February 9, 2022

How to Handle Rejection and Keep on Going - Ep. 31

How To Handle Rejection And Keep On Going To Achieve Your Goals

Here's What You Should Do

Getting rejected after applying through hundreds of jobs will surely wear you out. Listen to the full episode to learn how to handle rejection and keep on going to achieve your goals!

Welcome to Degree Free, where we explain what you can do instead of going to college, and how to teach yourself, get work, and make good money.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Why the worst thing that can anybody tell you is “No”.
  • Why rejection doesn’t mean failure and why you shouldn’t take it personally
  • How to have the right mindset and when you should take a step back to prevent burning out

Ryan shares his story when he failed an interview and the interviewer just hanged up.

Hannah also talks about how rejection gets easier the more you experience it.

Enjoy the episode!

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Want to learn how to start a services business? Check out the previous episode!

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha guys, and welcome back to degree free. We are your hosts, Ryan, and Hannah Maruyama on this podcast. We share the fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating, getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed.

Hannah: Welcome back to the podcast.

Everybody we are as always extremely happy to have you here again, if you don't want to miss our weekly newsletter and I assure you that you do not, you're going to want to go and run over to degreefreenetwork.com and sign up for our newsletter, which we're going to be sending out once a week, ton of cool stuff in there.

And you're definitely not want to miss it

Ryan: Yeah that's it. And if you haven't already please like, and subscribe to the podcast. Helps get the word out there. And without further ado, let's get into today's episode. Today. We are going to be talking about how to handle rejection and keep on going. This is a super relevant topic for pretty much anybody.

Hannah: Well, especially right now with the great resignation going on and everybody job hunting, especially

Ryan: So. There's a couple of things here. We're not just talking about people that are applying to jobs. Right. I mean, all of all, you are going to get a lot of rejection there because on average it takes a hundred applications in order to just, just get one interview.

Hannah: Yeah. We're also talking about people that are trying to start a business or trying to pretty much do anything where you have to ask people yes or no questions in life.

Ryan: Right. They're just trying to, I think if you're trying to do anything. Of note, you're gonna have to come to terms with rejection.

Hannah: Yeah. Cause you it's, it's in inevitability. There's nobody that has done anything. Not even anything of note, but there's almost nobody that's done anything that hasn't been rejected at one time or another while they were trying to do that thing.

Ryan: Right. And so this, this is definitely for job interviews, obviously, because you're going to get rejected a lot.

It's for those people that are. So, If we're just using that as an example, the job interviews a hundred applications for one interview, and now you've put in all this work and you feel so highly leveraged to that one interview, and then you have the interview and then you get rejected.

Hannah: And it crushes you.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: And, then you have to put another hundred in. For another interview and then you don't get it. And so, you can see how quickly it starts to pile up. And especially with now the most recent unemployment numbers, you know, with majority of people being over 29 weeks of unemployment, if you're applying throughout the entire time, which I hope that you are.

You're going to get rejected a lot, you know, and it's a slippery slope. It's a dangerous spiral that you can get into, especially if you don't have anything else going on.

Hannah: Yeah. Especially if all you're doing is you're locked in your room and you're just sending applications all day. It's, it's going to feel like a war of attrition death by a thousand cuts death by a thousand job rejections.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Yeah. A million, but that's by a million cuts.

Ryan: A thousand I think.

Hannah: I think so too. It feels like a million sometimes, but yeah, death by a thousand cuts.

Ryan: But also. We're talking about people that are entrepreneurs that are trying to get somebody to buy their product, whether it's B2C or B2B, whether you're trying to have a consumer buy your product or service, or whether you're just having another business, buy it, people are gonna tell you no, all along the way.

And then also, I mean, if you start to tell your family and friends like, oh, I'm thinking about having, I'm thinking about doing this. I have this idea. I'm thinking about doing it. A lot of people are going to be like, that's not going to work.

Hannah: Yeah. People are just going to redact. There are people reject your ideas too.

Ryan: Right.

Hannah: Not just your results sometimes.

Ryan: Yeah, and especially if you're in sales, you already know that you are going to get rejected and it's just part of it.

Hannah: Yeah. You really just got to make friends with the world now.

Ryan: Right. Exactly. And so. That's what we want to talk about today. I think that it is a really relevant topic.

And so the first thing I want to talk about is just how, when doing these types of things, it's really simple and it really is a cliche, but it needs to be talked about the worst that anybody can tell you is. No.

Hannah: Yeah, and if. Honestly, the more practice that you have to with being told? No, I will say it does get easier.

