The Funny Thing About Rejection…

In the moment, rejection is a difficult thing to deal with. It’s a flood of emotions. But, now that I am a little bit outside of “that” moment, I feel like I can openly share a few thoughts I’m working through.


Last week, the blogging world eagerly awaited the determination of the #rocknblog 2015 ambassadors.  As you can guess from the title of this post, I did not receive a spot on the 2015 #rocknblog team.  Now that I am outside the initial moment, the initial rejection, I have to say that this “missed” opportunity is a blessing in disguise. It forced me to sit down and think about the direction of my blog and Lisa Runs for Cupcakes. Here are a few questions that I answered for myself over the past few days.

Why are you upset about this particular rejection?

I don’t know. That was my initial response. I didn’t know why it bothered me so much. Then, I thought about it. I was genuinely happy for some of the bloggers that made the team. Some of them are friends of mine and they work hard to provide quality content to their readers. Then, I realized why part of me was upset. Some of the people selected, do not provide that same quality to their readers and yet are selected for various opportunities over and over again. Plus, some of the said ambassadors have previously bagged the RNR series. As a blogger, this is frustrating to see when one of your primary goals is to always provide quality over quantity and honesty to your readers. But, such is life. If a company decides to align themselves with this particular type of marketing plan, then it is their choice. They can spend their money as they choose.

Does this partnership align with your goals for this blog?

I’m not sure. I love to travel and I love to run races so obviously this part of the partnership would be ideal. And, this was my primary reason for applying. But, when I was rejected and another #rocknblog ambassador asked me about joining them for a race, I didn’t hesitate in my response: I don’t want to spend my money on that race series. Man, once I typed that response, I couldn’t believe that I applied to support and be an ambassador for a race series, promote it to my valued readers and I wasn’t even willing to cough up the $200 for the race entries. So, after I sent that tweet, I stopped myself in my tracks. If I don’t or won’t spend my hard earned cash on something, then I probably should not be an ambassador for that organization, product, etc. End of Story.

Do you like what you see in your blog right now?

A few years ago, I started my blog as an accountability tool. I hoped to motivate myself, find like-minded individuals, and share my training and race adventures. I can happily say that I truly enjoy providing this type of content and continue to do so. When I started my blog, I never intended to monetize my blog. However, in 2014, I found myself offered sponsored posts and the ability to make a small amount of money. This money simply affords me to opportunity to maintain my site and pay for a couple of race entries per year. I’m putting this out there because I need to remind myself that I have to interest in making my blog a full-time gig. I enjoy my career and while sometimes I wish I had more time to devote to Lisa Runs for Cupcakes, it is not my job. As a blogger, it’s easy to be caught up in what you see every other blogger doing. So, when I found myself upset about the RNR rejection, it had everything to do with keeping up with the other bloggers out there and nothing to do with wanting to be a part of the race series. For me, this was a red flag. Lisa, be YOU. Don’t get caught up in the crowd. It isn’t your thing and it isn’t being true to yourself.

Where do you hope to see your blog in 2015?

So, I hope that the little red flag will help me focus on the New Year ahead and serve as a reminder to only take on partnerships and opportunities that are something I truly want to be a part of and share with YOU. I am thankful to be aligned with companies and products that I value and want to share with you. Other than that, I will try to get back to the roots of why I started Lisa Runs for Cupcakes. I plan to share more about my running, my races, and me while only incorporating sponsored posts that are of value to you as a reader. And, as a reader of this slice of the internet, I challenge you to keep me honest in the year ahead.

So, with that off my chest, I am excited to see where 2015 will bring this little blog of mine.

Have you ever had a “rejection” or set back that ended up being a blessing in disguise? For my blogging friends, are you true to yourself and your reasons for blogging? I challenge you to explore this question!



