Transcript: Rejection In Business: How I Coped When Things Don’t Go My Way

June 6, 2023

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Oh, I'm so excited to tell you about this podcast that I think you should listen to. But to be quite honest, I think many of you are already listening. It's the Goal Digger Podcast by my girl Jenna Kutcher, and it's brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. So the Goal Digger Podcast helps you discover your dream career, with productivity tips, social strategies, business hacks, inspirational stories, and so much more. I love all of Jenna's episodes because they are the perfect mix of actionable-meets-candid conversations. She'll cover things like how to improve your website and your email copy to how to say “Screw it” to your morning routine. You’re going to love it. So listen to Goal Digger wherever you get your podcasts. 

Well, hey, there, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. 

Today we are talking about expectations. No matter how hard we try not to have them, we do. We have expectations for ourselves, and we also have expectations for how we believe other people should be. And that's the area that gets us into some trouble.  

So, I've been using my book launch as an example with so many of these episodes, and I'm kind of hesitant to do so because I know it's like, “Okay, Amy, choose a different topic. Like, you've been talking about the good, bad, and ugly of your book launch for a while.” But there were just so many freaking lessons that came out of it, and I think you'll appreciate this one because it's very vulnerable.  

I was reading through my outline and I'm like, “Oh, I don't really want to admit this, nor do I want to talk about it.” Like, that's how much this one kind of hit home. But I know when I have that feeling like, “Oh, that's a little bit too vulnerable, or “That's going to make me look a little bit weak,” or “People are going to have judgments about me when I share that,” that's when I usually tell myself, “Okay. Could this make a difference for somebody listening? Could this ease some of their pain or help them sidestep some challenges that maybe I've had that they don't need to repeat?” And with this one, yes. I know that this is more important than my pride. This conversation is more important than my pride, so I'm doing it. I'm just glad it's a Shorty episode. I'm going to get through it fast so that I don't have to keep harping on it, because I kind of just want to move away from it. But it's just an important topic.  

So again, if you've been tuning in for the last few episodes, you've heard me talk about the book in general, but I've also kind of hinted at the fact that I've been sensitive to a few things that didn't work out as planned for my book launch. Like, for one, I’ve already mentioned this, I really thought I would get a morning show. I really thought that I would be on the Today show or Good Morning America, talking about my book the week it came out, because, first of all, that book title, Two Weeks Notice, very relevant for what's going on in the world and people quitting their jobs or not going back to their jobs after COVID or getting laid off. All of that is still very, very relevant, and so I know the book Two Weeks Notice and that title in general was a hot topic. And it was, in so many different ways, but I just couldn't land a morning show. My PR team tried. I had a few of my friends try. It just wasn't in the cards for me.  

And so I also thought, like, I have a proven track record. I have a successful business. I have some clout behind my name; that should help. Like, I just, I expected I would get on a morning show. You heard the word, right? Expected. So when they said no to me, you can imagine how heartbroken I was.  

And for the record—I got to back up—I didn't expect, like, “I deserve it. I should be on that show.” I just thought, “This was my time. The book is coming out at the perfect time. This is going to be a hot topic. They're going to want me.” I just thought that in my head. So again, when I just—I didn't necessarily get a no; I just didn't really get any answers back. And I felt disappointed, and I thought, “I've lost my big chance. I've lost my chance to really get out in front of an audience.” In my mind, I thought, “There’s never going to be another perfect opportunity for me to get this chance to get on a morning show.”  

I also thought that it would make a difference for me to get on New York Times or not. As I know now, it didn't even matter to get on the New York Times or not to have a morning show. But in my mind, my expectation was that most people who get on the New York Times’ list have a morning show during the week of their book launch, so now that means that that's not in the cards for me as well. See how I’m literally—my expectations are stacking up story after story that is not true? So anyway, that was one of the expectations that I had.  

And then, the other one was that a few people that I really thought would be promoting my book, would be interviewing me on their shows, or putting the word out, a few people that I thought would support me because I supported them, they didn’t, for various reasons. Whether it just didn't work in their schedule, the book wasn't a good fit for them, I don't know, whatever reason they had, it's their business, not mine, and so I felt disappointed for just a few of those instances as well.  