It does get easier with the noes. I feel like a no used to crush me much more than it did than it does now, because a no is just all right. Well, that's fine. I've heard that a thousand times this week and it doesn't, it doesn't impact you as much. If you have more practice with that word.

Ryan: Yeah. it's just a word.

And it just means that that person is not hiring you. That person is not your buyer. That person is not going to do what it is that you need them to do at least right now, maybe in the future, who knows? I think that one of the biggest things too, to remember is that. We can't take rejection personally.

Hannah: Yeah. You, you can't view it as, as a statement about your character or value or worth. It's just a result of a question that you asked.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Even though it's really hard to separate those two things when it starts to wear you down,

Ryan: Definitely starts to wear you down. And especially in entrepreneurship and especially in the job interview those two realms, especially in sales, at least when I was selling, depending on the thing on the product, I never really took it personally because I wasn't selling myself. I wasn't selling my product.

Hannah: And you expect people to tell you no.

Ryan: Right. Exactly. And like, even, even when it was my product or my service rather, I'd never take it personally. Right. But I could imagine that you could, I could imagine that you did, you can. So what I specifically mean it for, you know, entrepreneurs and job interviewers, because it's going to be difficult to not take it personally.

It's they're not wanting to hire you. They're not wanting to do business with you. And how can you not take that personally?

Hannah: Yeah. Cause you feel like it's, it's a, it's a reflection on you as a person, which it kind of is, but you can't take it that way. You just can't.

Ryan: Yeah. and you just kind of have to let it roll off your back.

There's no real magic bullet here. You know, you just, it's just all in how you frame it in, in, in your mind. I think that's where paying attention to why these people are rejecting you is super important because then you can take it back afterwards, analyze how it went and then say, okay. I need to fix this

Hannah: And adjusting for feedback.

Ryan: Yeah. And it could be in the case of a job interview or in the case of a selling something, it might be not, you know how to do the job. You can. Do that job description, you can fulfill that, or you can do that service that you're trying to sell to that person. But maybe what you need to practice is communicating that with the other person,

Hannah: You need to become better at selling.

Ryan: Right. Maybe it's the fact that you're not communicating your skills and what you are going to accomplish correctly and directly, and you're not convincing them. And then. If it is your skills. Well, then now you can. Say, okay. Is that something that I need to work on? Wha- what exactly do I need to work on and how do I gain those skills now?

Hannah: And you use that as a roadmap kind of going forward. I think a good thing to remember too, is that as you're. As you're doing these things and you're putting yourself out there, the more people that you ask for things, and that means job interviews or business deals or sales, the more people you ask, the more you're often you're going to get told no, because you're increasing how much you're asking. And so if you're asking a lot more and you're putting in the numbers that you need to get a job, especially. Keep in mind, you're going to get rejected a lot more than people who are not applying as much as you, because you're asking more people. So just keep that in mind too.

Ryan: Yeah. And then also you should see success faster as well.

Hannah: Yes, you, you probably should because you went through the noes faster

Ryan: And that kind of rolls into the next thing that I wanted to say, which is rejection doesn't mean failure.

Hannah: For sure.

Ryan: And so even though you've been rejected by this job, if you haven't failed, it's not the end of the world.

Hannah: No, it just means that, that one is not a yes.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: And you have to, you have to take them on an individual. You have to take the yeses and the noes on an individual basis too. You have to separate them instead of letting them pile up into one thing. Like it's not a monolith of rejection. It's one rejection. One rejection, one rejection, not 17 rejections in a week, even though that's how it adds up, but it's all of mine game to trick yourself into being, you know, and to being okay with rejection at all.

Ryan: Yeah. Definitely. One of the things that, to help that mindset of rejection not being failure, is that just remembering that after. Every no is a possibility of a yes. Right. And exactly what you were just saying, which is you need to run through the noes in order to get a yes. And I know for me, at least when I was selling on the street and I know I talked about it before on this podcast, I would literally like stand on the street and like weigh people down and I try to get them to buy something from me.


I was happy to get noes because, it just meant that my next yes is right around the corner. Right. I mean, it took a while for me to get into that mindset. But the thing that I learned from that job, in that job, and then that you have to remember as well, is that. Not everybody has to say, yes.

Hannah: You do not need everyone to say yes, and they're not going to.


Ryan: For the job interviews, especially, you just need one. Yes.

Hannah: You need one person.

Ryan: Hundreds of applications, and then only one yes. That's it, that's all you need. And then you're done.

