In this episode, Amanda Polick teaches us how to embrace rejection so that it becomes a catalyst for personal growth and resilience.

We cover information about handling rejection gracefully by staying true to our purpose and the value of embracing feedback, and supporting fellow creators amidst challenges and uncertainties.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Amanda Polick
Website | Instagram

Bio Amanda Polick is a cookbook and food memoir coach. Her work has been featured by Cooking Light, Time, Southern Living, and Food & Wine. She’s a proud member of Cherry Bombe, Les Dames d’Escoffier International, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amanda lives in Nashville, Tennessee now, but a piece of her will be in California forever.


  • Remember Your Identity: When you get rejected, remember your identity and purpose to help you maintain self-assurance and direction.
  • Embrace Rejection as Growth: Rejection is a catalyst for learning and personal development, essential for building resilience and determination.
  • Boldness and Authenticity: Uniqueness attracts attention and fosters connection so make bold choices and embrace authenticity.
  • Support Others: It’s important to support fellow creators, whether through feedback, reviews, or messages of encouragement, fostering a sense of community.
  • Resilience through Feedback: Discern between constructive criticism and tactless feedback, but either way be open to critique while maintaining confidence in one’s abilities.
  • Find Your Niche: Discover your unique voice and space within a competitive landscape, while staying true to yourself.
  • Acknowledge the Reality of Rejection: Rejection is inevitable in creative pursuits; perceive it as a stepping stone rather than a setback.
  • Cultivate Persistence: In order to succeed and find unexpected opportunities and growth, you need to be persistent and have self-belief in the face of uncertainty.


Click for full script.

EBT501 – Amanda Polick

Intro 00:00

Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth, and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom. Whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported. 

Sometimes I record interviews with people who make me forget that I am recording an interview. I have to pinch myself a little bit and get back to business. This is one of those situations. Amanda Polick from joins me for her second interview here on Eat Blog Talk. This time we have a conversation about the fear of rejection, that thing that we so often feel as an entrepreneur. This discussion gets deep. It is insightful. Amanda brings her experience with being a performer and an actor to the table, and talks about how that rejection has led to so much growth in her entrepreneurial journey in business. I think we can all relate to that fear of being rejected. Whether it’s stopping us from pursuing a cookbook or another big project, or publishing a blog post, or reaching out to a peer, the fear of rejection is real. And I really hope this episode will help you work past it and just do things anyway despite those fears. This is episode number 501, Sponsored by RankIQ.

Sponsor 01:47

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Megan Porta 03:18

Amanda Polick is a cookbook and food memoir coach. Her work has been featured by cooking light time Southern Living and food and wine. She’s a proud member of Cherry Bomb, Lay Dom, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amanda lives in Nashville, Tennessee, but a piece of her heart will be in California forever. 

Amanda, so good to have you back on the podcast. How are you today?

Amanda Polick 03:41

Hi Megan. I’m so good. I’m so excited to, to be here again. I’ve been looking forward to this.

Megan Porta 03:48

Same, we’re going to talk today about the fear of rejection, which sadly can apply to so many people listening and their businesses and their lives and many different aspects of those things. But we’ll get into that first. Do you have another fun fact to share with us?

Amanda Polick 04:04

I do. So my, my new fun fact is that I have been skydiving, but I really only did it to prove my sister and my now brother-in-Law wrong because they said I wouldn’t do it. So yeah, that was like a bucket list thing. I would never do it again.

Megan Porta 04:26

Oh, interesting. One and done, huh?

Amanda Polick 04:28

It was awesome though because like, honestly, like I didn’t know too much about it beforehand. I mean, I didn’t really know how it would be, and you think like, oh, in the movies they just, you jump out of a plane, you don’t.

Megan Porta 04:45

Yeah. It’s not like that.

Amanda Polick 04:46

People also said that if you didn’t want to jump, you didn’t have to. That’s also not true because they have.

Megan Porta 04:53

They push you out.

Amanda Polick 04:54

They have people behind you who need to get out. But I’ll say just like as a, you know, a bucket list thing, it was an awesome thing to do. You kind of don’t think up there either, which is also a really nice thing if you’re an overthinker and you just enjoy the ride. But yeah, it surprises people. Because I also am terrified of heights.

Megan Porta 05:15

Oh my gosh. Well, I don’t want to hijack your fun fact, but my husband and I, we actually met skydiving. We are skydivers, so we have lots and lots of skydives under our belt. So I hear all of that. All of what you’re saying is true, like you don’t think you have, my husband used to be an instructor, so he has literally pushed hundreds if not thousands of people out of the plane because they’re like, wait, at the last minute, I don’t want to do this. And he is like, yes, you do. 1, 2, 3.

Amanda Polick 05:46

Oh my gosh, that is hilarious. Because , I have a DVD of, you know, they used to be a thing, of my jump and one, they’re like pulling my fingers from the bar up in the, and putting it on my shoot. And then it was the 1, 2, 3. And then I just remember at that three when you, because you know, you push forward, so you do this like natural roll and like I was looking away at the plane and I was like, this is so cool. Oh, then it, you know, 30 seconds I, that is, see that is a fun fact of yours that. Super cool.

