I think I’ve heard “No” a couple of hundred times in the past 3 years, more than I could have ever imagined. I can’t even count how many emails are sent with absolutely no response. Knocking on investors doors and hearing “No” so many times is enough to make most people want to quit.
I often thought “Was there something wrong with me? Was I not getting responses to my emails or introductions to the right investors because I was too old, I was a woman, I didn’t have an MBA, or that I was focusing on a niche that was basically forgotten until recently?”
I have to admit unless you have a tough exterior and are resilient being an entrepreneur is no easy task. It’s not going to stop me from building Lola Getts, because what we do is needed by so many women.
After speaking to several other founders of really successful startups, I discovered they too faced the same challenges and that this was par for the course. On the other side of the equation I was surprised that this also happens to new VC firms who are starting out and need to raise money for their fund. They too get “ghosted” and countless No's before they got the Yes’.
So how do you remain positive and optimistic during this difficult time? At first I didn’t know the answer….
When I finally realized not to take the hundreds of unanswered emails personally, and that I would have to network smarter and be more resourceful than most. This is when I was finally able to embrace that the No’s meant I was one step closer to “Yes”. I know the right investors will continue to come along because they believed in me, our mission at Lola Getts and the huge potential the plus size niche offers.
Staying positive is definitely a challenge but I’m blessed with a small but mighty team, investors and advisors who are incredibly supportive, and the desire to be able to be a role model for other women.
So next time you hear about how successful an entrepreneur is and how they built an incredible company, remember that more than likely the faced the same challenges I am facing.