How to Be Happy When You Don't Get the Account, by Shirley George Frazier. All rights reserved.

“I’m sorry, but we’ve chosen someone else to represent us.”

My eyes washed over those words in the first sentence in an email I received from a representative of a well-known content distribution website.

When I applied to the site for a writing assignment, I believed that association with a big-name company would elevate my notoriety and business opportunities.

I believed that after writing several articles and setting up a mock site as the instructions stated that I would receive good news about this independent contractor position. Instead, they selected someone else.

As I read the email, my disappointment faded, and I congratulated myself for not getting the assignment. I quickly realized three things:

  • The position would have tethered me within certain writing constraints, leaving me less time for my own projects.
  • My identity would have been linked to that particular brand. While not a bad thing, it’s my brand I need to boost.
  • All of the opportunities I imagined would open up for me might not happen. Yet, I have the potential to accomplish those opportunities on my own.

There are reasons you’ll never recognize or understand when proposals, ideas, and submissions are rejected by potential clients. Unfortunately, your mind magnifies the rejection and makes it the center of attention all day when you’re still great at what you do, have current clients who value you, and can focus on opportunities that will materialize because the rejection has cleared the way for more-lucrative relationships.

Since you work alone, I’ll give you the pep talk I gave myself.

  • Stop sulking.
  • Be glad the deal fell apart, because it would have been more trouble than it’s worth.
  • Take everything you created and learned from the process and re-purpose the material on your site or as a report.

Turn “I’m sorry” into a celebration of who you are and what you bring to the world.

Shirley George Frazier

Shirley George Frazier is recognized worldwide as one of the foremost experts on marketing strategies for small businesses and creative professionals who operate firms without employee assistance. In business since 1990, Shirley is president and CEO of Sweet Survival LLC®, a firm specializing in creative business and marketing support. Shirley transforms systems by assisting professionals to start and manage productive work environments, For more information or to invite Shirley George Frazier to your next event, call 973-279-2799 or email

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