This is a transcript from the Business Secrets Podcast With Robert Kanaat. Click here to view and subscribe on iTunes.
Hello, and welcome to Business Secrets. My name is Robert Kanaat. Thank you so much for joining me here today. Today I want to talk to you about something that’s really important to me. I think that it’s something that affects a lot of people, and I’ve talked about it here and there on this podcast. But I have also extensively talked about it on wanderlustworker.com. Which, as many of you know, is my blog – where I share all things personal development related, inspirational and things like goal setting habits, and of course failure.
One of the big things that I love about failure – yes love about failure, is it actually shapes and molds us into better human beings. So like if you haven’t failed in an epic way, then you’re not trying hard enough. Now you might sit there and tell me like, “Hey Robert, I have failed so much and now my life is down in the gutter, it’s down in the dumps.” Well let me just tell you about a few people in the world who have failed that you might know about.
The thing is that failure is not the end of the road. It is not the end of the road. It is just a fork, and that is it. It’s a bump along the road, it’s not the end. You might veer off track for a little bit, but you will get back on. But when you do get back on – that highway is going to be bigger and more expanded, and your mindset is just going to be more abundant and just more clear.
So if you’ve failed, it’s okay. If you’re going through failure right now in a business, or you’ve failed in an endeavor, you failed at school – it does not matter. It does not matter. Let me tell you right now, it does not matter. The most famous people in the world have failed the most times. Go out there and Google “failure stories,” “failure lessons,” or “famous people who have failed,” or, “famous failures.”
Anything like that, and you will see a whole slew of some of the most famous people that you know who have failed repeatedly and have come from some of the most oppressed and scarcity filled backgrounds that you can possibly ever imagine. People like Jim Carrey for example. Jim Carrey, we all know Jim Carrey. Jim Carrey’s one of the most talented comics in the world. If you’ve Googled anything about Jim Carrey, you also know that he famously carried around a check in his pocket that he wrote to himself for 10 million dollars.
That was for the whole law of attraction thing that many people are drawn towards. But he carried that check around with him for 10 years, and he actually dated it with a real date. Before that date, he was able to cash that check, which is absolutely extraordinary. He’s talked a lot about it. Google “Jim Carrey law of attraction.”
So Jim Carrey, as you all know is a very, very famous comedian. But he didn’t start out that way. His family was actually really poor. Jim Carrey’s Canadian if you didn’t know that. He grew up around in the suburbs of Toronto. He was actually working multiple jobs, he was even a janitor for a while after he dropped out of high school at the age of 15 – just to help support his family, which is crazy to me.
Then in – circa 1980, he went to Yuk Yuk’s, which is like a comedy club in Toronto, and he was booed off stage. He was booed off stage. This is one of the most successful comedians in the world. But he kept at it. He wrote that check to himself, and he kept it in his wallet for 7 years. He was able to cash it. It was like right before he got his payment for Dumb and Dumber. That was pretty incredible.
Katy Perry’s another person you guys might already know. Katy Perry overcame failure. She recovered from failure. In 1999, she went to go pursue singing. She started with a gospel album, and that was a really, really unsuccessful album. I think it sold like 200 copies or something like that? But more so because that record company went out of business. It was just poor timing for Katy Perry. That was 2 years after she had moved to LA to pursue her acting– Sorry, to pursue her music career.
So in 2003, she was signed with Island Def Jam. That contract was also terminated. So can you imagine, like the string of problems and problems after problems and failures after failures? Imagine if Katy Perry had given up? Even the next one, when she signed with Columbia Records in 2004. So this is five years after she decided to pursue singing as a career. Five years after. So she signed with another record label, Columbia Records – and that deal fell through, and Columbia Records shelved it – and it was about 80% done.
So like imagine three labels drop you. This is like five years in, going on her sixth year into her career, and decided to move out to LA. How many people would actually give up – let me just ask you that – how many people would actually give up after one rejection, after one failure? She kept at it. So she kept at it, she kept going, she kept pursuing, she kept networking, she kept trying to meet the right people. Finally in 2006, newly formed Capital Music Group took her on, and the single, “I Kissed a Girl,” as many of you probably already know, was a huge hit.
Oprah Winfrey was another one. Everyone knows Oprah Winfrey. She’s the Queen of Talk. Queen of Talk Show. But did you know that back when Oprah Winfrey was working for a local television station, she was fired because she was unfit for television. Did you hear me? She was fired because she was unfit for television. This is Oprah Winfrey we’re talking about. Oprah Winfrey grew up in a very, very poor environment. She had a low income mother.
