A lot of the business people and creative people that I’m fascinated by all have something in common, which is a lot of failure—a lot of dramatic failure—and a lot of rejection. All of us face conflict in our life and obviously no one just gives you anything—that might create its own problems. I don’t know about that. But you get to a point where you’re like, okay, I can be bitter and just stop or I can keep going because I really don’t have a choice. The key thing in all of that is that most of us have people in our lives who keep us afloat. Part of what kept me determined was not some amazing agent who said ‘you can do that’—because I really didn’t have that—but a family and a creative community of six or seven people who had read the pilot of Mad Men. My wife, in particular, was like, ‘This is good. You know it’s good. Don’t give up on it.’ “Or,” he continues, “‘You’re good but people haven’t found out yet.’ There is a string of failures that typify success. The weirdest thing is it’s kind of shameful to be rejected a lot, and a lot of people become dominated by that. It’s so embarrassing. You feel delusional.
Matthew Weiner, Mad Men creator, in this Fast Company article