Does Rejection Make Your Business Stronger?

Does rejection make your business stronger?

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ll know that having clients choose your competitors is part-and-parcel of the job – even the biggest and seemingly successful businesses in the world come up against clients who will choose someone else over them. So what happens when you come up against rejection and what do you do next? Let’s find out:

A few bad apples don’t need to spoil the bunch…..

Rejection needs to be expected. It happens! Maybe it’s a fault in your business or maybe it’s a hang up on your potential client’s side. Either way, expect there to be a few bad apples along the way and don’t get too hung up on it or take it personally. It’s important to have long-term goals too. Coming face-to-face with rejection can be debilitating if you’re not sure where to go from here. If you have a goal to acquire 20 new clients this year, it becomes easier to look beyond the one rejection and move on to achieve your goals.

Keep the conversation open…..

Just because your potential client has said no this time, it doesn’t mean they’ll say no next time. Any number of things could happen in between now and then causing them to return to you, so you want to make sure the relationship you have begun stays positive and isn’t terminated just because they choose someone else. Acting negatively towards the client and rejecting them in return significantly slims down the chance that they’ll return to you next time. Treating them mean to keep them keen might work in the dating world but it won’t go down well in the business world.

Ask for feedback and take it on board…..

Perhaps it was your pitch that didn’t quite hit the mark or maybe your competitors are simply offering something better. You’ll never know if you don’t ask. There’s no need to be overbearing; a simple, kind question to see what their decision was based on can be very telling, even without pressing for too many details. If there’s something you can change or improve upon based on their feedback, take note and take action. It could mean you come up against less rejection later on.

Celebrate your successes…..

Rejection comes around often, but so do successes. Remember your successes often and feel free to pat yourself on the back without shame! Note what works well and keep it all in mind when you do encounter rejections. The rejection shouldn’t defeat your drive in your business, so have a collection of success stories on hand to draw on and boost your morale.

Rejection might seem like a door is slamming in your face but it may actually push you in a different direction, toward more success.

If you’re ready to start bouncing back from rejection and turn it into a success, we’d love to hear your business story and help you to move forward from here. Call Bx on 1300 068 229, or find out more about what we do here


How to Network Without The Icky Factor

How to Network Without The Icky Factor

Matt Alderton, Bx, Business for life, networkingDoes the idea of “Networking” conjure visions of eating bad canapés and lurching from one uncomfortable and superficial conversation to the next?

Have you ever attended a “Networking” event and felt like everyone was just in a big race to see who could hand out the most business cards first?

I have. And that is just plain “Icky.”

In fact, a scientific study recently featured in the Harvard Business Review has proven that professional networking actually makes people feel dirty.

Yep, seriously… it makes people feel physically dirty – like they want to take a shower afterwards!

Researchers suggest this is because we generally think about morality in terms of cleanliness and most of the time, professional networking feels very “contrived” and it increases people’s feelings of inauthenticity and immorality (hence the whole “feeling dirty” thing).

That’s why, even though we HerBusiness gives members loads of opportunities to connect with others  – we are definitely NOT about that kind of “Icky” Networking.

We showed that kind of networking the door years ago. What the same study DID find is that Networking had a positive association with job performance.

That means, whilst it can be great for your business in terms of winning new business, making useful connections and expanding your reach, most of the time you’re going to feel pretty uncomfortable with it.

So, how can you get all the benefits of networking without the “icky-ness” factor?

Look for organisations that offer alternatives.

Instead of hyped up, short term meet and greets, seek out interactions that have depth, authenticity and a good dose of practical advice and humour thrown in.

You’ll be creating relevant and vibrant connections with other business owners who will be good for your business – either as valued clients, suppliers or cheerleaders.

I like to think of the word network means “support team”.

Look for networks low on “Icky” and high on real conversations, solid advice and wholehearted support.

I like the way that Corryn Barakat of Milk and Love explained a meeting that she really liked…

“It’s the most grounding and invigorating forum I’ve attended as a Small Business Owner. All of the attendees provided useful points of view I hadn’t previously considered, and the size of the session means it felt intimate – like a group of your best friends getting together over coffee!”

So, look for a community where you can get real, valuable support from like-minded business owners.

Suzi Dafnis is the CEO of HerBusiness, which teaches women business owners how to market, operate and growth their business. Learn more at

Do people skills matter in business?

In days gone by, technological expertise was more highly regarded than people skills. It was all about what you could do, not necessarily how you interacted with others while you did it. Now, that attitude has shifted quite dramatically. With technological advances, more and more jobs that involve manual labour are being replaced by automation and machines. People skills are more important than ever!

What are people skills?

Whether they’re referred to as social skills, people skills and interpersonal skills, they are essentially all the same; someone’s ability to communicate and interact with others in a positive way.

