Third in a series

The opening keynote speaker at The PPAI Expo 2022, Simon T. Bailey will share his experienced approach to customer relations and personal growth with PPB all year.


Not long ago I submitted one of my success guides to an international company for distribution. A few weeks later, a “Dear John” email arrived in my mailbox. It stated: “After careful review of the information submitted, it has been decided that our distribution enterprise WILL NOT be accepting your success guide. The letter closed with, “All the best wishes for your success!”

That email arrived shortly after I received a rejection email from another major international distributor. The email said in part, “Simon, we will not pursue carrying your success book. It is not strong enough. Thank you for sharing it with us. Continued success!”

Why was my book rejected? Apparently because my material wasn’t a fit with their product lines. Or perhaps they had more than their share of success guides. What’s ironic to me is their closing salutations–they wished me success! How funny is that?

In the past, I would have looked at these responses and crumbled. I might have even given up and thought, “All that work down the drain!”

Instead, I answered the email rejection with an email of my own: “This is brilliant news! I am so excited. WOW! Stay Brilliant… Simon T. Bailey.”

No, I wasn’t being sarcastic; I was being sincere. Now I celebrate rejection. I take the energy of rejection and flip it, just like buying and flipping a house. I reframe it and see it as a gift, a blessing in disguise. My rejecters did me a favor. They saved me time, energy and money.

So, what has happened to change my perspective? How can I be so positive and passionate about rejection? Well, there are a number of reasons, but mostly it’s that I’ve experienced rejection–and then success–firsthand.

In fact, I have an advanced degree in rejectionology. This is a word I coined to describe the art of bouncing back from disappointment, setbacks and non-acceptance. I am fascinated by etymology–the history of words. According to the Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, the word reject, a verb, first appeared in 1415 and means “to cast out, dismiss, refuse to recognize.” It can be traced back to a Latin word that means “to throw back.” After I read that, my heart began to race. I realized that all of my life, at some level, I’ve felt like a throwback, cast out and dismissed from the inner circle. And yet, I’ve learned to bounce back.

I’ve discovered that every rejection is one step closer to an acceptance. I am working on a new book–Ignite the Power of Women in Your Life–which I am going to self-publish, and I found a brilliant producer who believes in me and is helping me create the audio book. Just find one person who believes in you. It only takes one—one person or organization to believe, one person or organization to catch the vision.

Keep looking for the “yes.” I may have found a way to sidestep the rejections for my success guide. Because my email response to the rejection was positive, another party who was copied on the email sent me a note saying, “Let me check with the online department of our distribution company and get back to you.”

I realize that many of you already know how to deal with rejection. In fact, some of you likely also have an advanced degree in rejectionology. Today’s insight is for those of you who believe that you’ve been thrown away, thrown back, cast away and written off. Things haven’t worked out the way you expected they would. You’re discouraged, dismayed and dejected because you’ve been rejected.

Understand that not everyone is going to “get” you. There will be many people who won’t see or recognize your brilliance. There will be people who will reject your genius and ignore your potential. There will be people who will not accept your love or your wisdom. Many will say “no.” Get those out of the way and find your one “Yes!”

I’m inviting you to step out on faith. Move forward with your proposal. Request the raise or the promotion. Ask that certain someone to lunch. Pitch your new idea.

Dare to be rejected. Become a student of rejectionology. Own your rejection and reframe it. Look for creative ways to sidestep “no.” Discover for yourself the sweetness of acceptance after rejection.

Now, when I put myself out there, I think, Reject me, baby! Tell me ‘No.’ Cast me off and kick me to the curb. I relish it! In the words of the Terminator, I say, “I’ll be back.”

What about you? When you inevitably experience rejection, will you be defeated, or will you bounce back?  


Simon T. Bailey has more than 30 years of experience in hospitality. A former sales director for Disney Institute, he is a prolific author and hall of fame keynote speaker. Learn more at