How to turn “No’s” into Motivation

How many of you have submitted for a project, sponsorship or opportunity only to be hit with the PC email that basically translates to “Nah, we’re gonna pass.” Or maybe you’ve pitched an idea and it seems people just really can’t see your vision or value. I know I’ve damn sure been there (JUST LAST WEEK ACTUALLY haha) and the honest truth is hearing “No’s” actually motivates me to go harder. Here’s why.


A HUGE part of my entrepreneurial journey involves studying. Understanding what successful people do (especially in your niche) is so important as it saves you time, money and energy in the long run. Seeing how they move and what strategies they implement is so essential to the success of your own business because it serves as a model. Now you may be thinking, “Cool, but what does studying successful people have to do with me being told no?”. Well, the answer is everything.

When we analyze the lives of people we admire we can’t only glorify their current position – we have to account for their struggles too. Almost all the greats in the world have been rejected more times than they could count but look how it turned out. You want to talk about “No’s”? Let’s look at how many times just a few of the most famous names we know have been played hard body.

Successful EntrepreneurNumber of RejectionsCurrent Net-worth
KFC Colonel Sanders10098.5 billion
Walt Disney302193.98 billion
Arianna Huffington361 billion
Stephen King30400 million
J.K Rowling121 billion

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas Edison

Simply put, you’re not alone in your rejections. When you understand it’s a part of the journey to greatness it’s so much easier to deal with. If you weren’t getting turned down then that means you weren’t even trying. Be proud and keep pushing because the people I mentioned above did and well, I’ll just let their net-worth prove my point.


Finding peace with being told “No” is super important but I also don’t recommend that’s where you stop. Being told “No” is actually a great opportunity for us to reassess our strategies and make the necessary changes we need to be better. Some questions I like to ask myself are: How can I refine my pitch? What ways can I improve my insights? What can I use as leverage to support the value I bring? Analyzing the areas we need to improve is key and a declined opportunity is the perfect time to do this. Becoming angry or disappointed in yourself is not going to change the situation but applying actionable changes will. Let the “No” motivate you to be better so you crush even harder the next time.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Tony Robbins

Knowing that the next time I approach a similar situation (or even the same brand) I will be better prepared is a huge motivator. I find excitement in the idea of getting back out there and trying again – this time more polished. One of the worst things we can do as individuals (or entrepreneurs) is become overly complacent with ourselves and business. There’s always room to grow.

With that being said, there is a fine line between making adjustments and ripping into yourself. Be kind to yourself and trust that this is all a part of your journey to success. Using rejection as a means to do better is very important but there are actually some cases where its best that things don’t work out the way you want. I’ll give you an example.


Last year I reached out to a brand that I really wanted to work with. I created a pitch, had a number in my head that I was ready to propose once they replied and overall I felt ready. Turns out they were NOT ready for me though and I didn’t land the partnership. I applied the two strategies I mentioned above and got to work. I reminded myself that all great people get turned down and then I went in on improving my game. That’s when I realized there was a third way to convert “No’s” into motivation: VALUE.

7 months ended up going by and A LOT had changed with my brand. I tightened up my copy, boosted my insights and built a greater value around myself that would be harder to turn down. And it worked. Out of the blue I received an email from a PR company who represented the brand and the partnership I wanted was now brought to ME. Not only did I secure the collaboration I was hoping for 7 months earlier, but I was able to charge more for it. By not becoming discouraged, finessing my craft and building my value I manifested more than I even thought possible than before.

“Know your value then add a late fee.”

Chantel Rodriguez

There really is power in the word “NO” my friends. Allow yourself to turn it into motivation and many great things will continue to happen for you – I promise.

did you find these tips helpful? if so, please be sure to pin it to help me share it with others!

Leave a Reply