Those with people skills often exhibit:

  • Behaviour that builds trust easily
  • A reluctance to involve themselves in drama, power grabbing schemes or gossip
  • Respectful behaviour towards the people around them.
  • Great communication skills when it comes to explaining what they want
  • Tact when it comes to delivering bad or inconvenient news
  • Fantastic listening skills
  • A willingness to participate

Fortunately, artificial intelligence hasn’t grasped the concept of emotional intelligence just yet, so now is the chance to be developing our people skills in our businesses and making our businesses known for their exceptional interpersonal skills.

Not only do social skills really improve the relationship between owners and employees or amongst the employees themselves, these skills can also help when it comes to customer interactions or networking with fellow business owners.

How can we develop people skills?

Consciously considering what you’re good at when it comes to interacting with others in your day-to-day business life can be a great place to start developing those people skills. Awareness might be the first step but there is a multitude of different practical ways to be better at interacting with people:

  • Stand out! Are you prone to lurking in the corners at networking events or letting all your customers deal with an online feedback form rather than being accessible? Get out there and make yourself known to other people – just by taking the step towards being accessible is an improvement.
  • Ask personal questions. These shouldn’t be so personal that they make the other person feel uncomfortable. Simply asking what they’re passionate about or what they would do if they won the lottery could open them up and build trust between you.
  • Accept offers. Have you ever been at someone’s house or office when they’ve offered you a glass of water or a snack? How often do you say yes? Saying yes puts your host at ease, makes them feel like they’re being useful and it breaks the ice ever so slightly – if you’re not already in the habit of saying yes, now is the time to start.
  • Listen. It seems simple enough, but it’s one of the hardest things to do. Next time you’re in conversation with someone, listen intently, make eye contact, don’t interrupt and think about what has been said to you before you speak.
  • Ask for feedback. Not only does this give the other person a chance to talk, it shows that you’re willing to improve and it’s another way to build trust in business relationships – you care about what they have to say, and they’ll care about what you’re providing.

People skills are more important than ever – challenge yourself to start trying some of these ways to improve your own interpersonal skills and see how your business benefits from the stronger relationships you form.

Are you harnessing and developing your existing people skills to take your business to the next level? We’d love to speak with you about how we could help your business to improve its performance. Call Bx on 1300 068 229, or find out more about what we do here

Mark Bouris – lessons learnt from the road of business

Mark Bouris – lessons learnt from the road of business

When Mark Bouris took to the stage at B-xponential last month, he shared how he got Kerry Packer to invest $25 million into Wizard Home Loans in 1999.

Mark, now chairman of Yellow Brick Road, sold the company in 2004 for $500 million. After the technical terms of the deal were agreed, Mark was told by James Packer that he had to go and see Kerry.

As Mark tells it, the meeting started with Packer looking at him across his desk in silence. He then took out a cigarette and smoked it, still looking at Mark without saying a word.

When they finally started talking, Packer put three questions to him which every business owner – large or small – ought to be able to answer.Mark Bouris - Bxponential

  1. Do you fully understand the purpose of your business?
  2. Have you got enough fight to maintain your passion when things go wrong?
  3. Are you prepared to go the distance?


Do you fully understand the purpose of your business?

Mark shared how taken aback he was. Hadn’t Kerry Packer read what Wizard Home Loans did, wasn’t he across the deal paperwork? Yet on the first point, Packer explained to Mark that he wasn’t just in the business of selling mortgages. He was in “the business of people’s hopes and dreams”.

“Fear is the thief of your imagination,” he told the Bx audience. “To know your purpose, to know your why, that takes away fear. It helps you learn how to market.”

Telling an audience of people from small businesses that passion is not enough is a blunt message. Your purpose, after all, is supposed to feed your passion. Many business owners and leaders in smaller businesses will rave about their passion for what they do, but Mark also highlighted the need for a bit of mongrel when it comes to business survival:

“Passion’s important. We’ve got to be excited about something. You’ve got to be at a minimum excited about it. But Kerry Packer said to me, “Son, passion’s not enough. I want to know – I know that all this stuff you’re preseMark Bouris - Bxponentialnting to me so passionately, which is going swimmingly at the moment, which is forecast for growth at this level, blah blah-blah – I know you’re presenting it passionately. But I want to know, because something’s going to go wrong, invariably something’s going to go wrong: do you have enough fight to maintain your passion?””

Mark Bouris reminded us all at Bx about having the fight inside of ourselves, to pick ourselves up when we get knocked down.

Being prepared to go the distance

You have passion, you know your purpose, and you have the fight inside to get back up. But Mark asked us, are you prepared to be tested? That’s different to putting up a fight. We all need somebody to test our hypothesis in business. “People in your office might be testing you – above you or below you or next to you. It doesn’t matter. Your personal partner might be testing you. You need to be tested. We don’t need to have someone give us the answers, we need to have someone give us the questions,” said Mark.

