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The Achiever Newsletter
When the Going Gets Tough
Reading has been a life-long passion and great inspiration for me. I
credit a loving grandfather for introducing me to the value and pleasure
of a good book. "Gramps" introduced me to the inspiring "rags-to-riches"
works of Horatio Alger. To this day, I treasure a good story of anyone
who overcomes obstacles and barriers to reach great heights of success
There is much to be learned from observing the efforts of others as they
strive to succeed. Over the years, I've compiled a number of short anecdotes
that have provided inspiration and motivation in times of need. In the
coming months, I'd like to share a sampling of these narratives in hopes
that you, too, will find them inspiring. Be certain to check back on this
column from time to time as we continue to add anecdotes to this growing
collection of stimulating observations.
Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton is remembered for his explanation of the Law of
Gravity. Newton said that for every action, there is an equal but
opposite reaction. Some people who have suffered the most from life
are the same ones who rise the highest. They find ways to take energy
from obstacles. Newton, by the way, began as a poor farm boy whose
father died before he was born and whose mother raised him on a
total income of $400 a year.
The 15th of 17 children of a poor candlemaker, he had only one
year of schooling. Therefore, he taught himself four languages,
science, finance, politics, the classics, and how to write for publication.
He went on to become a best educated and world famous inventor,
diplomat, and author ... Benjamin Franklin.
Babe Ruth is remembered as the "Home Run King." He was also the
"Strike-Out Champion," having failed at bat 1,330 times, more than
any other player in the major leagues at that time.
In 1927, the head of a drama school advised Lucille Ball to try
another profession because she would never make it as an actress.
She went on to have a history-making television series and eventually
owned her own movie and television studio.
In 1962, an executive of Decca Records made the following statement
about a singing group: "We don't like their sound. Besides, groups
playing guitars are on the way out anyway." He was talking about
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, co-authors of the world renowned
Chicken Soup for the Soul® book
series, were turned down by 33 of New York's biggest publishing
houses in the first month of their efforts to promote their labor
of love! They heard, "Anthologies don't sell." "We
don't think there is a market for this book." "We just
don't get it." "The book is too positive." "It's
not topical enough." All totaled, they were rejected by 140
publishers. To top it off, their agent said, "I can't sell
this book I'm giving it back to you guys."
They finally found someone willing to take a risk on their project,
Peter Vegso, President of Health Communications, Inc. The first
books were published on June 28, 1993, and had become a Christmas
favorite by the end of December. Word of mouth soon led to a groundswell
of popularity. To meet the demand, the publisher had to subcontract
With over 60 million copies sold to date, 48 titles in print in
the United States and translations in over 30 languages, Chicken
Soup for the Soul® has made international
publishing history. At one time or another there have been at least
eight Chicken Soup for the Soul® titles
simultaneously in the top fifty on the USA Today best-selling
books list. Jack and Mark hold the record in The Guinness Book
of World Records for having the most books on the New York
Times bestseller list at one time; seven books on May 24, 1998.
Publication Date: Fall 2001
K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®,
Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars,
and consulting services.
Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer
For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629
or fill out our contact