Megan Porta 06:28

It was a long time ago. I haven’t jumped in years, but my husband, he is way more impressive than me. So he has like 4,000 skydives. He’s done it 4,000 times and most of those are taking other people on tandems. So yeah, he, oh, he has so many stories. There’s only one person of all the tandems that he’s done that literally would not go, would not jump and insisted on flying back down with the airplane. But everyone else, he managed to push out.

Amanda Polick 06:58

Yeah. Oh my gosh. Like, well, it’s, I don’t know, I think it’s also just such like a great metaphor for life.

Megan Porta 07:06

It is. There’s so much there isn’t there?

Amanda Polick 07:08

I mean, it kinda, yeah. But I’m glad I did it just so I could at least say I did it. Yeah. But I would be scared to go again.

Megan Porta 07:16

Yeah. I always tell people, if you have even the slightest desire, inkling to try it, just try it. Just do it once. And if you want to do it more, great, do keep doing it. But I think it’s so, it’s such a good, like you said, a good metaphor for life. Like, you have to get, you have to do it like you committed. You don’t have to. But once you commit, you’re going to do it, and you’re in the plane, you’re terrified. You have no idea what’s about to happen. But then once you jump, you’re like, oh my gosh, this is the coolest, weirdest, strangest thing I’ve ever done. And then when you get down, it takes you a while to process. Like, what did I just do? It’s an experience to remember though.

Amanda Polick 07:56

Oh yeah. Like, I think that’s also just such a good, and when you like think about life, there’s these things that like, we build up in our heads of for sure I could never do that. That’s too big. That’s too monumental. And then I remember, because we actually did it for my sister’s birthday, like a group of us. And afterwards like, you’re on the ground. And like the processing is such a huge thing because it’s also like, oh, I thought I’d feel really different, you know? Or I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. And then like, so I, yes, I, I think that that’s also a great piece of advice for anyone. Like if there’s a big thing that you’re really scared of to go for it. Because honestly, like you’re never going to know unless you just do it.

Megan Porta 08:45

I know people ask me all the time about like, how did you start a podcast? Because I was a super shy kid and like talking to people was not my thing. So people who know me are like, how and why did you start your pod? Like, how did you find the courage to do that? And I always say it was skydiving because I realized skydiving. Like if I can jump out of an airplane and be, not just be okay, but love it and thrive and be happy, then I can do anything in the world. And that is always my answer. So anytime I’m afraid of something, I think back to that first time that I jumped out of an airplane and I think, oh my gosh, if I can do that, nothing. Nothing matters. Nothing can get in my way.

Amanda Polick 09:29

Oh my gosh, I just got chills as you were saying that. I love that. Ah, look at our fun facts.

Megan Porta 09:35

Oh my gosh. Yeah. Your fun fact tied in so well. Okay, so let’s get to the topic, which yeah, it deals with fears, a different kind of fear, fear of rejection, which I touched on earlier. I think we all can relate to this on some level and I don’t like to say that, but it’s true. And I know you have kind of a history of, you have an acting background, right, Amanda? And you have a history of just experiencing rejection with that and how that kind of led into your business, that fear of rejection. So can you talk to us about all of that?

Amanda Polick 10:07

Yeah. So I was an actor did improv and sketch comedy. And that entire business is built around people judging you on pretty much a first take. And so you have that just kind of built in. And then on top of that, you know, I really started in like live performance. And that is an audience just right in front of you when things are really going bad, you can feel it. So it’s very different now than, you know, you put something online or you put an email out and people are like, no, not really interested. No, thank you. I guess when you’re on stage and you’re like, this isn’t going well. And you have to just continue getting through it. I think that honestly it just, it reframed a lot of things for me because one of the things that you have to do is like, you ha you have to go back up on stage. So if you’re in a play and it goes bad one night, it doesn’t matter. because the next night you still have to go back up. With improv and sketch comedy. You can’t really like stop the show either. Right. So you have to pivot, like, especially with improv, because it’s unscripted. You have to pivot and you have to figure out a way to make it work or just get to the end. And I think that something that’s really helped me with all of that is like the work I do now with helping people with their cookbook proposals and the writing process is that, you know, just because something, someone says no or someone isn’t into whatever it is that you’re doing, because also, like, you know, some people go to plays and don’t like them. Some people go to musicals, don’t like them, or, you know, that type of comedy isn’t their style. Just because someone isn’t into it doesn’t mean that it’s not good. And you just have to keep working on it and just keep showing up. And honestly, it’s, and it really just comes down to the showing up. But I think that that’s like a huge thing for most people who want to do anything that’s just a little bit outside of themselves.

Megan Porta 12:22

Which is everyone listening, right? Because like starting a business is so scary. Starting a business on your own where you’re lonely and really, like, a lot of us don’t even know what we’re doing when we start and there’s so much potential rejection just waiting for us out there. So, yeah, I mean, the fact that you’ve started people listening is awesome. So you’ve gotten over that fear and now you’re here. And understandably, there are probably more fears of rejection kind of looming. There always are. Right, Amanda? I mean, I feel like once I get over one, like, okay, I tackled that I am good. I, I don’t fear that anymore. There’s always something else out there.

