I once had a lady friend in New York who had a German Shepherd. She
came home from work one snowy Friday night to find the dog dead as a
door nail in the middle of her living room in her high-rise apartment.
Of course, the poor woman was stricken with grief, but unfortunately,
it was around Christmas time and she had a formal dinner party to go
to that night.
she called the ASPCA. They told her that they couldn't help her dispose
of the dog until Monday morning. What was she to do? She couldn't leave
the dog in the middle of her living room, yet no other solution presented
went in to her walk-in closet to pull out her evening gown. As she reached
for it, she noticed her over-sized, red plaid suit case in the closet.
She took a
shower, blew her hair dry, and slipped on her evening gown. She sheepishly
walked into the living room to look at her lifeless dog one more time.
By now, the dog was starting to smell a little funky, and it looked
as though rigor mortis was starting to set in.
she gave up trying to come up with a better solution. She decided the
only thing she could do was stuff her beloved "Schatzie" in the suitcase,
and drag it to the dumpster. Not a very fitting end for an animal she
had loved so much, but she was really desperate.
As you can
imagine, it must have been quite a sight to see this poor woman all
decked out in her sequined gown, bent over her 90 pound dog, trying
her best to make it fit in the suitcase. Finally, she succeeded. And
with one last tug, she got the zipper closed.
herself, touched up her make-up, and opened her front door. She dragged
the suitcase down the hall, pushed the button, and waited for the elevatorall
the while, she was choking back tears.
door opened, and she huffed and puffed her way in. She was thankful
nobody else was in there to see this little drama unfold. The elevator
reached the ground floor. The door opened and my friend began dragging
the suitcase across the marble lobby. The doorman offered to help her,
but she was too embarrassed to accept his kindness.
She went through
the building's front door into the cold sleet of this pre-Christmas
night. Diligently, she dragged her plaid suitcase down the rock salt
covered sidewalk toward her destinationthe dumpster at the end of
the block. Her hair was a mess. Her makeup was running. She began to
At that moment,
a rather large man came up to her and said, "Lady, that suitcase looks
awfully heavy. Can I offer you some assistance?" She accepted the stranger's
kind offer. With that, he hoisted the suitcase up on his broad shoulders,
took a couple of steps, then began running away with the suitcase. He
rounded the corner, and was gone from sight. Welcome to New York! My
friend screamed in vain, then sank to the ground and sobbed uncontrollably.
Just to show
you what kind of sick sense of humor I have, all I could think about
was the look on the thief's face when he darted into a dark alley and
unzipped the suitcase. I'd bet dollars to donuts that he thought twice
before he ripped somebody off again.
But, as with
most of my little stories, there's a moral here: People give up way
Not just in
their pursuit of success in music, but in most things. My friend in
New York would have had a more desirable outcome to her dilemma if she
hadn't given up so soon.
My friend Oliver
started a custom screensaver business over a year ago. He and his wife
were over for dinner, and during the course of the evening, he said
that he was going to throw in the towel and get a "real" job. What a
Very few people
succeed on the first try. Entrepreneurs who are successful get what
they're after because they never give up. I'm one of them.
I balled Oliver
out. I gave his wife a pep-talk and told her she needed to be more supportive,
and extremely patient. Ollie hung in there; his wife did as well. The
end result is that the business did about $200,000 this year. If Oliver
had quit when he wanted to, he'd be in debt to the tune of $50,000,
and would have to get a day job to pay it off. By toughing it out, he
is beginning to realize his dreams.
George Nelson called me at the end of his first year with us. He hadn't
been forwarded very often, and was wondering whether it was worthwhile
to renew for a second year. I told him to stick with it. He did. He
got forwarded much more in his second year. He got some deals. Then,
he quit his day job with the phone company (after 15 years) because
he was making more money with his music.
when the going gets tough. People frequently quit when they're only
inches from the finish line. The problem is, they don't know that one
more inch, one more day, or for that matter, one more song, may be all
that's necessary to achieve your dreams.
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