Success does not come easy. Success does not come quickly. Success does not come without failure.

Success does, however, come to those who persist, persevere and push through rejection.

As a freelance talent, whether you are a photographer, a model or a makeup artist – there is a certainty that you will face rejection. You will have those who do not like your work, those who would rather hire someone else, those who cannot afford you, those who have a different vision, those who are committed to another service provider, those who have better relationships with someone else, those who just don’t have the work to give you right now.

How many pitches have you sent out that went unanswered? How many times have you proposed your services only to be declined? It is not merely just an unavoidable roadblock; rejection is a necessity to growing your career.

Thus the real question becomes; how many times are you willing to be rejected before the success comes?

I think about best selling authors like Seth Godin or Stephen King who have both commented on the number of rejection letters they received before they had their breakthrough. I think about directors like William Castle who battled for years to have the opportunity to make movies he was passionate about. Then I think about the number of times I personally have been rejected.

The more than 500 promotional pieces I’ve mailed out without a response this year alone, the number of phone calls I make a month only to be told I won’t be getting the gig, the number of proposals I’ve lost to another photographer.

Success is about surviving through all the rejection. To take the first 99 “no’s” only to approach the 100th potential client with the same energy and enthusiasm as the first. To reexamine your approach and reinvest your efforts into a better strategy.

There is no question that success is a struggle. That is precisely what makes it worth while.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto