Bark & Grill: Rejection

I can’t remember who it was, but someone pointed out to me that motivational speakers point to success stories and preach the “fail you way to success” sermon. Does it work? Yes and no. It worked for the people who had success, not for the people who haven’t or have yet to find success.

On the surface, that sounds like sour grapes. “I’m not a success so I need to find other failures to point to and cry in our cereal!” But it’s not that. It’s a bit deeper.

I had a life coach who told me that there’s a difference between doing things right and doing the right things. That concept is sinking in slowly as I mature and shed my pride.

Artists tend to be idealists. We also tend to want to put our own stamp on the world. The problem is that, in our youth and inexperience, we don’t really know our own stamp and, if we do, it may not resonate with others. We could be doing our art right, but we’re creating the wrong art.

A good example is my comic Perk at Work. I have put so much work into that comic and attempted to do all the right things (e.g., sell at cons, advertise, post often, etc.). Yet, I did not find success. Perhaps I could have if I had persisted, yet I’m skeptical.

Another analogy for success/failure is that old tidbit of advice: “You don’t want to get to the top of your ladder only to find out that it’s on the wrong building.” The vast majority of webcomics are not profitable, especially if one accounts for the time invested at no pay. Is it wise to fail again and again if it’s not the right product?


All that said, rejection and failure is good if we learn, adapt, and adjust. You know what they say about the definition of insanity.

In this particular strip, the rejection is associated to dating/asking a woman out on a date. I believe that asking a girl out over and over again after she’s flat-out rejected you may not be the best course of action. It could be perceived as harassment instead of persistence. There’s a difference between a woman playing hard to get with a guy vs. her not wanting to have anything to do with him.

Good thing this bird took his life coach’s advice. Smart bird.

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