Amanda Polick 13:06

Yes. I was actually having this conversation with someone recently just about getting older. You have new insecurities. Yeah, that’s true. You think you get to a certain point in life and you’re like, no, everything’s totally great and then you’re like, whoa. You have a conversation with someone and something comes up, you’re like, oh, I didn’t even realize I was insecure about that. But yeah, like even, you know, starting a business, you know, in the beginning it’s like, will people even want to work with me? Will people like this small idea? And then as you start testing that and you start, you know, building your authority and then you know the next thing that you’re looking at, it always feels like you could not be the cool kid at the table. I feel like in food, that’s a big thing, something that I’m just kind of seeing right now in general of like, who’s the, who are the cool people? Are you invited? And so I honestly like, I think at the end of the day, like with all of it, you have to kind of remember too that even the people who you really want to approve of you, they also want other people to approve of them. Like, they don’t have it all figured out, even if they think they do. And I think it’s hard to remember that you’re not the one who’s like so desperate for everybody else to accept you. That we all have that no matter. Like if it’s no matter how big or small that may be.

Megan Porta 14:35

Yeah. Oh my gosh, I so agree with that. So during all of your experience with acting and improv and all of that, how did you get past it? Because I loved what you said about like, you have to get back on stage. You have to either pivot or at least finish, right? So you had to have learned some lessons along the way. So can you just kind of talk us through some of those?

Amanda Polick 14:59

Yeah. So I remember a show that I had, so I did improv at the Second City in Hollywood. So for those people who don’t know, the Second City is the world’s largest improv and sketch comedy theater. And the first theater was in Chicago. They had multiple theaters. So I went through a one year conservatory program in LA and one of the, the goal of the conservatory is at the end of the year, you have written a one act, Second City style review with your ensemble. So that is heavy in social and political satire, recognizable human behavior. Things you see on Saturday Night Life, a lot of people who have come outta Second City go on SNL. And so it’s a lot of workshopping bad things. I mean, things that you thought were so good. And they are literally so bad but I remember one show in particular, and it was like my whole team, like, we just all knew like, that was really bad. That wasn’t good at all. The audience wasn’t excited. And my teacher just said, he was like, listen, it could always be better and it could always be worse. And ever since then, it was like, okay, okay. So no matter what you think, it, it’s normally isn’t really true. Right? So we’re always so much harder on ourselves. And I think that that has been a phrase that just stuck in my head for so long. Because I think as a creative or somebody who’s starting a business, you want it to be perfect. There’s always this level of perfectionism, even if we pretend that there isn’t. So just accepting that, like it could always be, yeah, I could be, I could have done better and I could have done a lot worse. So it’s great that I was just showing up. And it’s like, some of it too is a lot of just having the audacity, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this in Big Magic where she was getting just rejection letter after rejection letter for essays and short stories and, I’m paraphrasing, but she said something along the lines of like, I took their rejections as like permission to reach out to them again of like, oh, you think that I’m just going to like go away? Absolutely not. I’m going to continue to send you things. And I think that, you know, it might seem, some of it comes across as like a little delusional, but I think you have to be a little bit to do, you know, whatever it is creatively or starting a business, you have to kind of have this a little bit of, you’re not like in touch with reality sometimes. Just because if you are just so grounded in like the literal things that are happening in front of you, you’re not allowed to like dream outside of that rejection. And like, normally it’s on the other side of just like one or two yeses.

Megan Porta 18:13

What’s the line? Something about if you, you’re delusional until it works and then you’re brilliant or something like that. It’s so true. If you look back in history, all the people who have done really big things before they accomplish those things, they were seen as being totally bonkers nuts. Right? You’re like, what were they thinking? Trying to achieve that? But then once they did it, they were success stories. So you can be the same. It’s, we all know what we have in us to accomplish something. So I love the word that you used audacity. Like have the audacity to believe that and just keep trying or keep asking or keep doing whatever it is that you know you need to keep doing.

Amanda Polick 18:53

Yeah. And it’s hard too, because it’s easy to hear stories of other people who have, you know, had a really hard time and then all of a sudden everything like worked out. And when you’re in it, you can’t see that. But I think that we can all look back at like times where maybe we were rejected or something wasn’t necessarily working out, and how, you know, a little bit of time or a little a redirection kind of, you know, reset and made everything like better. And I think that because, you know, we, we all have those things. So maybe it was like a very small event and it doesn’t even have to be business related, but we’ve all had like something where it’s like, this didn’t really work out the way that I thought it would, but maybe it ended up okay, or maybe it didn’t. What could I learn from that? But I think when you’re putting yourself like in somebody else’s shoes, also, sometimes when you hear these other stories, sometimes it feels like, oh, but there’s so much better than I am. They’re super human. And then it’s like, no, they’re not.

