The Sink Or Swim Strategy to dealing with rejection

After meeting with one of my mentors this week and discussing some ideas on a few different projects I’m working on he gave me an analogy that will forever stick in my mind as to communicating ideas to people and I’d like to share it with you.

100% of the people will NEVER do what you do, buy what you are selling, agree with your point of view or use your service.

We hesitate to continue when a few people give us resistance. Why?

Creative Commons License Alan Cleaver via Compfight

It seems we are putting the confidence in our offer in the hands of the response of the people we talk to, and it’s the wrong way to look at it.

This may be completely obvious, as it should be…but if you are at all like me where you have a business and you take on your own clients but never had any formal marketing or sales training this is profound.

Imagine each person you talk to about your idea like either a volley ball or a bowling ball.  They are about the same in size but when you drop a volleyball in the water it’s difficult to keep it under the surface.  A bowling ball is the opposite, you would struggle to hold that above the water after a while.

When you present an idea to someone else, some ideas will float above the surface and stick…and some will just sink.  You’ll waste a whole lot of energy trying to keep all the bowling balls from sinking in the pool if that’s what you keep your attention on.


It’s better to check if your idea floats their boat with a lot of people and just ignore the ones that criticize, condemn and complain about your offer.


Work the numbers in advance.

Make an educated guess on what you’re numbers might be.  Let’s say you consider it may take talking to 5 people before you get one you can get an appointment for a presentation.  Decide in advance that 4 people telling you they think what you are doing won’t work or they don’t want anything to do with what you are doing is the worst that could happen and it won’t affect you from moving forward.


Let curiosity drive you to find out if your ratio is one in five or one in ten….it’s better to let curiosity keep you moving and in action to over think the whole situation.

If this helps you share with someone you know who may benefit from this.