  1. As you know I’ve been exploring this question! My answers are quite similar to yours. And I love your thoughts on quality. I’m glad blogging brought us together as friends!! We’ll always have Brooklyn 🙂
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Friday Five – Thank You 2014!My Profile

    • Oh, I know you are thinking about these things too! I am so thankful for blogging. Without it, I might not have met amazing people like you. So, when I think about quitting blogging, I don't because I love the new and amazing folks that it brings into my life. We will figure this whole thing out! And, we need to figure out another race ASAP!

  2. Kara {MaineGirl2} says:

    So well written, Lisa! In being truthful with ourselves, we find renewed strength and opportunities to "open new chapters".

    • I'm thankful for blogging because it allowed me to connect with wonderful runners like YOU! I hope that we can sort out a time to race in Maine again!

      • I've loved being able to connect with you and meet up for races! Come join me for Zooma Annapolis

        • Honestly, I don't think I have it in me to run that Annapolis course again. The date and the weather are not ideal for running such a challenging course. I loved my time as an ambassador for ZOOMA but it's just too far to travel when I have so many other races that I want to test out!

  3. Kimberley@Black Dog Runs Disney says:

    As only blogging for almost a year, this whole sponsorship thing is totally new to me. But as I do still consider myself a blogger newbie, it does seem to be a bit of a crazy, sometimes cliquey kind of thing when you see the same people writing about the same things over and over and over again. Kudos to you for setting your priorities and remembering why you started all this craziness in the first place! 🙂

    • It all does seem a bit crazy when you step back from it a minute. There are some folks that will write about anything for money. And, I fear that I too was headed down that slippery slope. I'm thankful for the reminder that this was not why I started my little slice of the internet.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, especially since I feel so strongly about this experience!

  4. What a beautiful post! I hope 2015 brings you many wonderful races that we’ll get to read about.

  5. I am new to this whole blogging thing but related completely to this because I too was rejected to RockNBlog. I have to remember I started this blog to really hold myself accountable and just like you said I should only promote things that I am truly passionate about. I do enjoy their races but I think this year I may try to support local races instead. Thanks for sharing!
    Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner recently posted…Counting My BlessingsMy Profile

    • I have been around long enough to not worry about speaking my mind about these things. It's a sad reality of the blogging world. But, I will keep on writing since it is truly a fun hobby that has connected me with so many wonderful people. I hope that you ROCK your hometown races! And, thanks for commenting. I look forward to following more of your blog!

  6. Well said, Lis! I’m sorry they didn’t pick you – their loss. It sounds like the right thing happened anyway, you can’t support something you don’t believe in 100%. It’s crazy how far this blog has come and all the exciting opportunities it has afforded you. You blow me away! I’m so proud of you. 2015 is going to be a good year <3

  7. Healthy Strides says:

    So glad you shared this. I sometimes have those feelings of rejection or jealousy (like, I wish I was cool enough to get invited to the RW events) but I know that my life and blog goals don't include doing all of things just because.

    FWIW, I wouldn't want to spend money on an RnR race. One and done is my take on them. And you never know what opportunity awaits without this obligation.

    • Thanks for writing! It truly means so much to mean from to hear from bloggers that know what it means to "keep it real" when it comes to blogging. Always high quality content from you! And, with a wittiness that cannot be rivaled! Each one of my RNR events was a one and done. Maybe it just hold a special place since it was my very first half marathon… those were the days when I didn't even know blogging existed!

