He Was Rejected 664 Times

What a great week it has been, and the highlight was the Mental Resilience Masterclass I delivered to staff from Net EDI in Preston on behalf of Live and Learn. They were an excellent group who interacted brilliantly and having just read the feedback I am delighted that they all found the session so helpful.
This coming week I am speaking to 190 pupils from Stocksbridge High School on behalf of Live and Learn then driving to the Lake District with Julie to run my Mental Resilience session for senior staff from Lake District Estates.
David Little, the CEO from Lake District Estates, experienced my session when he attended the Vistage Group he is a member of, and he loved the session so much that he booked me for his leadership team. He has put us up in a luxury apartment for a couple of nights, so we are really looking forward to the trip.
7th Wedding Anniversary
It is our 7th wedding anniversary on Monday 9th May so this trip is a nice little treat to celebrate that. Where has the time gone?
 I came across this article recently about persistence and mental resilience and it blew me away
Jack London
The Call of the Wild catapulted author Jack London to literary fame. The book follows a dog named Buck who’s forced from his cushy life in California to the Klondike Gold Rush, where he adapts and begins to thrive despite cruel conditions.
The novel was one of the most popular books of the 20th century and made London the highest-paid writer of his time. Here are a few more facts about this 1903 bestseller.
Before writing The Call of the Wild, Jack London was rejected 664 times
As a young man in the slums of Oakland, California, London threw himself into writing. He later said, “On occasion I composed steadily, day after day, for 15 hours a day. At times I forgot to eat or refused to tear myself away from my passionate outpouring in order to eat.”
At first, this deluge yielded nothing but rejection. London would impale every rejection slip on a spindle in his writing room and soon had a column of paper four feet high. In fact, he amassed 664 rejection letters in the first five years of writing.
He went to the Klondike Gold Rush to escape poverty
By age 21, London had yet to publish and was running out of money, so he joined the thousands of people going to the Klondike Gold Rush. In 1897, he staked eight claims along the Stewart River, but they yielded little gold.
He suffered through a Yukon winter reading John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Darwin’s The Origin of Species—both influences on The Call of the Wild. Then, after almost a year of eating nothing but beans, bread, and bacon, he contracted scurvy and decided to return to California.
He rafted 2000 miles down the Yukon River then hired himself on boats to get back to San Francisco. He was as penniless as the day he left, but he had a wealth of new material for a novel.
The Call of the Wild started as a short story
In 1902, London published a short story in Cosmopolitan called “Diablo—A Dog,” in which a dog named Bâtard kills his master. On December 1, London started a companion piece to the story, this time focusing on writing about a “good dog.”
He intended it to be a short story of around 4000 words, but it started to grow. Soon he was working on it day and night. Three months later, he’d written 32,000 words, the size of a novella. He titled it The Call of the Wild.
The Call of the Wild was serialized by The Saturday Evening Post

The story ran as a serial in The Saturday Evening Post during the summer of 1903. The magazine paid London $750. In July, the book was published by Macmillan. The first printing sold out in 24 hours.

The Call of the Wild made Jack London rich
The Call of the Wild made London’s name. Although it was a bestseller, he didn’t see any of the royalties—he’d taken an upfront flat fee of $2000 for the novel. But when he followed up with White Fang, it wasn’t long before he was the highest-paid author in the United States.
He continued to churn out work, writing over 50 books before his untimely death at age 40. The Call of the Wild is still widely read today and is considered to be one of the books that shaped America.

Wow what Resilience
664 rejections! I’ve only heard of one person who had more rejections and that is Colonel Sanders of KFC fame who had 1009 rejections before the first restaurant took him up on his offer to use his famous coating.
Think about this for a moment, Jack London received 664 individual rejection letters over a 5-year period – and he kept each one! I don’t know about you, but I think I might have got the message to give up after maybe 20 or 30?
If he had given up millions of people would have missed out on the enjoyment of reading the amazing books he wrote in his short life. Talk about mental resilience!

Thoughts for the week 

  1. This week, think about anything you are working on where you feel like giving up.
  2. It’s like a safe with a combination lock with 10 cylinders. It is possible that 9 cylinders have clicked into place and the next click could open the safe door.
  3. All the work you have done to this point could have put you in the position to succeed very soon.
  4. You really don’t know how close you are to success so don’t give up now 

Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and don’t give up.
Warm regards


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