Megan Porta 20:06

Right. No, that’s a good point. You think like, okay, well yeah, they did eventually succeed, but they’re different than I am. But that’s not true. They were merely humans as well. And they were just like us.

Amanda Polick 20:20

Just like us. And like, I remember hearing this story of Abraham Lincoln and how, and I’m probably getting, for my history buffs, I might be getting some of these details wrong, so please don’t, don’t be yelling at me.

Megan Porta 20:37

Don’t send Amanda emails.

Amanda Polick 20:40

But he had run for all kinds of different offices. So, and I think that they, they varied as far as like from the state level to even some local elections. And he had lost a lot. And it just looked like you are a complete loser and I think it was like the year before he won the presidency, he had run for, it was some, I think it was something in the state. I don’t know if it was like the governorship or whatever, but he lost it by like a lot. And then the next year he was president. And so I remember hearing this talk and they were like, you know, sometimes you’re knocking on the right door, it’s just the wrong time. And that resonated with me so much just because sometimes we think that if some of these things aren’t working, so if people aren’t just, it’s an emphatic yes. That that means that we shouldn’t even show up. But there had to, you know, I think about Abraham Lincoln, I’m like, well, obviously there was something with not only within him, but in his circle, the people who he’s really talking to, the people who really know him and what he really wants to do. That was like, nope, you should keep going. This is maybe, so maybe we don’t do this state level thing now we’re just going to go even bigger.

Megan Porta 22:02

Yes. Oh, I love that. Not like go back, but go more. Do more.

Amanda Polick 22:09

Yeah. I mean, like, this is the thing, everybody is making it up. There’s no rules. And as much as we think that there are, you know, where it’s like someone tells you no. So that you, you know, decide. Like let’s say somebody doesn’t really love your business idea. Like, I mean, honestly people, I tell them, oh, you know, I’m, I’m a cookbook coach. And they’re like, that’s even a thing. And I’m like, yeah, because I decided that it was a thing. I mean, podcasting wasn’t like a job for so long. I mean, people make, you know, you have to kind of make those opportunities for yourself. But I think that there are always like little signals along the way of, you know, if you have this thing that you are so passionate about, you believe there’s a need for it, people really need it, want it, desire it, you believe you are the best person to deliver that because of your unique point of view. This goes for a business, a book, whatever. You really have to be committed to it. I think it’s when you’re not super committed to yourself, that that’s when you really fail. When it’s other people who are guiding.

Megan Porta 23:25

Or when you’re allowing other people to guide you, right? Yeah. And sometimes you are literally the only person along the way who can see or feel those little signals. And we can get so thrown off course by, even if it’s one trusted person, like a spouse or a family member who you love and trust, who says, oh, I don’t know Megan starting a podcast for food bloggers. I think that’s probably not a good idea. That can throw us off and completely stop us from even starting.

Amanda Polick 23:54

100%. And I don’t know what your experience has been, but I have a, I would say I have a pretty supportive, like, you know, family, you know, friends. But there’s also this level where there’s a little bit of like a, just a misunderstanding about, right? What it is you really want to be doing. The importance of even small things, networking or even something like this, you know, it’s like, oh, that’s cool. It’s a little bit more than cool. Thank you. Yeah. But sometimes the people who are closest to you actually can’t see like the full picture. And so that’s also sometimes when you’d have to have the audacity to be like, I don’t care what you are saying, and I believe that this is a thing because I see other people doing it. Or, you know, you open up your circle. But yeah, it could be really isolating when, I mean, there’s times where I’ve been like, am I totally delusional? Like, am I am? Yeah. This is, am I, is this really a thing that I should be doing? I’m sure you have that same thing.

Megan Porta 25:09

I feel you so much on that.

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Megan Porta 26:24

I have a very supportive husband and family, and they really try, like my husband gets it more than anyone, but like extended family, they really try. I can see it. We were just with my husband’s family over the weekend and they were, I could tell they’re so curious about my business and like really supportive, but they really just, they’re, I think you said the word misunderstanding. Like there’s just, they really don’t understand. They’re trying. And they’re like, oh, okay. So I’m talking about like, they’re asking about my team and who, who works for me and does what. And I was telling them, and they were just like, I think someone said, why would you, so you think it’s worth it to hire people to do your work for you? And I was like, yeah, 100%, because it opens up time for this and this. And I’m like, oh, and why do you do that? And like, there is just not a grasping of it, but that’s okay too. Like, I don’t expect them to be in my brain and my soul and understand it, but it, it can be very lonely and isolating and feel like I am so misunderstood as well.

Amanda Polick 27:26

Yeah. And you also like hit it too, that it’s okay that they don’t understand. I used to get really offended in some ways.

Megan Porta 27:34

Yeah. It’s easy to do that.

Amanda Polick 27:36

I mean, you know, you can hurt your own feelings all the time.

Megan Porta 27:40

Yes, exactly.

