Here’s what I know about rejection & failure – It sucks. It’s angering. It’s entirely frustrating.
It. Physically. Hurts. Bad.
Here’s what else I know about rejection – In the face of failure, life presents you 1 of 2 choices:
1. Get kicked in the pants & lay down. Feel sorry for yourself. Make excuses. Pass accountability. Be a victim. Accept rejection as your current & move-forward circumstance, living under rule of status quo.
2. Get kicked in the pants & take accountability. Own your failure. Learn from your failure. Stand back up. Like an Man. Adjust effort. Revamp strategy. Modify efficiency. Correct execution. Build a big f’in fire upon that failure & your learnings. Let that fire fuel your passion. Risk failure. Again. And, do what is necessary to succeed.
Sadly, most individuals in this world will never truly follow their passions. Most individuals will accept option 1 as their circumstance. Most individuals will never. Ever. Stand back up. Because laying down is easy. Most will never do what is truly necessary to succeed. Fail… and, then risk failing again.
I will prevail because when life presents adversity, option 2 is the only option. Failure is not a dead end. Failure is not a road block. Failure is merely a learning experience. Failure is merely a necessary hurdle on the bumpy, non-linear path of success.
OK. Before this post gets long-winded or self-indulgent, I’m realizing there remains a significant degree of ambiguity to the genesis of this rant. So, what is the origin of this off-topic post?
Well, surprise… this has nothing to do with bachelorhood, dating, &/or relationships. Interestingly enough, I’m beginning to learn a little from a long-standing history of mistake-making in this department. Maybe more to share here at a later time.; )
So, to provide a bit of context & background…
In July I was approached by one of the largest publishing companies in the United States (& their representatives) on development of a Recipe Book, to be published & distributed from coast-to-coast in summer 2015, with potential for a multi-book deal & a host of other exciting opportunities. Life changing – with significant personal / professional implications.
Undoubtedly & incredibly exhilarating.
By the middle of August I had formulated a host ideas for initial presentation to publishing company & editorial staff. Shortly thereafter one of those ideas struck a chord! Per communicated industry-standard, a handshake agreement was set regarding the partnership, process was loosely outlined & a development concept was put in play. Nights, weekends, & downtime I delved near fully into this project alongside members of the editorial team, sacrificing significantly in pursuit of this opportunity.
In a market where recipe books are a dime-a-dozen, I developed a project unique for the marketplace, a book that was stand-alone in concept against available material for this specific genre.
This process was intensive, to say the least – Not only in creative resources allocated to content development, recipe formulation, etc., but time consuming in several meetings, conference calls, presentations & redefining proposals along the way. Although overwhelming in balancing personal/professional commitments, at times, after each hurdle I was incrementally more encouraged by our dialog & progress.
This back/forth lead into the fall, up to my 2 week hiatus overseas. While trekking across the Emerald Isle, deadlines were set for final presentation.
After returning from Ireland, alongside the Publishing Company Editor, we pulled together the final proposal. A dynamic bit of content, which was supported by shared enthusiasm & energy. Based upon experience to date & leading dialog, I was not only positive, but entirely confident that 4 months of work was to accumulate into a formal offer with signed contracts, & all of the subsequent ups/downs that come with developing a creative project. I held not a single shred of doubt. Not one.
With respect to approaching Thanksgiving holiday, the editorial team asked for 7-10days for review, recipe testing, etc., & expectation was set that I’d receive directional commitment the first week of December – In or Out for the book.
Well. Tonight. By email. A two sentence confirmation was delivered.
To paraphrase: “Excitement & energy remain for the concept… but, with warm regards, another author, with broader platform, will carry the concept forward.”
And. Boom. Done. Thanks for your time.
That said, let me be clear. Disappointing is an understatement.
Now, there is surely a component in my current state of mind (ie. the Option1 component) that instinctively says, “You a$$hole – You just worked for fucking free. For 4 months. All that work for another author to carry the project forward?!! WTF?!!”
But, moving through the progression of emotion, the incrementally more rational component in my current state of mind (ie. the Option2 component) replies & says, “You fucking Genius – You just accepted a first hand education, for free. You gained understanding of the publishing / editorial world from the inside out – from one of the largest publishing companies in the World. You’ve been integrated in a step-by-step process of concept brief development, strategic positioning, broad-scale marketing & title brief proposal. You now possess unique knowledge. Now… review, pinpoint your miscues, & leverage your relationships, extended network & passion as you take this concept, your ideas & intangibles to the marketplace, an open, competitive environment with opportunity limited only by the risks you’re willing to take.”
Personal pep talk aside, I absolutely hoped by week’s end to send messaging onto the World of this success, of this opportunity. I wanted to thank you – Damn. I wanted so bad to thank each of you – It is you, your support, love, & continued choice to partake in this page / blog that makes 1000% of this possible. I wanted to involve all who’ve been here since day1, all who are now on this journey with me, in this opportunity. This was ours. Not mine.
Unfortunately, for now, fun news will not be shared.
You can imagine that I would’ve loved to post a new recipe, a happy thought, semi-socially appropriate SomeECard, a funny story, or commentary around adventures in conversation with 5yr old.
But, if I did… It just wouldn’t feel right. You know I’m not one of those folks who can wear contrived emotion on their sleeve. I am not capable of being amongst those individuals who fabricate happy $hit on the Social Network 24/7.
Without intent to present followers of this blog with a sense of discomfort – I’d just rather be honest with you. I’d rather share my successes with you, but also be open about failure… knowing that failure is necessary. But, while knowing that standing back up is exponentially more important.
So, the question must be asked…
If you are unwilling to fail, are you yet prepared to succeed?
If you have not failed, have you ever really reached high enough for the success you truly deserve & are capable of achieving?
If you give up in the face of failure, did you ever really want “it” badly enough in the first place?
I will affirm, the answer to each aforementioned question is, no.
On the other hand, understand this to be truth. I am willing to fail. I am willing to reach. I am not willing to give up. And – I will succeed. If not for myself, let it be that I commit to leading by example for those 2 little ones watching Dad so closely. Failure is OK. Giving up is not. Ever.
As Babe Ruth best said, “Every strike is one pitch closer to my next home run & bet your sweet a$$ I’m swinging for the fences on the next pitch.”
With love, gratitude, thanks. Onward. Upward. -David