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Risk, Rejection and Resiliency: Growing from a Place of No

Posted by Laura Gmeinder | April 30, 2018 | Comments (1)

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. –Vince Lombari

Recently I had a consult with a potential coaching client. I was so excited! We had connected on LinkedIn and in learning more about Holly, she seemed like a perfect fit. She wanted to focus on stepping up as a leader, and she works at a very successful tech company, one that generously rewards their employees so hypothetically she had the resources to afford coaching. We met for coffee and really clicked; Holly’s goals and my expertise were a great match. She listened intently when I told her about coaching, how the process could support her growth and asked insightful follow-up questions. She seemed jazzed for the opportunity, and I couldn’t wait to start working with her. Hello new client! After the meeting I sent her an email and invited her to work with me. Days went by—and nothing. So, I sent a follow-up email with a great offer. No response. She ghosted me! I couldn’t believe it. Clearly, she wasn’t ready to start coaching or decided to work with another coach, but either way I was so disappointed and the silence, which served as a “no,” really stung. Goodbye new client. I took a moment to reflect and then focused on what was next. It was an emotional roller coaster of risk and rejection—and the resiliency to do it all over again.


It’s hard to put yourself out there time and again, but taking risks is empowering. Stretching past the invisible boundaries of our comfort zone is how we build confidence. By choosing to move past your fear and mastering your mindset, you inevitably invite the possibility of no into your life. No one has ever achieved their dreams by playing it safe. Believe in yourself and the impact you want to make in the world so much that you are willing to put yourself out there—regardless of the outcome. The sales process challenges us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, to take a risk and open ourselves up to reward—or rejection.


On a list of top fears, “Rejection” lands at #8—right after #7 “Failure.” “No” is scary, but it can be a powerful reflection tool—if we let it. No invites us to pause and reflect on the situation. No is a chance to learn something about ourselves. My interaction with Holly and the resulting no has me reviewing my sales process to enhance how I educate potential clients, build trust and ensure that I am demonstrating my value as a coach. It builds my resiliency when I challenge myself to do better. And mindset is important. I wasn’t rejected. It’s not personal. The consult wasn’t a failure; it was a valuable learning experience.


They say you should love like you’ve never been hurt. I say you should sell like you’ve never been rejected. How? Consider every day as a clean slate and a chance to make a difference in the world. Take inspired action to attract your ideal clients. Do you have a chip on your shoulder from yesterday, or are you open to what’s possible? If the no is lingering with you, what is it trying to teach you? Reflecting helps us process the experience in a way that grows us personally and professionally. When you believe in yourself and are present in the moment, your clients can sense that. Focus on the energy you are putting out into the world. That no can haunt you, or you can shake it off.

As you build your coaching business, every no is an invitation to grow and an opportunity to learn more about yourself and be your best. By building your resiliency, you will model what’s possible when you take risks—and thrive regardless of the outcome.

laura gmender headshot june 2018

Laura Gmeinder

Laura Gmeinder is a passion igniter; she’s a highly sought-after certified laser coach and motivational speaker. Her passion lies at the intersection of leadership development, mindset and business strategy. She champions women to take themselves—and their business to the next level. Laura was honored as a BRAVA Magazine 2018 Woman to Watch in part for her work on the short documentary “If You Don’t, Who Will?” she is co-producing, which focuses on why we don’t have more women leaders—and what we can do about it.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Comments (1)

  1. Fraser Murray says:

    So what did you decide to do differently in your sales process. What was the learning and how did you adapt?

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