Amanda Polick 27:41

You know, people, a lot of like, what, like we are doing, and even like the folks listening, it’s pretty, it’s still pretty new. It’s not something that a lot of people like grew up with. And so it’s, I mean, we’re also figuring this like a lot of these things out too. So if somebody isn’t familiar with it, like it’s completely understandable that it’d be like, oh, I don’t really understand how, like, things online work. You know, sometimes when I ask my family members, I’m like, do you know like what it is that I do? And I’m, and I say that like, if I’m not explaining it, please let me know, because I would love for you to be able to understand more. And sometimes I think that they get nervous about trying to explain it, because If they’re going to get it wrong, and I’m like, literally, there’s just no wrong answer. I just want to make sure, like, if I’m not being clear. So there’s like a, a weird rejection on their side too, of like, oh, I’m supposed to know these things. And it’s like, I mean, sure, but a lot of us

Megan Porta 28:43

We don’t even know.

Amanda Polick 28:45

I don’t even know. It’s hard. We talked about this last time too, where it’s hard to explain what it is that you do, and sometimes you get exhausted. And I think that, you know, even as we’re talking about rejection, sometimes it feels like you’ve probably had a conversation with people before. They didn’t get it, that felt like rejection. So then it also kind of taints future conversations you have with people, or it might limit the scope of your conversation with someone in the future, and you’re not really giving them, you know, the opportunity to kind of step into what it is that you’re doing. Like, I’ve been surprised by people who I thought like, Ugh, I’m going to tell them I do this thing and they’re never going to get it. And it’s the people who I, I judge to be honest, even like family members sometimes, like extended family and they’re like, nope, totally get it. 100%. That’s so cool. And I’m like, oh.

Megan Porta 29:42

That feels so good, doesn’t it? Oh, That’s the best feeling. It’s really awesome. Your whole, like, your eyes light up, you’re like really? Is that what you do? That feels good. And I love, okay, so what you said made me think of something. So we’re defining rejection as something that carries over into future conversations or interactions. So maybe what we need to do is redefine rejection and like it’s misunderstanding or it’s love or it’s something else so that we have more grace for it in the future.

Amanda Polick 30:13

Yeah. And you know, I’ve also, I mean, there’s a saying that it’s like rejection is, you know, and you can insert whatever your belief is, but like, is God’s protection universe, whatever. But I think that when we think of rejection, we think of it as like a hard stop. Like a hard No. And I honestly just see it as an opportunity. So, you know, and, and this happens too a lot with clients or even, you know, when you think of like folks who are starting a business, you, when you first have to like start reaching out to people and creating a network and maybe like pitching yourself places and, you know, building that authority. If somebody says, no, thanks, I’m not interested in this guest post, I’m not interested in this collaboration. I don’t have time for coffee, thanks so much. It can definitely feel like, oh, I should just stop trying because these people who I deem as more important than me don’t want to give me the time of day. You know, I, this is, this is really like, this should be the end of the road for me. I think that you should just always kind of, you know, step into like the shoes of somebody else too, where it’s like, so if you’re, it’s a family member who doesn’t understand, or a friend or something like, okay, so how can I also learn like where that disconnect is, where that misunderstanding is if you’re reaching out to someone who you would love to work with and they don’t have the time or it’s not the right fit. Okay. So like, what could I learn from that? Like, is it just an not a good fit overall? If they don’t have the time, what’s a way that I could also provide something to them so that, you know, it would be an easier Yes. I just feel like there’s always something that we can learn and that the doors never really shut. And I think it’s also in our responses that kind of dictates whether it was like a true rejection or if it was just like, in our heads that framing’s really important.

Megan Porta 32:18

And interpretation too. We could be interpreting something completely misaligned. Like it could be simply, you know, something’s going on in their business and , there’s a change in management. Like, we have no idea sometimes what is going on when we interpret it as rejection. So just keeping that in mind too.

Amanda Polick 32:39

Oh, 100%. Like when I worked at Cooking Light, I would get pitched by a lot of PR companies. And normally that would just happen because I had, I was like a, I was a fellow, so I think very smartly, and people should use this too. Some of the publicists would actually reach out to me knowing that the editors were going to be harder to reach. So they would pitch me. And then obviously I had to go to an editor to pitch something. So also, if you’re looking to pitch stories, find like a, a junior level editor to pitch to you might have better success, but there would be publicists who would just, they are relentless and they don’t care. They’re going to continue to show up in your inbox and continue to do this thing over and over and over. But also like, they were so gracious, you know, with the, you know, it’s not the right fit. They’re like, okay, you know, no worries. I would be happy to send you more things. Like there is just such a lesson in responses to a no. And I think, and I think too, it’s like, because sometimes, you know, like even at Cooking Light, it was like, oh, this would be like so great, but it’s not the right fit for the season. You know, we have a similar story to this, but we’ll think of you for future things. Like sometimes it really, like, there’s not this emotion of, I think we imagine someone’s like, they’re terrible, they suck. I would never want to work with them and normally it’s really not like that.

Megan Porta 34:19

Yeah. So when we’re faced with rejection of any kind, what do you recommend is like our initial kind of go-to, I don’t know, redirect or whatever, like something that veers us off the course of going down that awful path of just being rejected and oh my gosh, everything that, that means, how do we stop it in its tracks before it gets ugly?

