As business professionals, we know that connecting with others is important for our success. Yet too many of us are convinced that we aren’t very good at making or maintaining new relationships.

Usually, it’s our own mental barriers that hold us back. Instead of making a valuable business connection, we make excuses. We tell ourselves things like:

 “I’m an introvert.”

“I don’t want to impose.”

“I don’t have the time.”

“I don’t want to get rejected.”

Don’t Let Fear Keep You from a Valuable Connection

The last one is a biggie. Nobody likes rejection. But connect with enough people and eventually someone will say “no thanks.” (In reality, the more likely response will be radio silence). They may not be interested in pursuing a deeper connection, or they may have other things going on that require their attention. It may simply be the wrong time or the wrong place.

Great connectors don’t take rejection personally. More important, they don’t consider the word “no” as rejection at all. According to Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz, authors of the best-selling book Go for No!, the word “no” doesn’t mean “never”—it just means “not yet.” What’s more, if you’re not hearing “no” often enough, you’re not aiming big enough.

Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you in your tracks. If you do meet someone who chooses not to accept your connection request, just think SWSWMO: Some will, some won’t—move on!

Connect for Success

It is far better to assume that most people are open to connecting—because they are! Offer something of value and you’ll find that most people are happy to engage.

Good luck connecting for success!