A 4-Step Plan for Surviving Investor Rejection

Being turned down can help you turn your business around.

learn more about Ejiofor Francis

By Ejiofor Francis

Kittisak Jirasittichai | EyeEm | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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.

Ejiofor Francis

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Entrepreneur, Freelance Writer

Ejiofor Francis is a freelance writer, researcher, physicist and advocate of high-quality digital marketing. He has over five years of experience helping companies create winning content distribution strategies. You can check out his company website EffectiveMarketingIdeas.com for more information.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

This 61-Year-Old Grandma Who Made $35,000 in the Medical Field Now Earns 7 Figures in Retirement
A 'Quiet Promotion' Will Cost You a Lot — Use This Expert's 4-Step Strategy to Avoid It
3 Red Flags on Your LinkedIn Profile That Scare Clients Away
'Everyone Is Freaking Out.' What's Going On With Silicon Valley Bank? Federal Government Takes Control.

How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.

Business News

Amtrak Introduces 'Night Owl' Prices With Some Routes As Low As $5

The new discounts apply to some rides between Washington D.C. and New York City.


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.

Business News

Carnival Cruise Wants Passengers to Have Fun in the Sun — But Do This, and You'll Get Burned With a New $500 Fee

The cruise line's updated contract follows a spate of unruly guest behavior across the tourism industry.