Are You Like This Person?

You never know what’s around the bend waiting for you. And you’ll never find out unless you believe in yourself enough to persevere through all the challenges and walk away from all the neigh sayers. What would the world be like if these people had stopped when someone told them no?

  1. This person entered the John Murray Anderson Drama School in hopes of becoming an actress. The head instructor told her, ‘Try any other profession. Any other.” (Hint: A Comedienne known for her flaming red hair)

  2. This person contacted the Blue Book Modeling Agency with the hopes of becoming a model. The director [Emmeline Snively] said she didn’t have a chance in this industry. “Learn secretarial work or else get married.” (Hint: Known for her performance as Sugar in Some Like It Hot)

  3. This person quit a job as a truck driver. He was fired at the Grand Ole Opry after only one performance. The Opry manager said, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” (Known for shaking his hips too energetically)

  4. This person auditioned for the American Negro Theatre in NYC. He was told, “You just get out of here and stop wasting people’s time. Go get a job you can handle. Get yourself a job as a dishwasher or something. (Known for being the surprise guest in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner)

  5. This band auditioned for the Decca Recording Company. The executives turned them down, saying, “We don’t like your sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out.” (Hint: All they ever really wanted to do was to hold your hand)

When you are faced with adversity, can you rise above it? When someone tells you ‘No,’ do you immediately say ‘Next?’ The only way to reach your goals or dreams is to start down the path with that first step. As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Be the person who continues to shoot until you hit the target.


1: Lucile Ball.  2. Marilyn Monroe.  3. Elvis Presley.  4. Sidney Poitier.  5. The Beatles.

Phillip J Martin

Exploring the Power of People

You succeed by choice, not chance.
Every decision you make shapes your future

Phil is a published playwright and song writer and an award-winning television writer for the Nashville Now show on TNN. He has spent 30 years as a college professor, most recently in the Department of Theatre Arts at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. He has presented at colleges, universities, conventions and symposiums across the country. In addition to writing 13 musicals, Phil has written two books: Play Hard-Have Fun: A Philosophy for Life and the soon-to-be completed Take the Stage: Leadership Lesson from Theatre. Phil believes that achieving personal and professional success requires the challenge of creative and innovative thinking, that you succeed by choice, not chance.

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