Embracing Rejection

Posted: June 22, 2011 in General
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Nobody likes to be told “no.” It’s just not a good feeling. Facing rejection is something that occurs frequently in the sports industry, whether it happens to students like you who are looking to break into sports or sports professionals who are pursuing new business opportunities.

Thinking about rejection reminds me of a quote that you probably have heard before,”It’s not how many times you fall; it’s how many times you get back up.” Like a boxer who gets knocked down in a fight, you have to be willing to have the strength to get back up and give it another go. Otherwise, you will be pushed out of the industry by your competition.

I know that you are not going to like to here the following, but it is true. “You will get rejected, probably multiple times, before landing an internship and/or job in sports.” It’s happened to me and even to the most successful industry executives. Getting rejected is just a harsh reality that you have to accept to make it in sports. Very rarely in this world are things handed to you. Rather than run away from it, rejection should be a motivating factor for you to prove yourself in this industry, especially to the company who did not wish to employ your services.

One of the most important lessons I learned about embracing rejection was from former Georgetown Hoya, Bradley Cooper. I am talking about the same Bradley Cooper who starred in the box office comedy The Hangover. Last fall, he came back to school to speak to the students. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to see him impart his words of Hollywood wisdom to a packed audience. The Georgetown employee conducting the interview asked Bradley for a piece of career advice he could leave his fans with. He talked about the “willingness to fail” and how it allowed him to accomplish goals that he never thought were possible. In other words, if you are not willing to set yourself up for rejection, you are never going to get where you want to go in life. Take chances. Put yourself out there. And in the wise words of Ben Sturner, “NO is just the first two letters of “NOt yet.”


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