Yesterday, a friend of mine tweeted “How someone responds when they are challenged speaks to their true character.” In the wake of a major disappointment on a project, those words were a valuable reminder that failure is not final, it’s a fresh opportunity.
Here are a few other good reminders.
Stephen King‘s first book, Carrie, got rejected thirty times. After tossing it, King’s wife convinced him to submit it just one more time. Over 350 million copies of Carrie have now been sold. The book was adapted to become one of the most monumental horror movies of all time.
At the age of sixty-two, Winston Churchill became the British Prime Minister. Earlier in life, he failed the sixth grade and lost every race he ran for public office.
Walk Disney‘s first animation company went bankrupt. He was later fired from a newspaper by the editor for his lack of imagination. Lenders turned Disney away over 300 times before he secured the financing for Disney World.
Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, didn’t start the company until he was in his late sixties when he received a social security check for $100 and decided to make a change. He took his dream on the road, trying to sell restaurant owners his fried chicken recipe while living out of his car, wearing his infamous white suit. He was turned down over 1,000 times.
J.K Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, had her book turned down twelve times. When it was finally picked up, the editor told her she should get a day job as there was no money in children’s books.
People change, problems arise, choices are made and life goes on. When something is worth the fight, expect to have resistance. And most of all, the idea that spoke to me yesterday, when we are challenged, the way we respond speaks to our truest character.