J.K. Rowling, the mega successful author of the Harry Potter series, was rejected by twelve different publishers before she found one to accept her manuscript. Even after agreeing to publish her first novel, they advised her to keep her day job. It seems no one had any faith in J.K. – but J.K. herself.
While Henry Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American- made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company
I was once told that you aren’t a true entrepreneur if you haven’t gone bankrupt at least once! Well Walt Disney shows us how it’s done, he was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.
Abraham Lincoln failed all the way to the White House. Lincoln’s resilience in the face of defeat was among his greatest strengths – a good lesson for anyone striving for lofty goals.
President Lincoln’s Road to The White House
1816: Family was forced out of their home — went to work to support them.
1818: Mother died.
1831: Failed in business.
1832: Ran for state legislature – lost.
1832: Lost his job, was denied entrance to law school
1833: Borrowed money to begin a business – bankrupt within the year.(Spent the next 17 years paying off this debt.)
1835: Engaged to be married – sweetheart died.
1836: Had a nervous breakdown, spent six months convalescing.
1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840: Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843: Ran for Congress – lost.
1846: Ran for Congress again – won.
1848: Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849: Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854: Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856: Sought VP nomination at national convention – got fewer than 100 votes.
1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again – lost again.
1860: Elected president of the United States.
Simon Cowell had a failed record company. By his late twenties, Cowell had made a million dollars and lost a million dollars. Cowell is quoted by The Daily Mail (2012), “‘I’ve had many failures. The biggest were at times when I believed my own hype. I’d had smaller failures, signing bands that didn’t work, but my record company going bust that was the first big one.” Even after such a momentous loss, Cowell picked himself up and became one of the biggest forces in reality television, serving as a judge for “Pop Idol,” “The X Factor,” “Britain’s Got Talent” and “American Idol.” Forbes has estimated his net worth at over $100 million.
Sometimes the difference between success and failure is minuscule. Many people are successful after they have failed because they know that they have got so close to success that they have tasted it. They are believers in what I call ‘The principle of the slight edge’
The Principal of The Slight Edge
Think about horse racing –1st place horse wins $3,600,000, 2nd: $900,000 and 3rd: $450,000. First place is worth eight times third place and was the first placed horse three times as fast? Or did it train three times as much? No. You can win by a short half head and there can be less than one hundredth of a second between 1st and 3rd place. The difference between 1st and 3rd is $3,150,000 a pretty good pay check for just doing that little bit extra
You don’t have to think about how to become resilient – you are innately resilient. It is in your genetics – it is part of your survival as a species to be able to get back on your feet and keep on pushing forward. The reason why you, sometimes, don’t bounce back is that you get in the way. And we will look more into this in the following pages.