But do you see a common theme here? I had the expectation that I would get, let's say, on the Today show, and because I had the expectation that certain friends of mine would promote the book or whatever, when it didn't happen, I made it mean something. I made it mean that I wasn't good enough or that I wasn't relevant enough or whatever. So it made me feel bad about myself during a time where I really should have felt really proud of the work that I was doing. And to be honest, my expectations killed my vibe at times.  

And now that the dust has settled and I have some time to reflect on it, I wish that I hadn't set those expectations. That's the whole point of this episode. I wish I hadn't put those expectations out into the world. The Today show or Morning show or Good Morning America, whatever, they owe me nothing. My friends, that I love dearly, that may be just a few—I mean, it was, like, two or three that just felt like maybe it wasn't a good fit, they owe me nothing, that I don't want transactional friendships, that “If I do this for you, you do that for me,” and I think that's where I probably got into my head just a little bit.  

So I would allow those expectations to kind of kill my vibe. And when you're working on something big, you got to stay in the game. You got to stay on the field, right? And I think it kind of, at times throughout the many months of promoting my book, it kind of pushed me to the sideline, and I kind of had a pity party in my head, just for the record. Just for a minute.  

So I wanted to share this. I don't even want to talk about this. It embarrasses me that, “Oh, poor me. I didn't get this, or I didn't get that.” Like, I know I sound like a little bit whiny, and I'm not proud of that, but I can't have a show where I talk about my successes and I talk about making millions of dollars and my successful launches and my amazing team if I am not honest with you about the dark crevices of my mind, where it gets the best of me, and I feel bad or I feel whiny or, like, I'm putting on a little pity party for myself. It does happen. It's not always really super buttoned up over here like some people think that it might be for someone who's successful.  

So I wanted to share all of this because moving forward, I had to recommit to some beliefs that I held, that I forgot that I held these beliefs. And one of them I talked about on the podcast before, and that is I believe everything that is meant for me will find me. Everything that is meant for me will find me. And the reason I say I have to recommit to this is that this is something that I have known to be true for a very, very long time. Unfortunately, I got caught up in the whole book launch, and I think I lost sight of that because I'm human, right? So by keeping this mantra front and center in all that I do, I know that it will help me release these expectations that I've had and bring me the inner peace that I want, because my goal for 2023, or my word—you know how we all choose those words for the new year?—is inner peace. I really want that. And setting expectations that are out of my control will not bring more inner peace to my world. Can I get an amen?  

So the first thing is I'm recommitting to a belief that I genuinely hold true. Everything that is meant for me will find me. Maybe not on my timeline, but it will.  

Now, the second thing that I'm doing is remembering that life isn't always fair. And this is one of those lessons we learned as a kid, right? And most of us hang on to the belief as adults that things should be fair. And it creates expectations and makes us look at the world as a series of transactions. You work hard, you should get a promotion. You do a favor for someone else, they should return it. You treat someone kindly, they should treat you kindly. Like, these are things that are so easy to believe even if we don't realize we’re believing them. And while these expectations aren't unreasonable, right?, they often go unmet. And when they're unmet, it causes suffering.  

So moving forward, I've got to remember that life plays by its own set of rules, and they're not always “fair.” They won't always be what I think they should be, and that's okay. Like, that's entrepreneurship. But even more so, that's life.  

And then, finally, when I feel disappointed over something that happens, I'm choosing to look at the positive things that come from it instead of focusing on the negative. So, sure, I didn't get my morning show or whatever that might be, but maybe I wasn't ready for it. Maybe when they do call, if they ever do—I still believe that it's going to happen—maybe when they do call, I will be a better speaker. Doing one hundred plus—it's probably, like, a hundred thirty podcast and news interviews over the course of my book launch— I am absolutely better at being interviewed. And so I'm actually better today than I was three or four months ago, and so imagine if they call me in a few months, I'm going to be even better than that.  

So the silver lining here is when they call or if they call, I'll be ready. I'm staying away from when because that's another expectation, right? But I could also put it out in the universe. I can manifest it. I can put it on a vision board. So I'm all for all of that. And so I’m not ever going to give up.  

