‘Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always try just one more time.’ (Thomas A. Edison)
“I’m so scare that she will reject me”, my friend anxiously shared with me. “Why? You never once confess to any girl that you like her before?” I’m curiously asking him. ‘Nope’ he replied, “How about you? You don’t scare girl will reject your love meh?”. “Nope, I probably frustrated at first but that's it... After all, I’ve been rejected for quite a numbers of times already.”
I never met anyone who makes a positive difference in people’s life who did not encounter rejections; even my Lord Jesus was rejected at his own hometown, Nazareth! (Mark 6:1-6) In this note I want to share with you about how Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen displayed the power of persistent to overcome rejections before they were able to sell their first book to a publisher.
They were so excited to travel to New York City in the fall of 1991 to begin the process of selling their first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a publisher. With their agent, Jeff Herman, they met with every major publisher but they were rejected. ‘Collections of short stories don’t sell.’ ‘There’s no edge to the stories.’ ‘The title will never work.’
After being rejected by more than 30 publishers, they never give up immediately. What did they do? They said, ‘Next!’ They started to think outside the box. Over a period of months, they asked everyone who attended their seminars or speeches to complete a pledged form if they would buy a copy of the book when it was published. Eventually, they had people who agreed to buy a total of 20,000 books! Jack said, ‘Now we really had some bargaining power!’
The following spring, they attended the American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim, California. They walked from booth to booth and were shocked to discover that even with their thousands of signed pledged forms, they we turned down again and again. But again they said, ‘Next!’ At the end of the second very long day, they gave a copy of the thirty stories to the co-presidents of Health Communications, Inc., a publisher who agreed to take it home and look it over.
Jack Canfield recalled, ‘Later that week, Gary Seidler took the manuscript to the beach and read it. He loved it and decided to give us a chance. Those hundreds of ‘Next!’ had paid off! After more than 140 rejections, that first book went on to sell 8 million copies, which led to a series of 115 bestselling Chicken Soup books that have been translated into 47 languages. That’s a lot of books!’
When Jack and Mark were rejected, they change their approach frequently and said, ‘Next!’ There’s only one way you can fail, and that’s to quit. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Like a Borneo Headhunter Iban warrior once said: “Agi idup agi ngelaban!” (meaning “I’ll keep fighting as long as I live!”. it's in the context of war, but I use it as a life statement.)
‘History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.’ (B.C. Forbes)
You are never a loser until you quit trying. (Mike Ditka)
[Those inspiring quotes are from the book Great Quotes from Zig Ziglar. Buy it now at your nearest bookstore for only RM11.50]