She just went through a very, very tough period. She was sexually abused – on her own accounts. When she was 14, she gave birth. She got pregnant, and she gave birth to her son, who shortly died after birth. Which is really, really heartbreaking. But of all the things where Oprah Winfrey came from, she could’ve easily quit. She could’ve easily given up. But she didn’t, right? She kept going. She kept pursing her dreams.
It doesn’t matter if you have failed in business. It doesn’t matter if you have failed in school. It doesn’t matter if you have failed at any endeavor. It doesn’t matter, you can overcome failure. It just takes you getting up the next day and being persistent, right? So you just cannot listen to other people around you.
I remember when I had failed and I was sitting in my mom’s spare room, and when she came in and she said to me, “Maybe you should just get a real job.” I can’t tell you how much that hurt. But that also kind of fueled me, and that also kind of inspired me – to move me forward. I wasn’t going to give up, right? But her saying that, it’s almost like right then and there – like maybe I questioned it, right? Maybe I should give up, maybe I am not good enough? The most successful people on this planet, the most successful people in business have gone through big failures just like that. Everybody that you know.
JK Rowling, who is the famous author of Harry Potter, as may of you already know. She went through one of the most brutal early adult lives that anyone can go through. She was even on Assisted Living. The government was paying– She was basically on welfare, right? So the government was assisting her to live. She had a daughter. Her mother died from Multiple Sclerosis. She moved to Portugal to teach English, where she met a man. That was a disaster, it ended in divorce. But she had a daughter, so she’s very grateful for that still.
She started writing Harry Potter over a course of 10 years. She was jobless, divorced, she didn’t have a penny to her name. Literally, when she finished that manuscript 10 years after starting it, every single major publisher rejected it. Can you imagine that? Every single major publisher rejected the Harry Potter script. To me, that’s crazy. She didn’t stop. She didn’t give up, right?
Hundreds and hundreds of millions of copies of her books have been sold, making her a billionaire. Imagine going from being on welfare, Assisted Living. Having all of these people around you, having absolutely no luck. No opportunity basically around you, but still going and pushing and pushing and pushing, right? That is how we succeed, that is how we win.
Stephen King, also another guy – he got rejected 30 times in his first novel, “Carrie.” It got rejected 30 times. His wife had to take the manuscript out of the trash and give it back to him, saying, “You are not giving up. You are not giving up,” right? He’s also done over 50 novels. Hundreds of millions of copies of his work has been sold. Stephen King is a legend. But he could’ve given up. He failed, right? So many people told him, “No.” Imagine going through 30– 30 times publishers telling you, “No, your work sucks, you will not succeed.” Imagine that, okay?
Imagine that the next time you second guess yourself, the next time you doubt yourself. Just imagine that, right? Imagine that. That is just crazy. So you cannot give up. You have to overcome failure. Failure is not the end of the road. It is not the end of the road.
I’ve talked about Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of KFC was 62 years old with $105 social security check in his pocket, and that was it. 1009 times he failed trying to pitch that chicken recipe. 1009 times. Imagine going from place to place with the same enthusiasm with 1000 times? Most people won’t even do it 100 times, let alone 10 times. 1009 times.
So that is really, really important, right? So when you think about failure, when you think about those things – think about that. Think about Walt Disney. Think about Walt Disney who went bankrupt in business. Think about that. Think about him pushing forward and continuing through. Through bankruptcy, through everyone telling him that he was nothing, he was a failure, right? He moved to Hollywood and he had nothing, right? Imagine that.
Using your mind to overcome, it’s all in the mindset, right? Nothing to do with anything else. It’s in the mindset. Many people have blazed a trail before you, all you have to do is believe in yourself and never give up. That’s how you overcome failure. Failure is okay, failure – embrace it. Accept it, love it, right? Because as you’re drudging through that failure, it’s going to make you so much better in life, I assure you. I assure you. If you do not give up, the most extraordinary things will happen in your life. Things that you cannot even believe would ever have happened to you will happen.
So that’s what I have for you today. So hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode. I hope that you found some value from it. Again, if you like this podcast, please like it, share it, comment it, and subscribe to it on iTunes. Until next time, I will talk to you guys soon.