Blog Post Cartoon for MTLynch.io (and Some Reflection on Dealing with Rejection)
September 05, 2018
This comic was for a blog post at mtlynch.io about how surprised he was to discover the profound difference between selling a product and selling a product you created yourself. Especially when it's something you made using skills that you consider to be a core part of your identity:
"This wasn’t at all like working in sales. That job required me to sell fiber Internet to businesses, but I didn’t lay the fiber or design the network. It was easy to take that rejection in stride.
Now, I was selling something I created. What’s more, it was software I created. Writing software is such a strong part of my identity. There’s nothing else I do better or take more pride in. If I showed my product to a customer, they might think, “This isn’t very good. You’re trying to sell it, so you must think it’s good. Therefore, you are not very good.” Michael Lynch, mtlynch.io
This resonated deeply with me. When you draw, the work is imbued with bits of your personality whether you like it or not. When it's something you love doing, you'll always do your best and end up existentially entangled with your creation to some degree.
Tell me, how do you not take the rejection of that effort personally?
I've learned to try to see it as a challenge to rise up to. An opportunity to be even better than I was. But just as importantly, I've learned to choose my clients carefully. Clients who don't have a clear idea of what they want will be impossible to please. And clients with poor interpersonal/communication skills should simply be avoided at all costs.
Kindness smooths all sorts of rough roads. Without it, the journey can often be brutal.