      Ah yes, I'm still waiting on my RW invite too…

  8. I am the queen of rejection, and the queen of feeling this exact same way when it happens. I admire your courage to talk about it and make other people feel… not so alone. I agree with you whole heartedly that you not getting this gig, is opening you up for other options, but that doesn't eliminate the feelings you have when it happens. Great things are coming your way for 2015– I just know it. I am living proof that when you don't loose confidence and stay the course, new and better chances present themselves. Love you SO much Miss Lisa. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas– let's enjoy these last few days of 2015. I'd love to work with you next year– I have a idea… email me–

    • Lisa, thanks so much for writing. I value your opinion so much and you are certainly known for keeping things “real” in the blog world. I miss you too! And, I will definitely shoot you an e-mail! Look for one soon 🙂

  9. honest, open and thoughtful posts like this that are relatable are exactly why people love your blog. Thanks for sharing. I felt some of that same disappointment too…and then that changed to annoyance when I didn’t even get a “no thank you” email. Oh well. Like you, I kinda just wanted to save money on race fees and that’s not the proper motivation. 🙂
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Christmas Survey – Friday Five LinkupMy Profile

    • Thanks Courtney! It means a lot coming from you. I'm sorry that you too faced rejection when you run what I consider to be an extremely high quality blog! Your content is always relevant and well thought out. And, I'm sorry to hear you didn't even get the e-mail. Although, the whole notification process was a nightmare, complete with a live page available with all the ambassadors before notifications were even finalized. Poor form but that's just my two cents!

  10. I'm so sorry you have feelings of rejection! I can totally relate on some levels, as I agree whole-heartedly about the blogosphere being cliquey and I've always felt rejected by the 'in' blogs. I'm glad you are taking things in stride. Who can know what parameters RnR was looking for? New opportunities and beginnings are always around the corner. Hugs to you, my friend. Here's to an amazing 2015.

    • Thanks for writing! It seems terribly unclear as to what RNR was looking for in selecting ambassadors. All previous ambassadors were automatically selected. Other than that, there does not appear to be a solid consensus on numbers, etc. Who knows!

      Time to move forward with new and exciting goals for 2015! Hopefully great things are in store for you too!

  11. Lovely post – I do love that your writing is honest and you value quality over quantity. It is very apparent when other bloggers apply to everything and anything – the quality of writing is not the same and I have been turned off by their blogs (personally tired of seeing the same people too… would like to be introduced to new bloggers). Happy Holidays and I look forward to reading more from you in 2015 – glad to have been "introduced to you" through this bloggy world 🙂
    My recent post Friday Five – Favorite Travel Photos of 2014

    • Yes, it is frustrating to see a lot of the same content regurgitated in the blog world. I fear I too was headed down that path. Hopefully this was enough of a wake up call to keep me on the straight and narrow 😉

      Happy to have crossed paths thanks to blogging!
      Best, Lisa

  12. Best line ever – Lisa, be YOU. Don’t get caught up in the crowd

    Must always be true to yourself! I was "rejected as a Swim Bike Run Mom Ambassador. Truth be told it wasn't the right fit for me and it was right when I was really restarting my blog. I realized though that although I do really enjoy the challenge of a Triathlon and will continue to do them, at this time they are not where I'm at. Rejection is never easy even when in my case it was the right thing.

    Good luck with your blog and keep doing what you want to do. Your blog. Your rules:)
    My recent post Friday Five Free For All

    • I'm glad to hear that you too were able to bounce back from a similar situation. Hopefully, when the time is right for you, triathlons will be a good fit again. And, if not, that's okay too! There are always more races and athletic endeavors to take on!

  13. Thank you so much for talking about this, Lisa.
    I also applied as a RocknBlogger and was rejected and had many of the same thoughts as you! Even before I received the rejection I knew it was unlikely I'd be able to make the 3 races because of the cost of airfare and then I was still disappointed. #spoiledbrat, indeed.
    I'm thrilled for a few of my friends who were accepted, but some choices definitely made me raise my eyebrows. But? Upward and onward. 2015 will be amazing for the both of us, I'm certain!

    • I'm sorry to hear that you too were rejected. But, it is definitely time to move onward and upward in 2015. Do you have any of your races mapped out for the year yet?

      PS. Happy to hear I am not the only one with raised eyebrows!

