Sia ~ Never Give Up

“Never give up” is a phrase that we’ve been hearing a lot in the last year. As I scroll through LinkedIn, I still see so many people desperately looking for a job as well as posts of people who finally get through after umpteen rejections.

In today’s culture of instant gratification, we often tend to subconsciously assume that successful people reached where they are overnight. What we fail to see is the journey filled with a lot of hard work and a lot of failures. Let’s take a look at a few examples

J K Rowling

  • Her first Harry Potter novel was rejected 12 times
  • 3 years before Bloomsburry gave her novel a second chance in 1994, she had just gotten a divorce, was on government aid, and could barely afford to feed her baby
  • She was so poor she couldn’t afford a computer or even the cost of photocopying the 90,000-word novel, so she manually typed out each version to send to publishers

Colonel Harland Sanders, KFC

  • Fired from a variety of jobs throughout his career before he first started cooking chicken in his roadside Shell Service Station in 1930, when he was 40 years old, during the Great Depression. 
  • In the 1950s,  he was forced to close his business and retire, essentially broke
  • Worried about how he was going to survive off his meager $105 monthly pension check, he set out to find restaurants who would franchise his secret recipe—he wanted a nickel for each piece of chicken sold. He drove around, sleeping in his car, and was rejected more than 1,000 times before finally finding his first partner

Walt Disney

  • Fired as a young man from his newspaper job for a lack of good ideas
  • Started his first animation company in 1921, but that quickly went bankrupt
  • He ended up eating dog food (literally) to survive
  • Restarted his animation company several more times before finally becoming successful

The Beatles

  • Turned down by almost every record label despite some local success playing cover songs in United Kingdom bars and clubs
  • An executive at Decca Records declined to sign them because “guitar groups are on the way out” and “The Beatles have no future in show business.”
  • It turns out that two years after Decca rejected the Beatles, George Harrison returned to the label to offer a tip: Sign the Rolling Stones. This time around, Decca learned from its failure and had a success of its own.

Brian Acton, WhatsApp Co-Founder

  • Was turned down by Facebook 4.5 years before Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19B
  • After a long stint at Yahoo, Acton was rejected by Facebook and Twitter before Jan Koum asked if Acton wanted to help him start his business, and WhatsApp was born

Final Thoughts

Great things never come easy. When difficult times do stop you in your tracks, you need a way to push through.

Here is a song that I love to listen to when I am down – Sia’s “Never Give Up”

I won’t let you get me down

I’ll keep gettin’ up when I hit the ground

Oh, never give up, no, never give up no, no, oh

I won’t let you get me down

I’ll keep gettin’ up when I hit the ground

Oh, never give up, no, never give up no, no, oh

2 thoughts on “Sia ~ Never Give Up

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