I came across this article in Word for Today and it really resonated with me.
‘Country singer Lonzo Green’s nephew Jimmy asked him to tune a friend’s guitar, he agreed. The problem was Jimmy’s friend was from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ and Jimmy’s parents wouldn’t allow him inside their house where Uncle Lonzo was visiting.
So they decided to meet outside. As the kid approached, Green noticed his self-consciousness and sideways glances at the upscale neighbourhood.
Lonzo, who had experienced poverty and discrimination in his own life, tuned the boy’s old guitar, played a few songs, and taught him some chords.
The young man thanked him and left with a warm memory he would carry throughout the rest of his remarkable life. Eventually that boy crossed the tracks for good with his guitar and soft, polite drawl and hesitant smile, and was never unwelcome again.
That’s because the boy who wasn’t allowed in the house that day was – Elvis Presley!
Everyone has doubts
In all my research on people who have succeeded across a wide range of industries I have yet to find one who didn’t struggle with rejection, negativity, lack of confidence, fear and doubt.
The common attributes which connect them all together are perseverance and hard work. They didn’t give up. They didn’t listen to the negative voices. They believed in themselves and kept going often to prove people wrong. Elvis Presley in his early days was told to give up and go back to his driving job – but he didn’t.
Here are a few examples.
The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbours, finally started his own business.
You may not have heard of Morita but you’ve undoubtedly heard of his company, Sony. Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn’t cook rice so much as burn it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn’t stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion-dollar company
Most of us take Einstein’s name as synonymous with genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. As a child, Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social.
Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.
In his first film, Ford was told by the movie execs that he simply didn’t have what it takes to be a star. Today, with numerous hits under his belt, iconic portrayals of characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and a career that stretches decades, Ford can proudly show that he does, in fact, have what it takes.
While today Spielberg’s name is synonymous with big budget, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theatre, Film and Television three times. He eventually attended school at another location, only to drop out to become a director before finishing. Thirty-five years after starting his degree, Spielberg returned to school in 2002 to finally complete his work and earn his BA.
The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time.
Support can make all the difference
This last example shows that we often need the support of others to succeed. I am very fortunate to have my wife Julie who has on many occasions stepped in to encourage me in my times of doubt and fear. She has been my rock and it is very exciting building the business with her.
Thoughts for the week
- Who do you have in your life who can help you?
- This week be inspired by these accounts of people who didn’t give up.
- Believe in yourself and let that potential out.
- We all have more potential than we believe we have – so unlock it.
Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and keep believing.