Recently, a number of people in my network got more serious about entrepreneurship and they want to start their own startups. They have great ideas, are domain experts, and have access to engineers and data scientists. They have applied to a few well-known accelerators and got rejected without much of an explanation.
What I told these individuals is the same I tell the portfolio company CEOs -- Keep going.
In entrepreneurship, rejection is constant and the majority class. Acceptance is the minority class. The default is a no. Rejection comes from everywhere - accelerators, investors, customers, the key hire you want to recruit, you name it. These stakeholders are not obligated to give feedback and justify their position.
Operating in a world where rejection is constant is extremely hard and can be exhausting and mentally draining. It is not for everyone, in fact, for most people. The startup world is high risk, high stress, and requires a lot of mental strength, and quite frankly, as some of the best entrepreneurs have said before, a healthy dose of delusion. The delusion to operate in a world where rejection is abound and you have to persuade people, turn no to yes, solve problems ALL the time.
This is also why it is also amazing to be an entrepreneur. It is a journey that is full of energy, unknowns, and potential to make a big impact in the world we live in. If this journey is easy, then everyone will be in it. It is an opportunity to be an entrepreneur and make a difference.
We have a big idea and the conviction for your vision and dream to change how things work in our world, and we are determined to get pass the rejections and eventually get to 1 yes, and then 2 yes's. We don't take no as an answer. We take no as a learning and keep going.
If you feel discouraged as a startup founder/CEO or your team feels discouraged, read this and keep going.
As they always say at the Berlin Marathon --- Everything is Possible.