Founders · Rejection

Single founders – how do you do it?

Varun Gupta Sr. Front-End Developer at Code Brew Labs

January 20th, 2017

When you're faced with a bunch of rejection on top of all the stuff you normally have to do, how do you keep going? And if/when you burn out, how do you recover?

Hugh Proctor Hard working, dedicated and innovative CEO / CTO

January 20th, 2017

This is certainly an area I know a lot about and it's extremely tough stuff.

I personally entered into an area, technical that is very very challenging just to get an MVP and then take it to a full product stage.


I think that having charisma helps and learning about how to speak is essential.

Rejection comes into a few bags that often doesn't always relate to oneself, of course if you can't easily articulate your business idea and plan and validate that there will be an income from it then the idea may simply not be viable.

Other than that, sometimes, as an analogy, it maybe that your not speaking to the right person, think of it like dating, both men and women go through hundreds of rejections and fails until we find a suitable partner. Even when we do find a fit, it can often end up in a sour breakup.


It's all about getting up and back out there and even when your miserable, desperate and sad, one should try to never show weakness.


It's often a cliche, but true, like in dating, that when your single there seems to be an imaginary label above your head that states that your single and desperate; but when your in a relationship, then the offers suddenly flood in... I believe that it's down to self belief and personal portrail.


In job hunting, I used to use a few little tricks that can work like magic:

1. Have a job to get a job (if you have a job then you're not so desperate, and yes, it's okay to continue to look for that perfect one, because you never know when it'll come your way)

2. When interviewing, know about the company or customer that's doing the interview.

3. Take notes and listen. (A person will always tell you what they lack or need, your job is not to tell them about you, but tell them about your experience that helps them fill that which they lack or need) - so always write down what they want and read back to them what they want to hear.

4. If you don't know the answer, tell them that you have the skill, motivation and experience to find the answer.

5. If you don't get the position, then learn from the questions that they had asked you and perfect your responses ready for the next interview.

6. Always try to sound happy, confident and 'like' the person that would fit their team.

7. Often it's the team that is doing the hiring and not so much the interviewer, so take every opportunity to meet and smile at the team that you'll be working with... if the team remembers you, then when the interviewer asks for the teams opinion upon who to hire, then at least the team will know your name and remember you. This significantly will improve your chances.


Always try to keep in contact with people. Even if they don't contact you.


Hope this helps.

Mitchell Bolnick Business Mentor, Adviser, Consultant for Start-ups, Small Businesses, Growing Businesses

January 20th, 2017

What an awesome question. First of all for a start-up rejection should be expected, especially if you are looking for investors or grant funding. They start off on "no" when you sit down to talk with them or submit your Executive Summary/application. One of the key attributes to being a successful entrepreneur is passion, and it is that passion for what you are doing that will keep you going. But that passion can be challenged and if you do crash, recovery can be difficult...I have been there. Here is what I taught myself, I call it my roller coaster theory. As you know people say life is a roller coaster. But really it is many roller coasters. You have your business, your family, your friends, the economy, etc. Each of those are broken down further as you may have a separate roller coaster with your wife than you do with your mother, for example. Here is the key with your business roller coasters (plural): When you are on the top or heading toward the top learn to manage your emotions. Don't get too excited...don't let the top get so high that inevitable down swing can't be as big as it would be otherwise. Learning to control your emotions when things are good helps you to control them when things are not so good. But what about the other roller coasters in your life? They are always there. So when one of your business roller coasters starts going down or sinking towards a bottom, force yourself to think of some of your other roller coasters that are on highs or heading in that direction at the same time. I think of my kids and it typically puts a smile on my face and makes me realize things are not as bad as they seem on that roller coaster heading downward. Good luck! If you seek a mentor to help you through your good and bad times, I am available.

Albert Liang Founder of RUIn Gaming

January 20th, 2017

Being a single founder is TOUGH. You have to handle everything initially. The hardest part is keeping yourself focused and motivated over a long stretch of time. I keep going because I've convinced myself that the idea is bigger than me and that it MUST exist. If you're passionate about the idea, then chances are you are your product's most invested user as well. You will not stop until the problem is solved.


Even if my startup fails. Even if I don't make a dime on this. This idea still needs to be made. Your core motivation may be different, but make sure you understand it and whether it will sustain you.

Stephanie Wagner Founder at Agile Bloom, LLC

January 22nd, 2017

For the things you can't do on your own, outsource, and don't be cheap about it.


If you burn out, well take a break for a little while and work on something else. You should manage & budget things in a way that allows you to take a break. What I mean by that is, think about what will happen if you suddenly disappeared for a week or even a month. Your project/startup should be able to survive on its own and be mostly self-sufficient.

Rob G

January 23rd, 2017

Varun, in what areas are you hearing rejections? my answer below assumes you are hearing rejections from customers/prospects. If this is the case I recommend partnering with someone or at least asking someone to attend sales/biz dev calls with you. This person should have extensive experience in sales or biz dev so that you know they understand the sales process, sales call preparations, needs analysis, objection handling, note taking, followup, etc. Sales people experience rejection frequently. Professional sales people develop ways to reduce the frequency of rejections or ways to minimize the personal impact or both. Ask questions (of your new sales partner) before you and your new partner go on a sales call. watch and listen and take notes when you are on each sales call. One could write complete chapters on sales call prep, needs analysis, handling objections, rejection, cold calling, presenting, followup, etc. - too much to cover here. When i'm feeling burned out I like to go out and pitch to prospects and potential partner companies - when prospects get excited about our product it always cheers me up. If, on the other hand, you hear nothing but 'no' from prospects then take a step back, analyze, adjust and go back at them - with at least one other person in your camp - one with sales experience. You should be hearing 'yes' from prospects fairly frequently. If not then something is wrong.

Walid Wenzerfy If you dream, dream Big! Herculean tasks are mine.

January 20th, 2017

I guess for me, that get's few rejections rejections, I focus on my goal, identify the reason of the rejection, with no feelings.

As an entrepreneur, I guess we all have our way of rejuvenating, weather by meditation, physical exercise, family time. Looking forward and to the future in a positive way, is how I recover, usually time shows how right or wrong that offer you made was.