If at first you don’t succeed…

By Karen X. Cheng (Co-founder, GiveIt100)

We just got into 500 Startups!

But the thing you should know is – four months ago, we applied and didn’t get in. Heck – we applied to them all – 500 Startups, YC, Techstars, AngelPad.

We got rejected from all of them.

You know what sucked? I knew a lot of friends who got in. And no one wants to feel inferior to their friends. But I found out something I didn’t know before – many friends whom I’d assumed got in the first time – confided in me that it was their 2nd, 3rd, 4th time applying.

When someone tells you no, what they really mean is – not yet. We got in the second time because they saw the progress we’d made.

A lot of first-time founders apply, get rejected, and then think that’s that. But it’s not such a binary thing. You know who else get rejected their first time? Drew Houston, founder of Dropbox.

We don’t hear about that side much though, because everyone is supposed to be crushing it all the time.

“How’s your startup doing?”

“Oh we’re crushing it,” we’re supposed to say with a smile, trying to ignore the knot in our gut.

But stories of struggle are just as important as stories of success. So I’ve kept a video diary since the first line of code was written. Every moment where I questioned how we would make money, where I felt exhausted, where I wondered how the heck we were going to make it work – it’s here.

Of course it’s going to be hard. Of course we’re going to feel stressed. But at the end of the day, we get to try and make our dream a reality. We’re very lucky to be able to do that.

The post originally appeared on Karen’s blog KarenX.com

Did you get into an incubator after at least two attempts?