Freelancers deal with rejection all the time. Their ideas are debated, evaluated and – more often than not – refused. In this article I want to provide you with my own recipe to take ego out of the equation and not only make rejection painless, but create the opportunity for more business.
To achieve painless rejection I have only one tip for you: name your business, never use your own name.
This has nothing to do with branding, marketing and perception: I couldn’t care less if naming our business makes you look bigger, bolder or stronger. I’m interested only in one moment: what happens when your business proposal gets rejected.
If you send it with just your own name attached to it you will (I guarantee you) feel personally devastated every time you get a “no.” You will feel you’ve done something wrong, something that doesn’t work, doesn’t fit. That your idea or your methodology are not particularly useful. That you are incapable of pricing jack shit. That your deal making skills are totally rubbish.
Probably all of this is true also if you send a proposal under a more abstract brand name. But who get’s rejected is no individual, but a firm. No human is hurt in the process of rejection. It’s an ego-less rejection. A much less emotional refusal.
Not having to endure the pain of rejection can – for instance – invite you to send more proposals. Or to send more aggressive ones, with a higher sticker price and higher stakes deliverables.
Having a name can teach you to put ego aside and think like a business who knows only one religion: growth.
I tried this for my self. Every time I was in between jobs I had a few experiences with the “Matteo Cassese Consulting” business. I was sending out proposals in my own name. And getting a no was always painful. It was always a blow to my self esteem, it always consumed a bit of my ego capital.
Years later I decided to start my own consulting business. I had a willing client and a path to profitability. I wanted my business to be legit. I needed a name. Luckily I had one laying around. It was the name and domain name of my blog “La Fabbrica della Realtà”. It was long, very Italian and quite intellectual. Just what I needed to represent me internationally <grins>.
I saw a sticker around Berlin. It was from the the crew ILL. I thought it looked like the coolest thing. I took a picture of it and used it as inspiration for the little factory logo you see everywhere on the website.
I’ve never doubted for a second that branding was the best choice for my consulting business. And the reason is that my business proposals both look really cool and also have the minimum amount of ego attached to them. They are created by Matteo Cassese, sent by Matteo Cassese, but signed by La Fabbrica della Realtà.
Clients will reject your proposals. They will do it. And in my case, I’ve had many many proposals turned down. But my ego, my need to excel, to win, to be seen in a positive light never took the hit. Thanks to a simple letterhead and logo I got rid of the pain of rejection.
You can do the same. And if you want to start now here’s a few naming and domain name tools I use. [No links affiliated]
- Panabee: mix and mash two words together to find a name and a domain
- Namewhale: similar to panabee but this time it’s an app. Generate your business name, on the go!
- Naminum: start from any seed and find out your name through variations
- Dotomator: a bit dated, adds common particles to words and searches for available domains
- Domainr: the fastest domain search engine and the coolest
- Iwantmyname: friendly and secure domain registration and hosting from New Zealand
If you like what you read, let me know on Twitter: I’m @matteoc.