Two Principles to Get Control Over Your Business in Bad Times
There is much in business that is beyond personal control - always. Even in the good times, you might be buoyed by a run of luck or economic conditions where companies are doing things because they think the entire nature of business has changed. We're just getting out of a long run of that. To have a sane relationship to your business, and not go through cycles of elation and depression, you have to start thinking and working above momentary events.
Rejections are almost never personal, and when they are, you wouldn't want to be working with that client anyway. While you cannot control how people react, you can influence it in two ways. One is to focus on how you market and the way you structure pitches and introductions. The more you can figure out what prospects need and focus on that, the more likely you'll catch the group that is willing to do something. You won't get every assignment; you never did. But remember, even when budgets get cranked down, companies still have to do business and publications need material.
That leads into the other way to control things. I remember many years ago reading the book "Rites of Passage at $100,000 to $1 Million +". It is a book about executive job change written by an experienced recruiter. He made the point that if someone really wants to get a job, the person should do direct contacts to literally 1,000 firms. The reason is timing and the law of averages. At any one time, a candidate is only going to be a good fit for only some percentage of companies, and at any one time, only some fraction of them will be interested in hiring. By sending out 1,000, candidates start to statistically ensure that they'll get interviews and, likely, a position (assuming that they have the experience and talent).
The way you deal with questionable conditions is to increase marketing. The more feelers you have out -- not even necessarily full-blown queries, but checking with potential clients to see what they are doing these days -- the greater a chance that some of your efforts will turn into sales. Between incresaing your contacts and honing the approach you take, you can start to control things because you're not letting yourself be dependent on what any one given client or prospect might be doing. This will probably mean more diversification in the past, but it will keep the business going well and put you in a position to do that much better when the economic cards turn a different way in the future.