Amanda Polick 34:42

Yeah. So I think the first thing to do one is like, remember who you are. And that sounds so simple, but honestly, like, you have to remember like why you’re showing up in the first place and like why you were even doing that thing. And I, so I’ll kind of give you an example. Like a, like maybe like five years ago or something, I was, I had applied for this job and I was doing like a test project for them. And I would be writing copy for some of their clients. And then I didn’t get the job and, but the response was, this makes me laugh just because I had already worked at Cooking Light. This was like, I was, this was a, a copywriting job, which copywriting is different than editorial, but still. And the feedback was basically that my skills weren’t up to par for the work that they were doing. And I copied a lot of the things that I did in that test project from things that they had on their blog, just as far as the style and what type of content would be included. And it was the meanest letter like I have ever I have ever gotten. And I remember like for a moment, I was like, I wanted to cry and then I just was like, no, I remember who I am. I’ve already done this and I’ve done this and I’ve done this, and I know I’m a good writer. I know that this was probably just not the right fit. I know that they’re looking for something that I’m not. And I, I think that that only really happened because I’ve just been rejected so much. So there is a point, like, you have to put yourself out there, right? You have to jump out of the plane, you have to do the thing because you’re never going to know how to get over rejection if you’re not rejected. And I think that there is just this light bulb that honestly turns at a certain point after you’ve just put out enough letters. And I, you know, like you, you put out enough things, you apply to enough, you know, enough jobs or whatever it is where you’re like, no, it’s o it’s okay that they said no, because I already know, like, yes, I have the skills, yes, I have the aptitude. Maybe it wasn’t the right fit for these other things, but I know who I am and it will be the right fit for someone. 

And literally the next day I got a job as a content coach for this marketing agency. And so I was not only writing, but I was overseeing and training other writers. So it’s, that’s just the funny thing too, is like , you’re, you could literally, like I was literally told basically, you suck. Your writing is not to par. And then I’m literally like being hired to write and then coach copywriters for a marketing agency. Yeah. Like within the span of two days. So as much, like, I think you, you give yourself that moment to feel whatever you need to feel, but then you also like need to step into, No, like take what, take what you need. Like you have to be open to whatever, like critical feedback. But I think that we’re also, we’re also able to figure out who’s giving constructive feedback and who’s just like giving you feedback with no tact.

Megan Porta 38:17

Oh my gosh. So much good stuff there. Oh, so yeah. You don’t know how to get over this until you experience it. So seeing that as just a requirement, to get past this and to learn and grow, right? So when you experience rejection, see it as that at minimum, just like, okay, I am learning. I am growing, and eventually you’ll be able to do what you’ve done, Amanda. And just like, okay, I know who I am. I know this isn’t me. I know this person doesn’t know me. You know, my heart, my soul, and you can move past it and it gets easier right as you go.

Amanda Polick 38:55

Yeah. And I also think too that there’s something that we have decided where if somebody says no, it’s because we’re really bad. And I think of all of those, I don’t know if you’ve seen it like on Instagram, but there will be these little stories of, oh, so and so was up for this part in this movie. And you’ll see, you know, maybe their audition tape or something. I saw something recently, I think it was Leonardo DiCaprio was up for Ryan Gosling’s part in The Notebook. And I don’t think anyone would say that Leo is not a good actor, right? But when I think of Noah in The Notebook that is Ryan Gosling all day every day.

Megan Porta 39:41

I was like, oh, I can’t imagine anyone else there.

Amanda Polick 39:44

Right? But also there’s roles that Leo has that, you know, I mean, listen, I love Leo so much, but you know, there’s like a, they have their place and I, I don’t think that it’s, you know, one is better than the other, but I think of something like that where it’s like you have all of these people who are super talented and you just gotta find your spot. And I don’t think that Leo’s like, oh my gosh, that was the one role that like, I, you know, just really like destroyed me. And I, I never went out on another audition, like, you know, as if we want to like tie it back to, you know, my acting and comedy experience, you are literally just going up against people who look exactly like you. You’re in the same room with people who you’ve seen a hundred times in other auditions. So you really have to kind of build up this thing of like, who am I? How am I going to make people? And even if it doesn’t work out, remember me? Like, that was a thing too, especially in LA when you’re going on auditions a lot of times it’s just that you, even if you didn’t get it, you saw it as an opportunity to meet the casting director, to meet people who are in the room to be a familiar face because people hire people who they know. And if you don’t keep showing up in inboxes or at events or wherever, how are people going to know you?

Megan Porta 41:16

Oh, that’s true. And it’s, it can be hard to stand out in a sea of how, who knows how many people they encounter. Right. But . be you, be your authentic self and let yourself shine.