Hannah: And you're putting all these numbers up on the board, you know, and your resume end up being 300 applications to the one interview that ends up being the yes.

Or maybe not even, but just keep in mind. You just need one. You're hunting for the needle in the haystack as it were.

Ryan: Yeah. And then even for those people that sell. And for entrepreneurs. Okay. That's a little bit different because you need an ongoing, most businesses need ongoing yeses. Right. And so, and most salespeople need ongoing yeses as well, but you only need a small fraction of the people that you actually interact with to say, yes, At least for most, for most sales jobs for most entrepreneurs.

Hannah: Yeah. Cool. Well, because for most things you're selling, you're not selling, you're not selling 50% of the people you ask. That would be very you'd. That would be a really high percentage of sales unless you're really, really targeted, I guess. But for most people, most people in sales, you're not, you're not closing half the time.

You're closing way less than that. Yeah.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And so one of the things that really helps me also dealing with rejection is kind of making it a game in my head. I kind of game-ify everything. And I think

Hannah: You, you really do.

Ryan: I really do think life is a game.

Hannah: You kind of do.

Ryan: Like, and so. I'm not sure exactly how you would. I'm not even sure what the game is called it.

I'm not even sure what my wind conditions are, but for me, for example, it's like, what can I do? In order to change my tactics the next time in order for the outcome to be different. Right. And kind of analyzing it like that. And to me, that's kind of a game, right? Because I have a goal and that's for them to say yes to me and this time it didn't work out.

And so,

Hannah: You changed your resume. You changed the time of application. You changed the volume of applications in a week. You change your introduction. When you're in the interview, you change your question.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: And see, see what works.

Ryan: Answers, everything. I need you to just kind of, you know, you need to think about this as split testing or testing in general, or however it is that you need to think about it in order to achieve it.

But, you know, that that really helps me to kind of depersonalize it is if I just think, okay, this is a game and I'm not saying that it's not serious stuff. I'm not saying that life. Should be treated like a game and shouldn't be taken seriously, but I also don't think you should take that herself that seriously.

So maybe, maybe I'm saying that,

Hannah: Maybe that's kind of exactly what is

Ryan: Yeah, that's exactly what I am saying. I guess. I don't know.

Hannah: It's okay.

Ryan: I don't know. I just feel like people are gonna be like, Anyway,

Hannah: It's fine.

Ryan: Yeah. Whatever.

Hannah: It's all good.

Ryan: I don't take myself too seriously

Hannah: No.

Ryan: Whether not you do or not. I'm not sure. This is what helps me.

Hannah: Well,

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: So anyway, what do you do?

Ryan: Yeah, no, I just, I just think of it as a game. And like, like I said, we, we, we just talked about it. It just really helps. It really helps to depersonalize it for me. Instead of, instead of them thinking, and we kind of touched on it before, instead of them thinking. Like, or me thinking rather that it's me.

I don't have the skills to do it. And stuff while that is important to analyze, it just helps me. If I think about it from a tactics perspective perspective, where I should go and what I should say and what I should do. That helps me to kind of see clearer, make better decisions. Especially since a lot of times it's very easy to get really emotional and you get really bust down by rejection.

Hannah: Yeah. Especially over time.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely.

Hannah: So, another way you can kind of mitigate the effects of that, of the, of the war of attrition that we were talking about with all of the applications is to make sure that you're doing things outside of applying for jobs, because if you do what a lot of people do, I think now is which is like lock yourself in your room or your office and you apply for just days on end.

Whoa, man, it's going to get to you. It, it's going to, it's going to destroy you honestly, like you have to be doing something other than just applying for jobs. That sounds contradictory because we've said before you should apply for a job. Like, it's your job if you don't have a job, but that doesn't mean that you can't take other time of the day to pursue something that you like, that you're already good at, that gives you meaning and joy in your life.

So that you don't feel like you just have this one road of life that you're on right now. And every single. Few feet. There's a pothole. Like you just, this is not a good way to live.

Ryan: Yeah. I think

Hannah: Into the depths of despair.

Ryan: Yeah. I think that the way that I think about it is just having like different areas of your life in which you can kind of have wins for yourself.

So if you are just applying to jobs every day, or if you're just constantly selling every day at a certain time, Hang it up, you know what I mean? Stop. And then that part, that portion of your day is done. Right. And okay. You throw, it smells like it was a bad day. You got beaten down, literally. You scheduled five interviews for one day and not a single person said right on.

