Eye of the Tiger

18 August 2022 Martin Cheetham

History is full of entrepreneurial stories where they were denied, mocked and kicked to the curb. Not once, not twice, but dozens, and sometimes even hundreds of times. They all had one thing in common: an unwavering belief in what they were bringing to the world. And when they finally got their break, they didn’t just bring it. They shook the planet.

Persistence and consistency are the keys to success in anything in life and in business. Never giving up. No matter the odds.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

In the seventies, Sylvester Stallone was an unknown actor. And flat broke. He was living out of a car and at one point even had to sell his dog, because he couldn’t afford to look after him. He wrote a script that studios loved and wanted to buy but there was one catch. Sylvester would only sell it if he could play the main part. Studio after studio rejected him, saying he didn’t have what it takes to play the titular character. Now bearing in mind that he is so broke at this point, that he can’t even feed/keep his dog! At any point, he could’ve buckled and sold the script. But he didn’t. He stayed the course and eventually a studio accepted his terms. Rocky went on to receive nine Oscar nominations and got three wins, including Best Picture, and grossed over $200 million. And Sylvester catapulted himself into his career and became one of the top action movie stars of the 80s.


‘Overnight’ success

Marshall Mathers was invited down to Dr Dre’s studio one night and absolutely blew him away. This started their collaboration leading to him becoming arguably the biggest rapper of all time. My point is he had that one opportunity (see what I did there?!) to impress Dre on that evening. But it was all the preparation, consistent perseverance of practice, and time spent honing his skill that led to him being able to deliver in that one moment. At any point, he could’ve given up and we wouldn’t even know the name Eminem today. It’s the usual image of the iceberg of success. Everyone sees the tip, but not the blood, sweat, and literal tears that exist under the water.

“You continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want using whatever life gives you along the way.” – Tony Robbins

You never know when you’re about to strike gold. Keep digging.

Learn. Adjust. And stick with it. If you believe in it enough, you’ll make it happen but never, ever give up. History only remembers those who persevered.