Walt Disney was fired from the Kansa City Star because he “Lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Ophrah Winfrey—was eventually let go from WJZ-TV Baltimore, because she couldn’t separate her emotions from the stories. Elvis Presley was told by the manager after performing at the Grand Old Opry that he would be better off returning home and driving trucks. Kerry Washington, star of the hit television show Scandal filmed two pilots that were picked up but she was replaced by other actresses on both of them. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. He was the co-founder of Apple. Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film, and Television three times. Eventually placed at another school where he dropped out to pursue directing.
Walt Disney created his own world. Oprah has her own television network. Elvis’ estate still earns multiple millions years after his death. Kerry Washington is ubiquitous and a multi-millionaire. Steven Jobs was rehired and re-energized Apple. And Spielberg made a couple of small films.
Anyone who has ever succeeded has first experienced rejection.
I’m not writing this because I feel especially rejected at the moment. In fact I began the day with a phone call from an old friend who has had three successful careers and still has great influence in our city—he called to tell me how great I am and what an impact my teaching and influence has had on his life. The call lasted six minutes. I’m not feeling especially rejected at the moment but I have experienced rejection. It’s the price of success.
We walked into a restaurant where all the church people ate after service and all eyes turned on our party. It might have been the red three piece suit topped by the white brim (that’s a hat to the unknowing). The boy dressed bad back in those days. (Bad, again for the unknowing, was a complimentary term.) There were titters among the church folk and I saw a couple of pastors go into a sudden huddle. It might have been the attire but more than likely it was that I was the new kid in town, a hotshot evangelist that had the audacity to start a church in their town. My experience is church but it could have been any field, or any business, human nature transcends genres. Start something new, do something new, challenge the status quo and you will experience rejection. Rejection is part of the price that you pay for success.
A friend arranged a dinner with Rev. Ike, a man who was soundly rejected by the religious establishment for his extravagant ways. He confided, “They all call me up to get my advice but they don’t want anyone knowing that they are talking to me.” I knew some of the people that he referring to so I knew that he was telling the truth.
I recently began the quest for a literary agent. I’ve self-published a number of books, one of them went world-wide, all of them have been profitable for me and my readers but to get a broader distribution I need a publishing company and to get a publishing company you need a literary agent. The kicker is that a literary agent is almost as hard to get as a publisher. So I put together my package, did my research, and began contacting literary agents. A lot of literary agents. Some plainly said, “Don’t expect any response for two months.” Others sent a “message received” auto-reply. One a nicely worded “We’re too busy to do you any good.” Another, “That’s not my kind of thing.” The thing is, I was prepared for the rejections knowing that literary agents only want to represent something or someone that they know that they can sell a publisher. Agents reject far more than they accept, that’s the nature of the business. I will find an agent but until then rejection is just a part of the price that you pay for success.
Here’s the thing about rejection. It’s generally not personal. Those pastors didn’t know me—their rejection came because they perceived me as a threat to the order of things. They were right, of course, but it wasn’t personal. It wasn’t personal when Disney was dismissed for “lack of imagination and good ideas.” I’m sure that whoever fired Oprah still tells the story adding that they didn’t recognize greatness when greatness was in front of them. Apple found out that it needed Jobs more than Jobs needed Apple and I doubt the Spielberg has endowed the university that rejected him three times. Those who rejected the dreamers and doers thought that they were doing the right thing for their business or institution. But it wasn’t personal.
That doesn’t make rejection any easier. That’s why I sharing some powerful insight on dealing with rejection “Behind The Door.” How you handle rejection determines whether you go forward or backward, succeed or fail. I want you to succeed. BTW—the first insight that I share will surprise you—but it’s something that you need to consider. If you have your password you can go “Behind The Door” right now. If you don’t have your password go to the “Sowing” button and sow a seed of any size into your success. The default setting is twenty dollars but you can raise or lower that amount. The password is good for the rest of the month. Remember—What you sow is what you grow and one times one is still one. I’ll meet you “Behind The Door.”