How do you handle rejection?

EG: You have to approach this as a long-term thing. Just because a photo editor followed you on Instagram doesn’t mean you’re going to get a job. Just because they responded to your email doesn’t mean you’re going to shoot the cover. You’ll literally send hundreds of messages before getting your first jobs. You’re going to bid dozens of jobs and not get any of them. You’re going to spend many days writing treatments that you won’t win. You’re going to strike out a million times before you get any jobs. No one owes you a damn thing. It’s a slow, slow process, so bunker down for the long haul. The only thing that you can control is your creative output. Make sure it’s 🔥🔥🔥.

Some basic math: I may send out a newsletter to, say, 1000 people. Of those 1000 people, only about 100 of them will read it. Of those 100, only 25ish will respond with “great work!” And only about 1 or 2 of them will eventually hire me at some point. Maybe next month, but probably next year. The turnaround on success and ROI on any marketing is measured in years . . .not months and definitely not days. I’ve never walked out of a meeting knowing I was going to get a job from someone – it was always a pleasant surprise a week or month or year after the meeting.

CC: Let’s be real, it’s demotivating when I’m not getting responses…it’s a bummer when I’m not shooting, period. (Hence the importance of personal work) It’s disappointing when I don’t win the job after I spent my weekend working on a treatment. The reality is that someone is going to get the job and it’s not always going to be me/you. The way I see it is – I’m trying to get in touch with the people who love my work and want to work with me. If I didn’t get the job it doesn’t mean my work sucks, it just means that the client found someone who is a better fit for the job (for whatever reason) and the ultimate goal for the agency/client is to find the person who is going to help them make the images they need (after all, they’re trying to do their job, they’re not trying to go around bruising egos, I hope). Trust that they made the right decision for the sake of the project. I keep in touch with whoever rejected me because there might be another opportunity in the future where I am a better fit. I respond with an “aww man!”, I accept that decision and move on. I accept that rejection is a part of the business (and life in general) and I eventually become desensitized lol. jk. sort of. Also, don’t confuse a lack of response with rejection, not everyone has the time to respond to every e-mail they receive, like Emiliano said, nobody owes you anything.

JS: In the past few years, I’ve learned how to separate out the emotion that gets attached to rejection in order to learn from the process. There is typically a lot of good information that you can absorb from that experience. Use this information to keep moving forward on your path.