Amanda Polick 41:28

And like, listen, be a weirdo. I tell my clients this like all the time where they’re afraid to have opinions or they’re afraid that something that they write is like a little weird or off. And I hear this from like, my friends who are agents or work in publishing houses, and this was also a thing as an actor, but it’s like, make a choice. Make a bold choice, even if it’s wrong, even if you decide, you know, afterwards that you’re going to redirect a little bit, be bold with whatever it is. Because so many people, when they’re reaching out to people or they’re starting their business, they’re starting their creative stuff, they want to, they think blending in is the way to get to where they want to go. And it’s like, stop looking at everyone else’s paper. You know? Like, you have something that you want to say that’s unique to you. Stop trying to anticipate what people are going to like. Because the thing is, is that people don’t know what they’re going to like until it’s in front of their face. So you have to take a chance with something and see what the response is. And then, you know, you just keep readjusting and resetting. But just be when, and I, when I say be you and be a weirdo, we’re all weirdos. You know?

Megan Porta 42:51

We are.

Amanda Polick 42:53

And that’s what people like, that’s what they identify with.

Megan Porta 42:56

Yeah. It is the weird things. They’re like, oh, that’s like the skydiving thing. that’s different. Oh, I can relate to that. You know, like putting those things out there and being bold enough to do so can pay off.

Amanda Polick 43:09

100%. And I think that it makes me so sad that people are afraid to show who they really are because they’re afraid that people aren’t going to like them. And with all the love in my heart, not everyone’s going to like you. Not everyone likes me. You know, like, it, it sounds, sometimes it can just sound harsh because even as adults, I think we still, you know, you have a desire to belong. You have a desire for people to really like you, but there’s going to be people who are your people who are so excited about the things that you are doing. And if you’re starting a business or writing a book or whatever it is, it’s your responsibility to find them. Like, it’s not their responsibility to find you. And so that does require us to show up even when it’s uncomfortable. Like, I’m sure that a lot of the stuff you’ve done, Megan, hasn’t been super comfortable.

Megan Porta 44:10

Oh gosh, no.

Amanda Polick 44:12

You know, like, I mean, all of the things that you do, you know, it’s, it’s taking a chance of, you know, inviting people to show up, to listen, to read, to participate, which can also feel really lonely. And I’m sure that there’s times where, and I don’t know, I don’t want to like speak for you, but I wonder if you also feel times where you’re like, am I just talking, you know, into the void? Is anyone paying attention?

Megan Porta 44:38

Oh, that’s so true. Yeah. All the time. And that’s why I appreciate, like any bits of feedback that I get, I’m like, okay, good. Yes, yes. This matters. It, it just feels good to get that confirmation sometimes. because I do, I go through seasons where I do feel like just speaking for the podcast alone, that I’m having all these amazing in depth wonderful, valuable conversations. And I wonder, is this, is this worth it? Like, are, is this making a difference for people? And so, yeah, for sure.

Amanda Polick 45:09

Yeah. Like I was listening to something the other day where a woman who I followed for years, she’s like shutting down her business and she’s stopping her podcast. And she said that she just felt for a long time that she was kind of talking into a vacuum and wasn’t really sure if it did matter. And so, and it made me think, like, and I have been like a, I love commenting on people’s stuff or sending them notes and saying like, thank you so much for what you do, leaving podcast reviews. You know, be the person who, who does that, who shows support for other people. Just because I know what it feels like to not hear anything. Like sometimes it’s just like one note that could totally change someone’s whole, whole perspective for their year. You know, when you say like, Hey, I just want to say like, I, I’ve seen, I’ve, I’ve seen what you’ve been doing and I think it’s really cool. Like, that’s changed a lot for me. Like, I’ve had that recently just with a couple of things and I’m like, oh my gosh, people are paying attention.

Megan Porta 46:15

Yes. Oh my gosh. It really does mean a lot. And I occasionally do put outreaches on Instagram, like, will you please leave a review and a rating? It goes so far when I see a review that’s good. It really does make everything I do worth it. It’s not just, you know, like feeling my ego or whatever. Like, it, it’s such a little time investment for people that goes such a long way.

Amanda Polick 46:39

Yeah. And like, I’m just a big believer too, and like, be the thing that you want to. So if you really want people to see you for the work that you’re doing and for them to share the word about, you know, how you’ve impacted their life or whatever it is, like, then do that for other people. So that’s something that I’ve been working on, you know, even if it’s commenting on people’s, you know, Substack or responding to their email newsletters or just sending them, you know, a quick message of like, Hey, just I’ve been seeing this really love this for you. Just small words of encouragement because I, I think that then it also kind of reminds you that other people are just trying to, like, sometimes I’ve done that and people are like, oh my gosh, I didn’t even think anybody was paying attention. I’m like, oh, okay. Yeah. I’m not the only one.

Megan Porta 47:33

Yes. Oh my gosh. So true. So many good nuggets. I think we could go on probably forever and ever, Amanda, it’s always So much fun to talk to. You get, get a little bit lost in the conversation, but that’s a good thing. Do you have final, just like a final takeaway or maybe anything we miss touching on along the lines of rejection before we start saying goodbye?