  14. Great post, and while we are very, very new at this, I think you were the winner here. Quality is far more important than scenting to any certain clique, and will get you to the top without them. And one thing RNR is not known for is quality (at least at the two I paid for, there won’t be any others). I was super happy when their efforts to take over a local race failed. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog as we enter this world. You focus on the runner, which is what is important. That series does not. In fact, I’m even happier I’ve followed you now than I was before! Good luck in 2015! MB

  15. Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I just wonder how much longer a series can survive if their main consumers are one and done. I admit I ran three of their races since 2011… one being my very first half marathon so I had no other races for comparison. Ahhh well! Live and learn!

    Hopefully, the blogging world is kind to you as you start your journey. For the most part, I have nothing but positive experiences and new running friends from it.

  16. Cynthia @YouSignedUp says:

    What a thoughtful, honest post! I am excited about the rocknblog thing but was disappointed for friends who didn't get in because I wanted to run with you and others! I've had the same rejection feelings about other events and affiliations and I think it's normal when we don't get picked for something, no matter our motivation for applying. It's normal to wonder why some people are personally invited to events or races and others aren't. There are so many awesome bloggers and runners out there – and I'm glad I met you last year through this stuff!
    My recent post Friday Five: Moments From My Week

    • Right, but for me it is that motivation for applying that I question. Is it worth it to be a part of things for the sake of being a part of things. I see a lot of fellow bloggers falling into this pattern and I have to wonder if it honestly benefits them and their blog? Just food for thought.

  17. Definitely can relate to this post as a fellow RocknBlog rejected blogger. I see this kind of thing all the time in the blogging world with some choices for ambassadors getting the eyebrow raise – especially when you re examine the criteria for said ambassadorships. I've seen some very questionable choices for ambassadorships outside RocknBlog over the past few months.

    I very rarely get ambassadorships/free stuff for blogging. I have a couple relationships with brands and some are really great. Being rejected does suck! But, I do try to be as real as possible on my blog and the readers I do engage with are a small group but I do feel like we all know each other and support one another in our running/life adventuresome!
    My recent post 2014: In Review

    • I really like what you said about building relationships with brands. I agree, some brands are really great at establishing relationships with bloggers, followers, event participants, etc.. And, some are not so great and end up creating an off-putting environment. It's a delicate balance for a company to create an ambassador program that 1.) makes the ambassadors feel special and provides perks and 2.) acknowledges the everday user of the product and make them feel as welcome as an ambassador. Ex: In my opinion, if a brand only responds to their ambassadors, they are doing something wrong.

      Thankfully, I have seen great ambassador programs and now I feel like I have witnessed the not so great too.

  18. Leslie @ TriathleteTreats says:

    Interesting post!! Sorry you didn't get picked but better definitely for the best it sounds like!!! I have had my fair share of rejection totally sucks but that is life!!
    I like RNR races. There is only 2 I usually do(AZ and Portland). I like to go to AZ in January and I live in Portland. I get registered at the expo for the cheapest amount. But I usually do don't any others because by the time I figure I want to do the race it is way too expensive! I think that a lot of people like there races. I think that there are a lot of people that don't like them. But they don't seem to have any problem filling up their races!

    • Right, rejection is totally part of life. This just rubbed me the wrong way and I was kind of mad at myself for falling into this trap of feeling like I had to keep up with other bloggers. I ran Vegas as my very first half and that was the disaster race w/ water issues, etc. I also ran DC when I lived there and then Brooklyn when I first moved to NY. I don't think I would travel for an RNR race, given my experience with the quality of the races. If it's local, then I might still consider running. But, it is quite the price tag for their events.

  19. This is a great post and so true. Blogging should be fun whether a person does it as a full time job or as a hobby. When I read about the RocknRoll ambassador program, I thought: “Oh, a great way to get a free race entry.” I was thinking next year (for 2016 Ambassadorship) but I won’t because I don’t plan to run any RocknRoll races. I can’t believe I even applied to be on the 2015 waitlist…ha, silly me. I was supposed to run my first RnR race, the RocknRoll Chicago half-marathon this year, but I had to drop out at the last minute due to injury.

