July is almost over, and so we’re halfway through 2014. Soon Hallmark Card stores will be premiering their line of Christmas ornaments! I thought of offering in this column a review of the ten most important lessons I learned in 2013 with an eye on evaluating how they might help me navigate the rest of 2014. However, as I reviewed my list, I realized there is really only one great lesson that I (and you) need to keep in mind through the remainder of this year.
And that tip? Simply this: “NO” doesn’t have to be the final answer. Rejection doesn’t equate to the decimation of ideas, plans or dreams.
Throughout this year, I’ve been privy to the struggles of folks who have steadily plodded on until they reached their goals – even if, when reached, those goals looked differently from what they’d originally imagined.
Pat (name changed) is a comedy writer who came to LA from NYC with a TV writing gig. And, yep, within just months, the show folded and he was out of work and luck. It was an unnerving time for him and his family. Do they return or not return to NYC? Does he stick with comedy or play it safe? Pat had to face the reality that maybe he wouldn’t earn a living from writing funny words.
Pat decided to live his life “as if” he was employed as a comedy writer. He set-up a schedule and committed to writing a certain number of jokes per day. He went on the rubber chicken circuit and submitted unsolicited jokes to late night shows. He brought schmoozing to a whole new level. And he did all this in the face of bone-crushing doubt.
Today, you may very well be laughing at his late night jokes as he’s on staff with one of the shows.
My friend Melissa just signed a contract with a major publisher. Her first book will be released April 2015. Hers has been a journey of more than twelve years. Twelve years of self-doubt, rejections and being faithful to the writing task.
A now client of mine contacted me several months ago. Among other things, she wanted to hire me for her company’s annual retreat; however, I was booked that weekend. Last week she called again, wondering if by chance my weekend had opened up. Turns out, it had freed up as previous clients canceled their event.
Each of these people encountered “no’s” that had the ring of finality to them. Yet, each person decided that “No” would not be the ultimate arbiter of reality.
What are your plans and goals for the second half of 2014? What are you going to do with them?
Please send your questions to JP Reynolds at: firstname.lastname@example.org