Never Give Up

Hey just released the 67 steps to finding health, wealth, love, and happiness.

When you were fourteen years old what did you dream you would do with your life?

I wanted to own an NBA basketball team and travel the world doing public speaking. Life has a mind of its own though.

If you are not careful it grinds down most of your dreams.

I think it’s because we all basically give up too easily.

We try once or twice when we are young and innocent, fail and then spend the rest of our lives fearing a repeat of that failure.

We get older and set up our lives in a nice little secure box.

We fail ironically enough, because we fear failure.

Today’s book of the day is “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead” by Jerry Weintraub.

When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead

This is a book about the life of a man who didn’t fail. He was rejected. But in the end he didn’t fail – he actually pulled off his childhood dreams (how many people can honestly say that).

I like books with this theme. They stretch my brain and build my courage.

I believe that success is not really learned. It rubs off on you. Mostly from being around mentors 20 years ahead of you (and the easiest way to find an amazing mentor is by reading about their life with a $10 book like this one).

Jerry was born in New york in the 1930’s. From a young age, five or six, after seeing a Hollywood movie he decided he would be in the entertainment business.

My favorite story in the book is how he actually pulled it off because making it in Hollywood isn’t for the faint of heart.

Skip to when he was 26 years old. He was married, still living in New York, a nobody in the industry, and broke ($60,000 in debt and that’s in the 1950’s so that’s a lot worse in today’s dollars).

But one morning he woke up from a dream and told his wife “I have decided I’m going to take Elvis Presley out on tour.”

Now remember at this time Elvis was literally the biggest name in the world. He was like Bono and Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga all rolled into one. And Jerry was just starting out, a broke kid with big ambitions, no money, and no connections.

But he had done his research about “The Colonel”, Elvis’s manager, and found the Colonel’s home phone number.

He had also read that the Colonel was an early riser. So Jerry picked up the phone and called Elvis’s manager at 6 am.

The manager answered and said “Who are you” and hung up.

Here is where most of us would have given up.

But Jerry was on a mission.

He called for 365 days in a row. Every time with the same result – the Colonel hanging up. I’m not religious but this reminds me of the parable of the persistent widow:

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!'”

Jerry was like that persistent widow and almost exactly one year later, after having called each morning for a year, the Colonel answered and said “Jerry, you finally want to take my boy Elvis out on the road?”

The Colonel said to bring a check for $1 million dollars to a hotel in Vegas the next morning by 11am or Jerry would lose his one chance.

This presented a whole new set of problems. One, Jerry was broke and in debt. Two, this was the 1950’s, a million dollars was a lot of money. Three, Jerry lived in California not Vegas.

But Jerry was fearless. He got on the phone and spent the whole night calling everyone he knew and any lead he could get his hands on.

Amazingly he found a radio station owner near Seattle who was a huge Elvis fan to front Jerry the money. The guy literally wired $1 million to Jerry without even seeing him in person (the moral of that story is ask enough people for something outrageous and someone will probably do it).

Jerry jumped on a plane to Vegas, went to the bank to get the check made out to “Elvis Presley” and ran across the street to the hotel where Elvis and the colonel were staying.

Jerry handed the Colonel the check and they just shook hands on it. No contract, nothing. They could have screwed Jerry, but they kept their word and that year Jerry took Elvis out on a national tour that turned Jerry into one of the most powerful people in showbiz.

He ended up making something like…

never give up, childhood dreams, your dreams, most of your dreams

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