    Thanks for writing this post.
    Agnes @ AggieRuns recently posted…Giveaway Winner: F^3 Lake Half MarathonMy Profile

    • I think if blogging is a full-time job for folks, you can sometimes tell that it is their main source of income. An example of this may be more sponsored content, etc. Paid or not, I do agree that blogs are more fun to read and engage with if the writer truly enjoys what they are doing. Usually, if I don't feel like blogging, I don't because it does nothing but bore my readers!

      So, how are you doing injury-wise? I had to defer my fall marathon this year because of some piriformis issues. But, I'm slowly building back up and getting ready to start a new training plan! Thanks for stopping by and tweeting too!!

  20. I was really sad that you were not chosen, because I thought it meant we would be at a race or two together this year. We are back at Rock 'n Blog only because of our connection last year. Pretty sure we would not have been chosen otherwise. It fits with some of our plans for 2015, so it will be helpful for us and we have enjoyed the two races we have done in the series. I certainly can understand the disappointment you felt, especially when certain bloggers were chosen because they are tagged for everything. It is frustrating to see the shilling of varying brands of shoes by the same blogger…..the credibility goes out the window in my house! You have a quality blog and I enjoy your posts. Back to other bloggers getting things, the whole Stonyfield Yogurt Boston team made me crazy. I know people who qualified and did not get a spot. And one of those bloggers hates marathons. Further to that are the shoe sponsors who send "runners" all over the world to plug their product and run. We blog for the enjoyment and have yet to accept a dime because we made a conscious choice not to monetize our blog. This makes it really easy to promote only the brands we love and support. Sorry this is so long winded. Happy New Year and see you in February!

  21. dancingtorunning says:

    I truly appreciate your honesty and perspective on this. To be honest, I'm not sure how I was chosen to be chosen for #RockNBlog, because when I see my name alongside the other big name bloggers that you're referencing, I feel like my name doesn't belong. Its tiring seeing the same people chosen for every opportunity, and that they have blogs that are just full of reviews and don't remain committed to the heart of why they started blogging in the first place.
    My recent post Memories from Marathon Weekend

    • I think that it is fantastic that a blog like yours was chosen! And, there are certainly some others that I truly am happy received the honor. But, it's one of those things that I had to stop and questions myself about. Why did I want that opportunity? Clearly, not for good reasons!

      I also am over the reviews just for the sake of reviews. I certainly get caught up in that too. I hope this year I can find a good balance, share more about myself and my running, and keep the sponsored/review type posts to a minimum and keep my fantastic readers happy.

  22. I too applied but was not chosen, but this was not a surprise to me as I still consider myself a blogging "newbie" and I don't have thousands of readers. For me 2014 was a learning process since I just started my blog in August, so I'm hoping to really develop it more this year. That being said, I do think that companies/brands should not only look at number of readers but also the content – like you stated, "quality over quantity"!

    • Blogging is exciting! And, I don't mean to sound down on it because it has brought me so many fantastic new friends and running adventures. It is just a bit hard to get into the game. On a positive note, there are a lot of great companies out there that recognize the value of a smaller blogger! So never fear 🙂

  23. LOVE your honestly. Love the stance you took on the ambassadorship. I'm the same way, if I'm not willing to stand behind the item/race/etc, I do not think I can promote it. However, it can get really frustrating when you DO support something and they reject you ): especially when companies are only looking at numbers (which to be honest, can be easily inflated with giveaways and etc). I'm glad you wrote this post since it feels like we as readers are getting to know you better!
    My recent post Monday on the Run #10

  24. runningsouthern says:

    Thank you for always being truthful and honest. I have found myself feeling the same rejection when not getting selected for things that I am really not that committed to. Rejection just sucks, but your self reflection shows so much maturity.
    My recent post Christmas 2014

