Someone once said that half of the money he spent on advertising was wasted but he didn't know which half. His point was of course that if you can't tell which half, then you have to keep on doing the whole lot, fully aware that not all of it will produce rewards. Life is a bit like that. Sometimes it seems so unfair. You put in loads of efforts and get nothing back. you're polite to people and everyone seems rude back.You work up a sweat and others cruise it. Well, you have to keep on doing the 100% because you don't know which bits will pay off. Your efforts will be rewarded eventually but you'll probably never know which efforts are being rewarded - or for what - and which aren't.
We tend to think we are being lucky sometimes when actually we are just being rewarded for some bit of effort long ago that we have forgotten about. We have to keep going. You can't give up on the grounds that you've had a setback or two because you don't know which setbacks are the ones which count and which ones aren't. I suppose it's like the number of frogs you have to get acquainted with before you find your princess (or prince). Or the pile of oysters you'd have to open to find a pearl.
But whatever you do, don't lose heart because things don't seem to be panning out. Only by keeping up the effort will reward come eventually - and you'll never know from which bits comes the best reward.
Most well balanced and happy people will also tell you that sometimes you have to work at something without looking for a pay-off - apart from the immediate pay-off that we are being kept busy and thus can't get into trouble. Always looking for success, rewards, a pay-off, can be detrimental to our wellbeing when things don't pan out. Sometimes it's ok to do things just for the sheer enjoyment of doing them.
I love painting miniature water colours - tiny, tiny landscapes. Once in a while someone will come along and suggest I put them into an exhibition or sell them commercially. And everytime I do it fails miserably and give up for a while. Once the dust has settled I always go back to them and I have learnt it is a personal thing and no longer will I try to sell them or show them. they are not for profit part of my life and immensely rewarding. No, you can' see one.