But I also realized—and this is what's interesting about when things don't work out as planned, and I think you could probably relate to this and pull up a story in your own life that would be relevant to what I'm going to say next—I thought it was the end all, be all for me to get a morning show. And some of you are like, “Amy, why? What is your obsession here?” When I was really little, my mom and I, before school, when I would eat breakfast, we’d watch the Today show, and it's, like, a very big childhood memory for me. But even more so, you know, we all love to, like, get on a big show that millions of people watch. I mean, who wouldn't think that's cool, right? So, like, we can't downplay that, let's be honest. And so I thought it was the end all, be all. I actually thought it, for some reason in my head, like, it would make or break the success of my book. And for those of you who know the book industry, you're probably, like, laughing right now because what I've heard from agents and publishers and bestselling friends and all of that, they're like, “No. That actually, that's not even the audience to sell books to. It doesn't move books like you think it would, Amy.” So I've heard this over and over again, but I still wanted it. My ego wanted it.  

But what I realized is maybe I don't need it at all. And my point being, have you ever wanted something so bad and then you didn't get it and you looked back and you thought, “Probably a good thing I didn't. Like, it wasn’t needed, could have been a huge distraction, or better yet, I dodged a bullet”? 

So don't laugh at me, but anyone who likes Garth Brooks, and when I was in high school and college, all I did was listen to country music. And so I know every Garth Brooks song you could put at me. And there's this song that he talks about unanswered prayers. And this song is, like, he sees an old girlfriend at a football game, and he's there with his wife, and he sees this old girlfriend, and, like, he remembers all the time together, but he looks at his wife and he's like, “Sometimes you just got to thank God for unanswered prayers.” Like, I'm exactly where I’m meant to be. I know, kind of cheesy, but you get the point, right? And so everything that is meant for me will find me. And also, sometimes things that I want that I never get, that's part of the master plan. That's exactly how it's meant to be, and why I know that is that that's what it is.  

So I think looking back and kind of reframing our mind when we're disappointed that we didn't get something, that wasn't meant for us, either ever or just not now. And in business, I think this is important because I know, my dear listener, I know you've been disappointed along your entrepreneurial journey. I know that you feel like you haven't been given a fair share sometimes, or you weren't called to the table when you thought you should have been, or you weren't included in different things. I totally get that. But what if those weren't meant for you because there's something bigger and better just waiting, just waiting for when you are ready for it?  

I don’t know. I wholeheartedly believe in divine timing. And just because I might have got turned down a few times for my very first book launch does not mean that I'm never going to get that yes, and maybe if I never get that yes, that's because it was meant to be. Something different, something better for me is waiting.  

And I just want to point out that some of the most brilliant entrepreneurs, like Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx; my dear, dear friend Jaime Kern Lima, the founder of IT Cosmetics; these women were told no so many times before they ever got a yes. And look at them now. If or when I get to my morning show, it will be my time. And until then, all I can do is be grateful for the countless amazing things that I have in my life and in my business and just enjoy the ride. And I hope, my sweet friend, you do the same.  

So on that note, I just want to leave you with this quick little exercise. What do you do when you have an expectation that doesn't come through? What is your motto or your mantra? What action do you take? How do you look at it? I want you to tell me in the DMs. If I get enough of them, I'm going to share some of them on the day that this episode comes out. Let me know, how do you deal with that? Maybe we can give some tips to other people. When you expect it to be a yes and it is a hell no or not yet, what do you think? How do you deal with that? Like, I'm talking in the most positive way, maybe we can inspire some other people to let go of those expectations and, like I said, enjoy the ride. So hit me up on Instagram. I'm just @amyporterfield. Send me a DM. I want to hear from you. 

All right. I hope you love this Shorty episode. I kind of cringe that I had to share some of my disappointments, but I want you to trust me and know that I have so been in your shoes, and I'm walking alongside you. And in order for that all to be true, I've got to share the good, bad, and ugly, and today I kind of had to share some of the ugly.  

So there you have it. I love you to the moon and back. I can't wait to see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness. Talk to you soon. 

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