March 26, 2021

dealing with rejection: a takeaway from Jake Hicks.

dealing with rejection: a takeaway from Jake Hicks.

A conversation with Jake Hicks never fails to bewilder me. Every single time I speak to Jake, I come away amused, confused and thanking my lucky stars that people like him exist on this planet. 

If you’re in the middle of a bad day, I encourage you to go listen to eight minutes of Jake talking about losing his luggage in Mexico, fantasy basketball aspirations, car-buying struggles and I guarantee your day will reverse course.

Today, I want to briefly discuss an exchange Jake and I shared. 

So, as a door-to-door solar panel salesman, Jake talks to a lot of people. He sells a product designed to save the world and save people money. It’s something he believes in, and he really enjoys doing it. 

But, as is the nature of the sales world, that inherently comes with constant rejection. I asked Jake how he deals with this. He said:

“It’s just on to the next door,” he told me. “Rejection is hard, but I haven’t run into too much rejection where it’s put a damper on my end. I believe in what I sell, the company I work for and the product. Rejection is just like, it’s your loss really if you don’t want my help.”

I love this answer for two reasons. 

First, he refuses to let “no” or a door slam ruin his day. People might act rudely to him, but Jake never allows that to change his feelings about himself or his work. He simply brushes it off and moves on to the next.

Second, he acknowledges it’s a mistake for others to pass up this opportunity. I love that mindset.

You see, when we face rejection, whether it’s on the job hunt or Hinge, we must silently tell our rejectors it’s their loss for not bringing us into their world. This isn’t cockiness, it’s confidence. 

More so than ever, we must develop thick skin. We can’t let the opinions of others define us or deter us from doing what we know is right. For some reason, the older generation thinks we’re soft, that we can’t take criticism or rejection, that “kids these days” are more sensitive than ever.

Oh yeah?

Well, when you went home from school or work, you were truly free from judgement. 

We aren’t. Because of the 24/7 digital world, we face scrutiny you never did. At any given moment, strangers are sliding into our DMs. Randos are swiping left or right on our profiles, making determinations about our character based on a 0.25 second reaction.

It’s exhausting, and you never dealt with that. So before you label me, Jake or any of us “soft,” consider the circumstances.

Keep doing you, Jake. Never let other people stop your shine.