Mrinal Desaiknows what it feels like to be rejected. Before he became the cofounder and CEO of address book app addappt — whose name is infused withthe spirit of resilience— he was turned away more than he was welcomed.
As he wrote on a recent Quora thread, his application for a student visa to the U.S. was rejected twice. Once he’d made it to the States from India, he was unemployed for three years after the dot-com bust and became increasingly familiar with getting turned down for jobs.
In a way, this period of constant rejection was good for him, he says, because it toughened him up. “One of the best outcomes of it for me personally was getting very, very comfortable with being ignored, hearing a ‘no,’ or, as some like to phrase it, being rejected,” he writes. “If you have never experienced this, I would highly recommend practicing and seeking it out.”
As Desai got more comfortable being rejected, he learned to push through it. He says when he first approached LinkedIn for a job in 2003, he got a polite “no,” since they weren’t hiring business people at the time. But he didn’t let that stop him. “I stayed in touch for over a year and eventually went to work there as their first business development manager in 2004 when they had about 15-20 employees.”
“Very often it is the fear of rejection that stops us from trying,” Desai writes. “You can always try and fail, but [you should] never fail to try.”
Here are some of Desai’s tips for overcoming rejection, published with his permission and edited for clarity:
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