Here is another Make a Difference Series. This is a space where I challenge you with inspiring stories of people and communities that are making a difference in the globe. You will see that anyone can make a difference and in truth, you are an inspiration to the world; a light that should spread its passion to others (Spread this message and light the candle of others)

You have that excellent idea and create the perfect masterpiece. You design that great product, service, or art and share it to those that you admire for them to acknowledge your work.

You want them to sell your solution to the right audience. Yet, right in your very own eyes, your work gets rejected and you get turned down.

No one likes rejection; it is full of pain and drains self-esteem. It is a frightening experience

So just imagine if you were turned down not just once but 609 times. How would you take such a situation? Do you give up and believe that it is meant to be or such a situation happens for a reason? What do you do?

This is the situation that occurred in the life of Tom Torro.


Tom had a dream of a career in the Entertainment industry and to fulfill his goal, he had gone to Film school. However, after a period in his life, a shocking revelation came to him; he found out that he had chosen the wrong dream.

With this realization, came the state of confusion; he had come to a point where he had lost purpose on earth and did not know what to do with his life. He became depressed and had to drop out of Film school just to figure out his next direction.

However, faith smiled on him, and one day while in a book sale in his hometown, he was re-joined to his long lost world of imagination by looking at cardboards and an old stack of magazines. Tom’s passion for Cartoons came back to him.

Tom started drawing Cartoons and sent his work to the New Yorker. However, Tom received his first rejection. Shrugging it off, he tried again and sent his work by post and got another rejection again.

Tom kept sending more posts. He would walk from his parent’s house to the Mail office and send out dozens of Cartoons which he sketched every week.

He sent more posts and got rejections after rejections. He even met the Cartoon Editor of the New Yorker but this did not stop Tom’s work from being rejected.

On the 610th drawing, after a year had passed, on Tom’s birthday, he went to check his email in his mom’s office and he received his success message “Cartoon Sold”. Yes! Tom had finally got his Cartoon to be published.

NPR… Tom’s First Cartoon That was Published in New Yorker

Today, Tom Torro draws regularly for the New Yorker. He succeeded after 609 rejections.

catoonist turn rejection to success

What The Cartoonist Teaches Us About Rejection

1. Adopt the Right Mind-set

There is a wise saying that success is 80% psychology and 20% strategy. It is your mental capacity that determines your success.

When you see Success and Failure as a destination, you will fall victim to depression when a little failure goes your way. The same happens in the opposite direction, a little amount of success without learning from your mistakes would make you feel that you have reached the peak till you plunge.

Tom was able to keep going even after so many rejections because he adopted the right mind-set. Tom saw failure and success as a process and not a destination.

Have the right mind-set; learn to put situations and challenges in the right perspective. Remember that your life is a process not a destination..

2. Use Rejection as an Opportunity to Get Better

There are times when you are the reason for your failure/rejection but there are other times when you are not responsible for such failure.

However, no matter the situation, do you see rejection as an opportunity to get better or to give up?

Tom did not see himself as one who is not good enough or feel that the rejections were a sign to give up. Instead, Tom used rejection as an opportunity to perfect his craft.

Having a meeting with the Cartoon Editor was to get feedback and to measure how much progress he had made in his craft. It was a sign to keep getting better.

Let rejection be a data point to make progress…

Must READ: 13 Examples of People Who Turned Rejection To A Success Story

3. You need to know that Success shortens with time

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

Do you think that it takes 610 or 10,000 tries to become successful?

Not necessarily! However, Success becomes exponential.

What I mean is that Success can be shortened with time.

As Tom kept failing, he used the information of his mistakes to get better. Tom became better in his craft in such a way that the rate of rejection reduced completely.

Never see rejection as a destination but as an information to get better at your craft or achieving your goal. As you keep making mistakes and learning, you gather enough information to become a Pro.

Over To You

Now it is your turn, in what way have you used Rejection to become better to achieve your goal or perfect your skill?

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