Anyone who has pursued a goal understands the term “emotional roller coaster.


Some days we wake up feeling like the stars are aligning, our coffee couldn’t taste better and the path to our goal is clear and obvious.


And on other days we feel like no one wants what we have to offer, every path leads to a detour and we’re chained down as our goal escalates out of our reach.


It seems like for every goal there is always that person or group of people doubting (and maybe even thwarting) our plans to achieve our objective.


I call these people SNOTS - Souls Not Offering Trusted Support.


The less we can surround ourselves with and not listen to the SNOTS the happier and more successful we’ll be.  


Whenever we feel that SNOTS are bringing down our business or startup we should take a step back and realize that if some of the most influential icons including Steven Spielberg and The Beatles decided against pushing on - we might not have had Jurassic Park or Can’t Buy Me Love.


Hmmm… looks like I am putting The Beatles on Spotify now.


Persistence is hearing the word “No” and letting it bolster our resolve… every time. Tweet This


Here are a few stories of how popular icons defeated the SNOTS and achieved success.





Stephen King Received 30 Rejections for “Carrie”


In 1973, Stephen King was working as an English teacher in Maine and selling short stories on the side to make ends meet. That same year, he accepted a $2,500 advance for his first novel “Carrie” to Doubleday but after 30 rejections, King decided to give up on the book.


At the urging of his wife, King later resubmitted the manuscript and now, after having hundreds of books published, King is one of the best-selling authors of all time and “Carrie” is on its second movie re-make.


As of 2011, total sales for King’s books were estimated to be between 300 and 350 million copies.


JVG Notes: With the advent and popularity of Content Marketing it can be easy for a writer to get overwhelmed or inundated with publishing top-quality content that is well accepted.


It took King 30 rejections. Let that sink in for a minute. 30 Rejections. When was the last time we were rejected 30 times for something we believed in?


If we haven’t been rejected 30 times then maybe we aren’t trying hard enough.


Takeaway - Take your marketing message directly to your end consumer. Maybe it’s a business or maybe it’s an individual. Continue this exercise until you receive 30 rejections.


The only additional requirement is to politely inquire as to the reason for the rejection.


Guarantee that by the end of this exercise you’ll know more about your product or service then you did before you started. The feedback you’ll receive will be invaluable.


Of course, you want to take all feedback with a drop of Nutella (instead of a grain of salt) because you ultimately need to follow your gut!



Steven Spielberg Got Rejected From Film School… Three Times


Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theatre, Film and Television three times.


He eventually attended another school, only to drop out and 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.


“I wanted to accomplish this for many years as a thank you to my parents for giving me the opportunity for an education and career,” Spielberg said in a statement. “And as a personal note for my own family - and young people everywhere - about the importance of achieving their college education goals.”


JVG Notes: Persistence, obviously, doesn’t just apply to our startups and businesses. Pursuing educational goals is equally just as important no matter the stage of your career or life.


Recently, I offered some advice for a friend’s daughter who was struggling with her educational goals.


She was struggling in high school although she had aspirations of attending some of the most prestigious colleges and universities.


It was easy for me to build for her a Google Drive spreadsheet which I shared with her so we could both monitor her progress in real time.


Every Friday we would check in on a quick phone call and see if she accomplished the goals we set out for the week ending. These goals consisted of, but not limited to:


- researching college and university admission requirements

- staying after school for help in math

- building her modeling, acting and singing portfolio


The act of having another person - aside from a parent or teacher - monitoring progress may be just what she needs. We’ll find out.


The point is that you can be persistent with your goals simply by asking for help.


Takeaway - Ask for support. Is there an educational goal you want to achieve? Maybe it’s a degree, learning a foreign or coding language or just wanting to improve a skill set that has been on the backburner for awhile.


Find someone who is not a SNOT and ask them to help you stay accountable by sharing a Google Drive spreadsheet to track progress. This is a rough layout of the sheet we used.



The Beatles Were Dropped By Their Record Label


When The Beatles were just starting out, a recording company told them “No.”


Decca Recording studios, who had recorded 15 songs with the group, said, “We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out. They have no future in show business.”


The rest is history.


JVG Notes: Rough patches and sand traps happen to the best of us. Next time you or your business takes an emotional hit from a customer, client, vendor, etc. just hear the tune of Here Comes the Sun in your head and remember the sun will rise on a new day tomorrow.


For every client, customer, brand manager, etc. that you make unhappy there are X number of those whom you positively impact. And that’s what’s worth your persistence.


Takeaway - Make a list of your Super Fans if you don’t already have one.


Super Fans are evangelists for your brand and company.


These are people who you can rely on for quotes, testimonials, feedback, survey responses, beta users, beta readers, early adopters, etc.


When you hit a rough patch it will help to have a small dedicated group of Super Fans to fall back on.


With your Super Fans you can run by them any negative scenarios with other customers to validate if the negative scenario was a one-off or if it is a real problem for your business.


This also helps take the emotion out of any rash decisions.




What do you think? What other stories of celebrities or famous icons displaying persistence to attain success? Share it with us in the comments.



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