Thomas Edison said “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way tosucceed is always to try just one more time.” Many of our journeys towards our goals may not be as easy as we expected, but the twists and turns that we face are what makes it worth while. Many of the greatest successes in the history of man are by the people that tried and dared to fail…but did not give up!
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive”. As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Confucius said “Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising every time we fall.” Many people respond to a crisis by being overwhelmed by stress, which turns to fear. It is easy to be afraid when you have a crisis situation in your business, but if you remain brave, your employees will be too, and together a strong team will be able to turn anything around. For example;
- Walt Disney went to over 200 banks before getting the financing for Disneyland.
- He was also fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
- Colonel Sanders knocked on over 1000 restaurant doors before getting his first customer. He was already 67 years old.
- Fred Smith’s Yale professor gave him a C for his thesis on overnight delivery service, saying it needed to be feasible to get a better mark. He then founded Federal Express.
- Charles Carlson invented photocopying in 1938 but it took 21 years for him to get the first Xerox machine made.
- Michael Blake, author of “Dances with Wolves” had 26 years of rejection before getting published.
- Bob Dylan was booed off stage at his first talent quest.
- John Creasey received 753 rejection slips before he published the first of his 564 books.
From rejection to workplace screw-ups, everyone has experienced that all-too-familiar gut-wrenching numbness. The great paradox is that the people who enjoy the most successes often endure the greatest failures. A few common sense things to remember:
- Don’t lose confidence in yourself when things don’t go as planned. I cannot stress this enough. We are all a work in progress. But if you don’t take the time to critique yourself and your behaviors along the way, you run the risk of becoming complacent.
- Improve your relationships with people because it is your relationship with people that make you successful in both life and business. If you discover that the same issues continue to arise, it’s time for some tough self-examination.
- It takes hard work to make dreams into reality. If you set clear goals, have self-confidence to act, believe you will succeed over time you will get to where you want to go. Sitting still is easy. Make sure you look at all aspects of your life and make some changes.
- Get regular exercise. The benefits are a sense of health and youthfulness, increased physical and mental energy, wellbeing, productivity… and success.
- Out-learn the competition. Be obsessed with learning and be a voracious reader.
- Get plenty of rest. A habit of successful people should include an early start and will also allow you to get more done.
- Ask. There are always people that we can learn from. Everyone should have a mentor that helps them on their path to success. If you believe in yourself, there is no one more qualified than you to jump on opportunities that come up!
- Make time for your family. You don’t have to give up your personal life and enjoyment completely.
- Make a schedule that includes time for work and also time for weekends away, hobbies and family life.
- Too much of anything isn’t a good thing.
- To reach for success and to overcome hardships or failures, we have to strive for the best we can be in every aspect of our lives, including how we feel about ourselves, and how we treat others. If we are willing to try, to get back up after falling and we take advantage of opportunities, those bad moments can be nothing but a footnote in our success story.
It is interesting that 96% of salespeople stop calling after receiving less than six rejections. A Dartnell Corporation study show that most business accounts are won after the prospect has said no eight times. Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
My wife was furious at me for kicking dropped ice cubes under the refrigerator. But now it’s just water under the fridge