By the time you read this blog post, I’ll be visiting my old stomping grounds in and around New York City. I’m in town for the 99 Percent Conference (not to be confused with Occupy Wall Street’s 99%), named after the famous Thomas Edison quote:

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

Very Art Of Hustle, no? It’s a gathering of designers and business leaders led by think tank, Behance. And I am fortunate enough to attend as a fellow! But the purpose of this writing isn’t to show off. Rather, it’s to show you that I wasn’t even supposed to be here! That’s right. This conference is mad dollars. And the only way was going to be able to go was through something like a fellowship. Which I applied for. And I was, as expected, rejected. *womp, womp, sad face, boo hoo, and all the rest* It’s true! I was given the big fat “Nuh uh.” I’m sure the applicant pool was thick with talent.

Yet there are lessons. Aren’t there always? The most prominent:

Never count yourself out.


Always lose with grace.

Look, I’m not impervious to rejection. Obviously. After you’ve put your all into a process, getting chosen to join a team is entirely out of your hands. You can’t make people or any organization accept you. What you can control is how you manage your circumstances. Are you going to fall apart? Blame the universe? Get bitter? Shut down? …Quit?! Hey, a lot of people do. It’s perfectly normal. It’s also insane. Why on Earth would you do those things?

When life doesn’t go your way, simply remember that maybe:

  • It just wasn’t a good fit – so you should be happy it turned out the way it did.
  • Someone more needy or deserving got the opportunity – so you should be happy it turned out the way it did.
  • This is a chance to receive valuable feedback – so you should be happy it turned out the way it did.
    When you look at situations this way, you quickly realize that it’s really not the end of the world. Stay in the game, reset, put yourself back together and figure out how to get better. And for the love of gah, keep it classy, yes? Who knows, your being grateful and your willingness to remain positive might just put your luck back in order.

    THANK YOU for following this blog! If you have similar stories, we’d love to hear them in the comments section below. And if you know anyone that can benefit from reading this post, please feel free to share using the “share” buttons below. Rock, rock on.