200: 2: 1
Desert Island Discs (my favourite podcast of all time) just had Hugh Bonneville as the guest.
Hugh plays Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey, and he also played the bumbling but sincere Bernie in Notting Hill alongside Julia Roberts.
He’s a self deprecating, shy sort of fellow.
When asked about how he got his career off the ground he said something really interesting.
He said he realised he was going to have to take the initiative, because it was very unlikely he was going to just be discovered. He had to reach out and campaign to get acting roles.
So he hand wrote 200 letters.
He received replies from 2.
And he got 1 of the roles.
For a self effacing person who apparently feels a bit like he’s not doing something terribly robust and worthwhile (‘I prance around in tights’) he took so much more action than many of his peers.
He got 198 ‘Nos’.
Or maybe no reply is worse than No?
Whichever, that’s a lot of rejection.
Looking into what successful people have climbed over to get to where they are is one of my favourite pastimes.
That’s why I wrote The Networker – to follow Sally into and over those obstacles we all face when we’re building a business. With that book I wanted to open a window onto the insides of what it takes to succeed.
Successful people don’t have special bullets. They face the same stuff you and I are facing right now. They have all the same reasons not to try.
So if it’s not just green lights and fairy dust that creates the breakthroughs, what do you think makes the difference between tenacity and giving up?
See you on the road,