Posts Tagged ‘success’

Giving Up Is Insane!

September 15, 2014

medals-live-your-dream-never-give-up
In an earlier post I wrote about the gift of rejection, I urged writers to let professional rejection inspire them and make them even more determined to succeed. Angelo Pizzo, the filmmaker behind Hoosiers and Rudy, echoed this sentiment in the July 7, 2014 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Pizzo, who started his film career as an executive, never thought of himself as a writer until he decided to write the screenplay for Rudy himself. He wrote this about one producer’s reaction to his initial draft:

I finally finished the screenplay. I gave it to a producer, the man who gave me my first job out of film school. He read it on a flight, called me from the airport and said, “You just wasted a year of your life. This is irredeemable, hopeless, bad writing. Go back to development.” I was crushed.


Fortunately, Pizzo ran into another writer who set him straight:

About a year later, after I had gotten another executive job, I told this story at a dinner party to Scott Berg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer. He said, “You’re (more…)

We Are All Failures

July 26, 2011


Even the gravest of mistakes can be a blessing if you use it as a key to unlock inner storehouses of fortitude and resolve.


Failure is God’s own tool for carving some of the finest outlines in the character of his children.
Thomas Hodgkin

Behind every successful person is a trail of (more…)

Turning Points, Take Two

May 22, 2011

Ten years ago, I wrote an article for Twin Cities Business magazine called Turning Points. I asked prominent Twin Cities businesspeople to tell me the behind-the-scenes story of a pivotal moment that led directly to their success. Click here to read excerpts from that story. I was happy to be asked to produce another edition of Turning Points for the May 2011 issue. I hope you enjoy the stories!

TURNING POINTS

At any moment, life can uproot and redirect us. A chance conversation, a pivotal meeting or an unexpected hardship can rearrange priorities, divert careers and lead to uncommon accomplishments.

The dozen business and political leaders profiled here share the personal, and often poignant, turning points in their own lives. R. T. Rybak transmuted the fear and anxiety of unemployment into a long-dreamed-of political career. Don Helgeson established Gold’n Plump Poultry by sticking his own neck on the chopping block. Manny Villafana climbed out of a swimming pool and into an idea for a multibillion-dollar company. Expecting a life of farm labor, Margaret Anderson Kelliher ended up representing the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party.

Here are their stories.

CHERI BERANEK
CEO of Plymouth-based Clearfield, Inc., a provider of the tools that telephone and cable TV companies need to deliver fiber connectivity. Beranek is one of four women who cracked the top 100 highest-paid executives of public Minnesota companies, according to a list compiled by the Star Tribune in 2009.

Cheri Beranek

I was working in the marketing department of a $50 million tech firm in the late ’80s. After my boss left to lead a division in another city, I was the most senior member of the marketing staff. I was essentially running the operation without the title. Soon after, I was walking down the hall past the president’s office and heard him say to the COO, “A woman will never run marketing in my company.” I was shocked. I knew he was talking about me. I took a deep breath and (more…)

Do Your Work, Then Step Back

November 11, 2010

It is said that if you do what you love, the money will follow. That is true, although generating income might take longer than you expect and be less lucrative than you anticipate. Proceed cautiously; crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.

The elevator to success is closed down. You’re going to have to take the stairs one step at a time.
Wayne Dyer

Rush blindly ahead and you may crash headlong into playwright Dane Stauffer’s tongue-in-cheek dictum: “Do (more…)

A Love of the Drudgery

November 3, 2010




No matter where your right livelihood leads you, doing work that feeds your soul will suffuse your days with joy and soften your nights with the sweet dreams of contentment.



Success based on anything but internal fulfillment is bound to be empty.
Dr. Martha Friedman

When a hard day’s work leaves you exhilarated instead of exhausted, you are (more…)

Success Is a Staircase

October 19, 2010


Steadfastly seek the right career, and one day the right career will find you. Your right livelihood may feel divinely delivered, but succeeding in it will likely demand significant amounts of study, training, and effort. Beware of any path that does not.



Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

Mastery cannot be hurried along. Establishing a reputation, building mutually beneficial relationships, and mastering (more…)

A Cherished Companion in the Winter of Your Life

September 28, 2010

Commit to a life of integrity, and you will consider yourself successful, regardless of whether you achieve career and financial goals, as long as you stay true to yourself and your ideals.

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
Albert Einstein



You recognize that success is determined by the quality of your relationships—with friends and family, with colleagues, with yourself, with God, with the world at large, and, through your words and deeds, even with (more…)

A Safe Career Comes at a Steep Cost

November 19, 2009


The question is not whether you have a talent, but how long it will take you to discover and apply it. If you are not actively striving to identify your talent and develop your right livelihood, you are passively engaging in self-sabotage.

It is understandable why so many opt for a “safe” life doing work that they do not enjoy, especially when there are children to be raised and a mortgage to be paid.

Most people live for their pension instead of their passion.
Les Brown

It is easy to make excuses for not developing your talents, for not exploring other opportunities, for not pursuing a more challenging career path. “I need a steady paycheck to support my family.” “There are too many other people doing what I want to do.” “I’ve invested too much time and money in learning how to do this job.”

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
Samuel Johnson

Yes, leaving your boat chained to the dock is (more…)