Life Lessons From Scott Adams, The Creator of Dilbert

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I am sure you've come across the Dilbert cartoons. Or will come across it.

It is probably the most popular newspaper cartoon series in the world. At one time, it was published in 2000 newspapers in 57 countries and 19 languages. And the author/creator, Scott Adams, has won the Oscars equivalent in newspaper comic field.

Today, I will be sharing lessons from his life and work. He is still alive, in case that last sentence is making you assume he isn't.

  1. Never give up on your dream. Growing up he participated in many arts contest and never won. He originally wanted to study arts but was rejected and had to do Economics. This year he will be 60 years old and he is the world's most famous cartoonist.
  2. Nothing can take the place of doing. In the beginning, because of his full-time job, he had to draw his cartoons at 4:00am before getting ready for work. As of 2013, he had done about 9,000 cartoon drawings. He is not slowing down. He's got money and everything he needs to retire and enjoy. Yet he still puts in the hours and effort to create more cartoons. 
  3. When it comes to creative work, more is less. I come across people who can't wait to delegate the creative tasks they do to others and would prefer to manage other people. The usual argument is that they would rather be a Don Jazzy, managing a team of talented musicians, than a D'Banj. Their reason is perfectly correct. But when you look at history and the world's greatest artists, you won't see managers but artists burned up in creating their own works. The world's bestsellers are works on an individual and not a team of writers/musicians/painters. Dilbert is extra proof to that. 
  4. Be you. Some people will love you for it and some will hate you for it. But you will be better for it. Scott reached within himself, his anger for the corporate world and his weird thoughts, and gave us something original and globally celebrated.
So if you are of the creative type, don't give up or try to overblend. Be yourself. Keep your dreams alive. And most importantly, start and keep doing. Give the world something original.


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