Yeah. The next step is all of them or just be like, yeah, we'll let you know.

Hannah: Right.

Ryan: You know? And it's like, yeah. Okay. Or they didn't say crap and then just hung up on you. Or, you know, you went in and, and they're just saying, okay, yeah, we're done here.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Which has definitely happened to me.

Hannah: It's happened to me too.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: If you're applying for jobs. This has happened to you before.

Ryan: And okay, now you throw up some ALS on the board and you're like feeling super down.

Hannah: Yeah,

Ryan: Now it's time to go and go get you some wins. In a different portion of your life.

Hannah: That could even be like, as small as you're, you're working on your knife skills in the kitchen.

So you can cut things more evenly. Like it can be that small, like you're trying to learn to be a slightly better cook. So you pulled out a steak earlier in the day and you made like a really, you know, a marinade with a couple different ingredients. You've never used before.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Like, wow. When, cause at least your dinner is good.

Like that asparagus tastes delicious.

Ryan: Other ideas, be like working out,

Hannah: Trying to get more flexible. They trying to do the splits and doing a little bit of progress every day or something like that.

Ryan: Or lifting weights.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Everybody's different. And so, I feel like working towards a goal is a good idea in those aspects, but you could do something where it might not be so much as working towards a goal. Be like, meditating or something like that. There's not really clear set goal, but unless it's like time, right? If you meditate, meditate for 20 minutes or something like that.

Hannah: Yeah, and you've only gotten to 10 and you're trying to get to 20, which is still going goal oriented.

Ryan: And to be that's a w

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: You know playing with your kids for a set amount of time,

Hannah: Reading a chapter of a book every day.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Boom . There you go.

Ryan: Something where it's like, okay. Ideally for me, I think the ideal activity is to do something with people because most of the

Hannah: You remember you're human.

Ryan: Yeah. Because most of these things that require, or that you're an experienced rejection in are going to be very solo endeavors.

Hannah: Yeah. You're you're by yourself on that for sure.

Ryan: And if you can spend some time with people that you enjoy being around then, that's great. You know.

Hannah: Yeah, I think, I think that that's definitely good. That's definitely the best advice, just make sure you have other areas of your life that are separate from your job application itself so that you don't get so crushed when you get crushed in that one area of your life.

If you have five other areas of your life, It's one, you know, it's, it's one fifth of your life. It's not your whole life.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Yeah. But if all you're doing is sleeping and applying to jobs and you have a, you know, let's say you don't sleep well, and then you don't get any jobs the next day you're failing at your whole life or you feel like you are, even though you're really not

Ryan: So certain to this point, we've kind of just been talking about, I think the important stuff is going to be maintenance is like staying on top of like. Realizing that rejection isn't then the world. Right. It's just know that's all they can say. That's all they're going to do to you. Okay, have wins in other areas of your life have other departments or silos or buckets.

However you want to think about it. Being able to be like, yeah. Okay. That one's. You know, at the end of the day, there's still some water left in that, you know, and then my job application, am I selling whatever, you know, that thing's completely empty, but you know, these are all full. So it's a good day. All right.

Mostly it's maintenance. Every once in awhile, you life is just gonna, is gonna throw you fast balls of light and the life is gonna. Kick you in the sprouts.

Hannah: It does do that.

Ryan: Yeah, and it's going to be tough, you know, and I kind of want us to talk about that, where it gets to maybe like a, I don't want to be dramatic, but like a crisis mode.

And you know, this has happened to me before. Definitely. And I'm thinking about one time in particular, where Rick was really, really bad. And this was a while ago and I was applying for a job and it was really important that I got that job. Like I didn't really have any other prospects or the job was really good.

There was just a bunch of things lined up in my life that getting this job would have meant. I got paid good money. I would be done with the job search. I would have security about a certain other things in my life that the field is really interesting to me. I could, I could definitely execute on the job.

Right. And I did everything that I could to prepare for this job, for the interview rather. And I definitely felt like I could have executed the job as well. And. Interview came. Right. And I had spent two days, maybe more three days, like researching the company, preparing, pacing back and forth on my phone, recording, recording myself, you know, doing the whole interview problem, is like a zoom or a Skype call or whatever. I don't know, you know? Interview happen and I bombed it like just completely, completely, completely bombed it. And so much to the point, not the interviewer. And I've never had this happen to me before the interviewer was just like, yeah, I'm done. But yeah.

I'm I'm done and then he just hung up.

Hannah: Yeah, that's pretty rough.

