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“I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed. And the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep trying.” Champion Creed, Tom Hopkins
Tom Hopkins is a world-class salesman who’s devoted much of his time and energy to helping other salesmen build their self-esteem and find the resilience to bounce back from failure – again and again. Rejection – it’s part of the salesman’s territory just as it is for us as writers. So there’s a lot we can learn from a pro like Tom Hopkins about pushing past obstacles.
Tom never finished college and he struggled with self-image issues. Here’s how he describes this hope he overcame them: “The encouragement to keep working at it had to come from within. I started writing down what I would like to hear a mentor or coach say to me in order to stay motivated on those days when everything I touched turned to something other than gold. The words I used and have taught my students since one of my first training events in 1974 are these:
“I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed. And the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep trying.” You can go to Tom’s website for a pdf of his “Champion Creed” if you find it inspiring (http://www.tomhopkins.com/pdf/PrintChampionCreed.pdf).
“Winners lose more than losers lose” – that’s how my good friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert sums up what Tom is saying.* Rob also notes that in baseball, Pete Rose set the major league record for the most hits, but before that he also set the record for the most outs. Legendary pitcher Cy Young holds the record for the most number of games won in a career, but he also holds the record for the most number of games lost. And Babe Ruth? For many years, he held the record for home runs, but he also had the most strike outs.
As writers, we too, have to struggle with motivating ourselves and staying strong in the face of rejection until we succeed. Let’s take a tip from Tom and keep going! Write on!