  25. Oh friend, I'm sorry it took me so long to respond to this post after we chatted about the whole RockNBlog thing. I couldn't agree with you more on this post. My frustration with the nepotism that happens in the run blog community is usually running medium-high and sometimes very high. You write a wonderful blog and it seems incomprehensible to me that a company wouldn't want your support and interesting, honest posts. I value your writing and am sending you a hug! Cannot WAIT to see you (and maybe run with you) at Princess 🙂
    My recent post 5 Things I love about my favorite city, London

    • You know I always appreciate your support and am thankful that we can text/chat about all this fun stuff offline! It's so helpful to have someone that "gets" this kind of stuff to talk to… ummm… hubby is supportive but doesn't get this blog atmosphere when I have gripes. We will definitely get together at Princess! It's a MUST! Oh, and I'm dead serious about the pacing to not die comment from yesterday 😉

  26. christi in ma says:

    I love your honesty, Lisa. I took a look at the list of RnR ambassadors and saw quite a few bloggers that I stopped following. Their posts became non-stop commercials with 10+ hyperlinks back to affiliate links or sponsor items.
    Is it really "my honest opinion" when all the stuff s/he uses was sent for free in exchange for a post praising it to your loyal minions?

    • Thank you for your comment. I too have stopped following certain blogs. I mean, I too do my fair share of reviews and offer the occassional affiliate links/sponsored content but I try to find a balance. I also try to only review items that I really enjoy and will put my own money behind. If I don't like it, it doesn't end up on my blog… so maybe that is why everything always seems wonderful? I don't have a good answer for you there!

  27. dnardi710 says:

    Oh my gosh, I can SO relate to this post! I wan't chosen either as a Rock n'Blogger either, and my reaction was totally the same – along the lines of "that stinks, but I wouldn't spend my money on those races anyways."

    To be honest, I was more disappointed I wasn't chosen to be a Zooma Cape Cod ambassador again because in all honestly, I think I am a GREAT ambassador for Cape Cod, seriously, no one loves it more than I do! But, I am pretty sure I wasn't chosen because I didn't review/post/rave about all the sponsor products I was sent by them. It was great to get so many fun products for being an ambassador, but really I didn't love or use many (any??) of them, so I wasn't about to go writing post or raving about them on social media.

    What really makes me mad is that there is another blogger that has been an ambassador for like 4 years for the race and I actually have seen her say on social media TWICE that she "doesn't really like Cape Cod". I lost a lot of respect for how Zooma chooses their ambassadors.

    • I can't believe that you were not selected as a Cape Cod ambassador! Have you reached out to Brae about your disappointment in the program? I know that she really likes to hear feedback on her ambassador program. That makes me pretty bummed to hear that someone that doesn't even like Cape Cod is representing the race series.

      • No, I haven’t reached out to anyone at Zooma, mostly because I don’t want to come off as a sore looser. That being said I almost feel like it’s their loss, no one loves Cape Cod & running on Cape Cod more than I do and it’s too bad they don’t feel the same way. I had a group of 6 girls all planning on doing the race this year who aren’t since I wasn’t chosen as an ambassador. It disappoints me in how they seem to select their ambassadors, but I can understand pleasing sponsors is their priority I guess! : (
        Danielle recently posted…Weekly Training RecapMy Profile


  1. […] The Funny Thing About Rejection <– Lisa just wrote this post in the past week and holy moly, did it ever speak to me. I haven’t mentioned it before now, but I also applied to be a Rock ‘n’ Blogger and was rejected. Her comments and outlook really speak to how I want to approach blogging in 2015. […]

  2. […] that aren’t the most ideal. That brings to mind my friend Lisa’s post about rejection — I digress again. Then there is a heart on top of the lotus flower and a runner emerging. […]

  3. […] the end of last year, I wrote a bit of a polarizing post in response to an event that was an honest wake up call for me on how I want my blog to operate. […]

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