|New pic taken by the lovely Laura of le animalé. Hey, as long as I'm going to be tackling my fears I might as well get them all out at once (like posting photos of myself online).|
What, in the world, am I afraid of? It's funny because I think I'm equally nervous that someone will say yes to my requests as that they'd say no.
I used to think I was alone in my mostly irrational phobias. But I've picked up stories here and there of others' concerns as well. A jeweler in my business class has had a list of 500 stores to contact for years…a soap maker in the same program stopped going after a major client when her contact didn't return an email. Jessica Swift talks quite a bit about the power of continuously following up with someone in her e-book Jump, Trust, Repeat since so many of us will send out one email, or maybe two, and then give up thinking that the person is not interested or doesn't like us (rather than they're simply busy like the rest of us).
But as much as my fears can sometimes keep me from moving ahead, I'm equally pushed forward by others' stories of success. I LOVE the story of Kathryn Stockett and how her book The Help was turned down 60 times before becoming a best seller. Or this great story from Jill Meyer about contacting 25 different agents to represent her artwork. Within days 18 of those agencies had gotten back to her with most wanting to take her on! I can't even imagine how long it would have taken me to contact 18 different agencies.
So, in the spirit of my business coach who essentially told me to "get over it" and start selling my stuff, and inspired by Tiffany Han's great challenge to herself to get 100 letters of rejection in 2012, I'm calling myself out publicly.
My goal: to receive 100 letters or phone calls of rejection within the next 100 days. We're talking about people actually saying no (not just not responding), so I'm going to have to do a lot of follow up with emails and phone calls to actually connect.
And I will blog about it. Every. Single. Day. (Gulp).
Can I do it? I have absolutely no idea. It makes my stomach hurt to even think about it. But I'm hoping this amazing community here can be my virtual work-out partners. You know, the people who you go to yoga with who are the only reason at all you actually show up half the time. Yep, that's you. So please feel free to call me out when I make up excuses, or if quietly stop posting. I'm counting on it.
So here we go.
Day #1 (which was actually yesterday): Emailed Fab.com to see if they want to do another sale of pin-ups or vintage tattoos. I had two sales this summer with them that were less-than-spectacular, but decent enough to try again now that holiday shopping time is coming up. My first email to schedule a new sale months ago went unanswered, so trying again. Also contacted Bill Horton to see if he'd take me on for one-to-one business coaching but haven't heard back yet. I think I may need some coaching/cheerleading to get through this.
Day #2, Friday November 9th: Send in application to sell on One Kings Lane. Their aesthetic seems so perfect for my collaged artwork, even though they don't often carry unframed prints, and I've been working on a portfolio for them for literally seven months! At some point I have to call it good enough and hit "send."
Who's in this with me? Anyone else want to be my virtual yoga partners? I would love it.
ps--click here to follow my progress and see all the "100 days of rejections" posts.