Amanda Polick 47:53

Yeah, so I think the biggest thing that I, I just want people to like walk away with is rejection is just going to happen over and over and it’s going to be in different ways that you probably like aren’t going to expect. So sometimes it might be somebody taking really long to get back to you in an email. Sometimes it might just be someone like passing on your idea or, you know, not wanting to meet up with you. And I say the, the meetup with you is like more like, you know, this networking thing where we’re always like, reach out to so and so and do these collaborations and build your, build your community. And at the end of the day, no matter who responds to you, no matter what kind, you know, events you have on your calendar, there is a reason why you are so passionate about this idea. There is a reason why you can’t let it go. And you have the audacity to just keep believing that it’ll be a thing. And so whatever it is that you have to do every day to show up, even just in the smallest way, even if it’s you just telling yourself like, keep going. You got this, you have to be the one to like keep showing up and doing the work because no one else is going to do it for you. But just also know that you’re definitely not alone. And so as you’re showing up, also I would do the thing that I had just said of like commenting on other people’s things, reaching out to people and being the support for someone else that you’re for. And I promise you that support’s going to come back around. because Anytime I’ve wanted something like community, I’ve just reached out to other people and I’m like, Hey, I really love this thing that you’re doing. I would love to hear more. I would love to hear how I could support you. And you know what, those people have then supported me. So have that audacity and then also like, just give credit where credit is due. And then those people honestly will be the ones who propel you forward. because No one does any of this alone.

Megan Porta 50:02

I am so inspired after talking to you. Thank you for all of this. I am just inspired to go tell all those people that, you know, like we all throughout the day, you think like, oh, so and so does such a great job at this. I should reach out. And do we ever do it? I don’t know. I do sometimes, but not all the time. So now I just feel inspired to actually follow through with those things and yeah, this was so great. Thank you so much Amanda.

Amanda Polick 50:26

You are welcome. I’m, I mean, thank you for even just honestly like letting me come back.

Megan Porta 50:32

Oh, of course. Anytime

Amanda Polick 50:34

Because I also lose track in our conversations and I love it because it’s so nice to be able to talk to somebody who I just feel like gets it. And you don’t have to over-explain yourself, where in other areas you feel like, oh my gosh, I have to tell you all of the things because you’re not going to understand what I’m saying.

Megan Porta 50:57

Feeling understood is so important for entrepreneurs who just yeah. Typically feel misunderstood and work alone. So yes, anytime. Come back, you’re a welcome repeat guest.

Amanda Polick 51:10

Love it.

Megan Porta 51:11

Do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration to end on? I know I asked you that before, so if you want to pass, feel free.

Amanda Polick 51:18

No, I always have words. So going in with our theme of rejection and just kind of having the audacity, I, I’ll tell another improv story real quick. There was a point when I was at Second City and I was working through stuff with my ensemble and I was not having fun. I was showing up and I was doing the things, but it wasn’t great. And my director was having meetings like one-on-one meetings with everyone. And he goes, Hey, so you’re not having fun. And I was like, I felt like attacked, because I thought I was doing my best to hide it. And I was like, no. He goes, do you want to know why? And I said, sure. And he goes, because you’re playing everyone else’s game. And it like stopped me and I was like, oh, you’re right. because every time I go on stage, and this was strictly just for improv, so you’re supposed to say yes and to what everyone else is doing, but I was just kind of in the background and he said, for our next show, I want you to make them play your game. And Megan I don’t remember what I did, but I know that at the beginning of the show I threw myself in the middle of the stage and I just started screaming and they just had to like figure it out and so then afterwards my teacher came up to me and he was so, he was, he makes me laugh so hard, but he just had this big, the biggest smile on his face and he is like, how much fun was that? And I was like, yeah. And so that like, stop playing everyone else’s game. Make them play your game every now and then. Like whenever you feel like you don’t really have control over things or you know, you’re just, you’re wondering if any of this matters. Like stop trying to play everyone else’s game. Stop looking at somebody else’s paper, stop trying to be a carbon copy of somebody else and just play your own game and whatever that looks like. And you just trust that you’ll be able to figure it out if you know your game is getting a little wild. That that’s, those are, those are some, some words that have like stuck with me for years and I have to come back to them.

Megan Porta 53:32

I love those words. And this is the reason why, I don’t know if I say this a lot here on the podcast, but this is why I don’t listen to my competitors. I just don’t, I not because I don’t like them. or I think they’re doing a bad job. I just don’t want to play their game without thinking about it. So I don’t even go there. I just play my own game and I, I get what they’re saying from other people so I get like third party, you know, like here’s what’s happening over here, that sort of thing. But I don’t directly listen. So I think yeah, that aligns with that.

Amanda Polick 54:07

I love that.

Megan Porta 54:07

Okay, we’ll put together show notes for you, Amanda, a second version. So head to So tell everyone where they can find you, Amanda.

Amanda Polick 54:24

Yes. So please come find me, I have all kinds of things over on my website. Additional resources. I have a five day free video course called Writing Gold, which is a email marketing course that is sneakily really meant to just get you started with your cookbook writing. But you can also come find me on Instagram at Amanda Polick. Always open to making new connections and friends.

Megan Porta 54:55

Awesome. Well thanks again so much, Amanda for this amazing conversation and thank you for listening food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode. 

Outro 54:59

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.

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