Ryan: Yeah. When I had been preparing for two, three days before, and I've been applying to all these jobs in any way, like I said, it would have been perfect. I felt in my life at that time and man that just deflated me, like. That freaking level to me and it leveled me because I wasn't doing those maintenance things.

Right. Like I didn't really have anything else going on in my life. And I had all my eggs in that basket. And then, because I was dealing with rejection so much, I couldn't separate personal from, you know, professional. And so I was it's me. I was like, Frick, you know what I mean? Like I'm an idiot, I'm stupid.

And I just went into this really bad spiral of like negative self-talk and everything. Anyway, it's not a therapy session. I'm just letting you know

Hannah: No, it was pretty crazy,

Ryan: I was like you know, I've been there and. And mo, more than a couple of times, but this is, this is, was the worst. Definitely. And the only thing that I found, and so I knew all these things, right.

I I've dealt with rejection a lot by that point already. And, but I've never been leveled by rejection like this, and it was, tough. And I tried to work out, I try to get out of the house. I try to hang out with friends. You know what I mean? Like do things that I enjoyed getting out in the sun, whatever I took a break from.

And I, I couldn't get myself out of the hole. And so what I'm saying now is that like the way that I got out of the hole, and I think there's a couple of things, but the main thing is just going to be time, right?

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: It's just time.

Hannah: Sometimes that's what you need.

Ryan: And for me at that time, I was in a place where I could kind of stop my job hunt, I can kind of stop that whole interview thing. And so I stopped. And I went back to the drawing board and I was like, okay, why did I, why did I fail so much? And I played back that conversation over and over and over my head. And at first I played it back because I was beating up on myself and I was like, God, you idiot.

You know what I mean? Like, yes, you're so stupid. How can you miss what he's asking? Or how can you answer the questions that you did in such a way where he literally just hung up on me and.

Eventually it came to, okay, now I'm analyzing, how do I get better? Right. But that all just takes time. And the second thing would be just giving yourself leeway to take a break, if you can afford to take that break. And if you can't afford to take that break, then maybe your breaks just have to be smaller.

Everybody can afford to take a break, but maybe instead of, you know, I took a break for about a week, maybe two weeks. I don't even know

Hannah: Almost about two weeks.

Ryan: Probably two weeks I got beat up pretty bad. And that thing, that thing, it was, it was a couple of, with a few other things in my life. So, you know, but anyway, I have beat pretty bad that day.

And then, but if you can't afford to take that break, you know, and just be like, okay, I'm going to take to the end of the day. I'm done for the end of the day. I'm done for the next hour. I'm not for the next two hours. Right. And anyway, that's, that's one of the things that I really want to talk about is that it seems like this is all maintenance work and that's great.

If you can do all these things, but eventually if you're doing stuff in public enough, there's going to be those rejections, not just hurt and just sting. And none of this stuff is going to work. And just letting you know that it's okay. And that's normal. Right. And the thing that you have to give yourself at that time is you have to give yourself time and you kind of have to, you know, take a break, forgive yourself, just step back from the work.

Hannah: Yeah. I think there's good advice for anybody that goes through one of those really rough ones.

Ryan: Yeah. Which if you do this enough, you will definitely,

Hannah: It's inevitable.

Ryan: It's inevitable. But yeah, I think that that's pretty much it for today. This just seems it's super relevant because everybody's dealing with it right now,

Hannah: It is especially people in our age group. It's, it's real rough out there right now.

Ryan: With a great resignation and then a record number of jobs being open and then a record number of people quitting. But yet, a record number of unemployment

Hannah: Nobody can get in anywhere. It's weird, strange,

Ryan: It's very strange. You're going to be dealing with rejection a lot. It's all how you deal with it.

And I know we all know that you can, you can do it. You know what I mean? Just keep your head up. Do other things, you know what I mean? Just remember it's not personal. All they can do is say no.

Hannah: Yep. That's it? Yeah. So I think that's it for today. Thank you all again for listening to us. And if you are wanting to catch more information, like what we're talking about, different degree free news, different job opportunities, things that Ryan and I see in the market, please go to @degreefree.co and sign up for the newsletter.

You do not want to miss that. I promise.

Ryan: And yeah. If you guys enjoyed the podcast, please like, and subscribe, it really gets the world out there. It helps get the world out there so that other people can, you know, get this information and then you know, give us a follow I'm @ryankmaruyama. She's @hannahmaruyama.

We'll drop all the links below and we'll throw it up on the screen as well. Yeah, I think that's it until next time guys, Aloha..

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