Tony note: I went back again into my third book and pulled from chapter 5 for this blog post. It’s amazing, how this message is even more relevant six-years later than when I originally wrote it in 2010.

Here’s the biggest challenge facing most people today in relation to pursuing their dreams and passion. In an age of “instant everything” and the Internet, success rarely happens overnight. Most of the mega successful people I associate with have worked for years and through multiple setbacks to achieve their ultimate objectives.  It also doesn’t help that we’ve increasingly become a “lotto” mentality society. I firmly believe that the term “get-rich-quick” is a bold faced lie. There are the occasional needles in the haystack that pull it off, but keeping and sustaining success for the long-haul is an entirely different story.

True champions know they’ll have to put the practice in like a top athlete and stretch much further than they ever thought possible if they really want to hit the goals they seek. New habits, associations and disciplines will be required. The classic quote from business philosopher Jim Rohn sums it up best: “No one can do your pushups for you.”

Far too many people wing it, give up or have no road map consisting of successful books, mentors, and the proper mindset to guide and push them to discover and go after their inner genius.

I never once found a class in my high school or college titled: Goal setting and Success 101. Far too many of our schools teach people book skills and completely skip the life skills component. What a tragedy. We have millions of high school and college graduates trying to enter the work force with lots of book skills but little if any success mindset skills. They go into the employment game with a severe disadvantage right out of the gate.  I sometimes forget that I was blessed to not only have the ability to pursue a college degree but also become exposed to two things even more beneficial along the way: mentors and personal development.

Expect ‘No’ at First, But Press On 

Here’s another dose of the obvious that most people miss. People are conditioned to hear and say “no.” In a perfect world, prospects would always get excited and say “yes” to our ideas but that’s not the case. One of the biggest obstacles I encounter when training sales reps and business owners is how to handle rejection and the word “no” from a prospect. Many give up when they get the brush off or hear the first “no” when they should be thinking that the prospecting process has often just begun.

I’ve never known the word “no” to cause death, so why are people so afraid of hearing it? We all dislike rejection, but getting used to hearing it and moving beyond it is an essential trait of high achievers. There are a multitude of legendary success stories that exemplify the power of persistence and overcoming hundreds if not thousands of “no’s” in pursuit of success.

A great example is fellow author and success master Jack Canfield of the wildly successful Chicken Soup for the Soul® publishing empire. I was blessed to meet and interview him a few years ago at the top of his game. However, let’s go back in time when things were quite different. In the early 1990s he and fellow co-author Mark Victor Hansen were turned down more than 140 times by publishers before finally landing a publishing contract. That’s a whole lot of rejection, but in the end millions of happy readers have said “yes” to their message. What if they had given up at the 80th, 97th or 120th “no”? Most authors would have quit. Canfield and Hansen’s tenacity and vision serve as a powerful lesson that anything is possible if you’re persistent and look beyond rejection.

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