennessee, and not able to move to the city for which I was applying for several months. I was asked to “apply again later” and left hanging without any hope for a future in this company. I thought I was done, and I honestly had little reason to believe otherwise.
Despite the dismal prognosis, I decided not to be a quitter. After all, I had three more months until graduation, and I wasn’t going to shut the door on my dreams until the last possible second. I began applying for jobs in Nashville and Colorado, but I continued to email my Pure Barre contacts. I continued to research and network in Colorado Springs. I even wrote the CEO a very passionate letter about why I wouldn’t back down on my venture. After another month or so of effort, I was called in for my interview.
Now hear me out – I’m not saying that my persistence was the only reason I was approved to open this studio, but I can guarantee that giving up after the initial rejection would have gotten me nowhere.
My entrepreneurial story is full of years of rejection, and I’m not even 25 years old. I don’t have decades of experience under my belt or a handbook on “how to be a business owner.” I mess up daily and wish I could have a re-do button in so many cases. However, one thing I will never regret is being the type of person who exhausts all options, even if the outcome is a “no” or a “try again later.”
Too many people in my generation sit around and wait for instructions on how to proceed. I don’t think that’s our fault; we have been trained to follow the rules and respect our superiors. The thing is, respect doesn’t mean silence or a lack of communication. Hard workers notice other hard workers, so if you’re trying to move up in your company or career, keep asking for what you want.
Don’t wait for permission to think outside the box. I’m not talking about being dishonest or breaking the rules, but the people who go above and beyond don’t wait for approval. You can be the type of person who complains about their circumstances, or you can be the one who decides to change them. I didn’t have a guarantee that my situation would result in a positive outcome, but I knew that I was going to keep working towards the opportunity that I was passionate about.
What do you have to lose? If you find yourself constantly facing rejection, you have already heard the word “no.” You know how it feels to have your dreams dashed. So, you can take it, or you can try again. Only you can decide when you’re truly done marching forward towards your dream.