For Mark, his test came when Kerry Packer said: “Ok son, so what you’ve got to do, within 12 months, you must buy an influential interest – or all of – the wholesale business that funds Wizard Home Loans.”

Mark and Kerry Packer shook on it. And he had 12 months to do it. Talk about a test!Mark Bouris - Bxponential

In the end it took a flight to Amsterdam, and a long wait in the reception area of this particular Dutch bank to meet the Managing Director. Mark had no appointment, just a commitment to meet the test set of him by Kerry Packer. Here’s how he went:

“I sat there for hours and hours, and about 4pm in the afternoon he came down the stairs, and he said: “Is your name Bouris?” I said yes. He said: “What do you want?”

“I’ve got 30 seconds to tell him what I want, and I was smart enough to drop Kerry Packer’s name in there. And he said: “Listen, I’m going to be in Australia in three months time doing my rounds. I’ll see my managing director. I want to go and meet Kerry Packer.”

I thought: My God, that’s the last thing I wanted.

But they met up, and the managing director of the business in Australia, of the wholesale business said, “You’ve got a deal. You can buy 49 per cent.”

There is more – far more – to the financial deal of the story that Mark shared from the stage at Bx. But the point Mark wanted to make sure we understood was this:

“What I had was the supreme tester. And it did one thing, apart from scaring the daylights out of me, it did one thing: it got the best out of me. And in order to be successful today, in business, it’s very good to have somebody, whether you call them a mentor or a business partner – somebody to get the best out of you. Because you won’t get the best out of yourself. You never will.”

Another gem that Mark Bouris shared, that resonated with me, is a great one when the thief fear is creeping in, or you feel like you are low on the energy to fight back, get up again, be tested again?

“It’s an honour to work. It is God given and a blessing so don’t do it begrudgingly. It all comes down to your attitude.”


Want to learn more about how to succeed in business, from experts like Mark Bouris? Bx can help you with strategies, resources and invaluable connections for your business and pave the way for your success. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.


The Step you can Immediately Take to have a Better Attitude

Your attitude is the tipping point to success or failure

You may have heard the quote from motivational speaker Zig Ziglar – “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Or perhaps this gem from Henry Ford – “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.” Snappy little quotes? Yes, without a doubt. Trite quotes? Absolutely not.

Every day, life throws us challenges. Some of them are just mild inconveniences, others are life-changing events. Many of these events are completely beyond our control, whether they are good or bad. But while we can’t control what happens to us, we can absolutely control how we respond to them. Your response to life events is a choice; your attitude is your choice.

I had to learn this lesson the hard way when in 2008 my business partner fraudulently robbed us of over $500,000. He’d taken money out of the business, not paid taxes, and used the money to prop up his own failing business which ended up going bankrupt anyway. I was left with an enormous debt – nearly $750,000 once penalties and interest were applied – and facing the prospect of declaring bankruptcy myself.

The Step you can Immediately Take to have a Better Attitude

If your attitude is positive and buoyant, so too will be the attitude of your team and followers. As a leader, your attitude is amplified by your followers.

I chose to do everything possible to pay back the debt. Despite the circumstances of how the debt was incurred, I decided the only option was to act with determination and integrity and face the debt head on. My wife and I sold our family home. We moved in with family and sold everything we could be to reduce the debt as much as possible.

The financial struggle was monumental, but it was the emotional battle that was beyond imagining. In addition to the money issues, life threw a series of other events at us – the death of beloved family members including my wife’s dad and a close family friend, a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy. It truly seemed that things could not get any more difficult. But every day, I would swing my legs out of bed, jump to my feet and greet life with positivity and enthusiasm. I knew that to overcome adversity, I had to hold my head up, smile in the face of it, and live in a space of positivity.

How to change your attitude

When somebody asks “How are you?” do you respond with a negative or a positive? I strongly encourage you to make the effort – and believe me I know that some days it really will be an effort – to respond in the positive, with something like “I’m great!” Your brain will hear these words, assume that these words are the truth and alight your body to act accordingly.

Think of your brain as a computer. If you input information into a computer, it will behave in a certain way. Your brain is the same; the information that goes into your brain will affect the way we think and feel, but it is your attitude towards these thoughts and feelings that determine how you act.

Why attitude matters for leadership

As a leader, your attitude and your energy is amplified by your followers. If your attitude and energy are positive, happy and buoyant, so too will be the attitude of your team and followers. Put simple, positive attracts positive.

Leaders with a great attitude get great results. Productivity is higher, morale is higher, and staff turnover is lower. Enthusiasm and positivity are contagious, but someone must start it. As a leader, you need to inject positive energy into your business so that energy can grow and spread.

Personal development plays a big role in developing a positive attitude. Through our Business for Life program, we’re helping business owners from across Australia to build a toolbox of skills that they can use to create and grow their businesses and lead more fulfilled lives. We’d love to chat about how we could help you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.