A Toast to Tenacity by financial literacy expert, author and lecturer Narcisse Dargenson
In the pursuit of wealth one may find many obstacles that will keep them from accomplishing their goals. For many would be business owners these obstacles include financing, execution and marketing. However another major obstacle that stands in the way for many people is negativity. It appears every time one has a dream or a goal that is outside the box of the norm one is faced with an onset of negativity. The negativity of people who don’t believe in your vision or don’t think it can come to pass. The negativity comes in the form of comments like “you can’t do that” or the famous two letter word “no”.
The negativity can come from friends, family, executives, etc. The negativity is extremely hurtful when it comes from people that are close like friends and family. Yet one has no other choice but to keep going, keep trying and keep building towards your dreams. The interesting thing about our society is that it tends to be negative. Instead of encouraging dreams and ideas many people put them down. In some cases the negativity is a secret twisted form of envy. The person that is telling you no, is secretly afraid or your gifts and potential. Many people are so insecure that they hurt other people’s ideas because they are afraid of being left behind. Some of the art and creativity we enjoy today would never have been a reality if negative people got their way. Many of the best businesses and success stories were the result of people who kept their dreams alive and never gave up on their passions.
“Tenacity (noun): the quality or state of being tenacious”. They Told Them No!
Some of the gate keepers of creativity could not recognize it even if it slapped them in the face. Ms. Rowling was a teacher and worked for Amnesty International before she decided to write her firstbook. It was during her train ride back and forth from Manchester to London that the idea came about for her first book Harry Potter ‘Philosopher’s Stone’. None of the original 12 publishers thought her creative expression would be worth anything. If she stopped after the 5th rejection she would never have become successful. According to J.K. Rowling “A lot of people didn’t want it,” Rowling said. “A lot… and for some reason, I was even quite pleased at the rejection letters – F. Scott Fitzergerald got rejection letters, it’s part of being a writer.” In spite of going through a difficult time in her life, Rowling persisted with the story. “I did really believe in it… I just had faith in the story. ”She had tenacity. Finally her manuscript was accepted by Bloomsbury Publishing. The Harry Potter series made Ms. Rowling a billionaire! She went from being told no to becoming a billionaire. She is the only author in history to ever become a billionaire.
“Tenacious (adjective): persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired”
The year was 1996 and a young Brooklyn rapper named Shawn Carter was introduced to the hip hop seen. What made Mr. Carter different than other rappers was the way he came into the hip hop industry. Mr. Carter better known as Jay-Z was in his mid-twenties at the time. During that time A&Rs and record executives passed him over because they felt he was too old for music. Record label after record label passed him over. Jay-Z did not let the executives stop his vision but kept trying and pushing. He ended up taking matters in his own hands and started his own independent record label. He created Roc-a-Fella records with two other partners Damon Dash and Kareem Burke. Fast forward to the future Jay-Z is one of the most successful rappers in history. He has over $45 million in album sales and has used that to influence and build a marketing, publishing and clothing empire. Imagine what would have happened if he listen to the creative gate keepers? “Knew if I paid my dues, how will they pay you,/ When you first come in the game, they try to play you/Then you drop a couple of hits, look how they wave to you”- Jay-Z. Keep Trying.
There are times when your dreams seem impossible but you must continue. Obstacles that come in your way are only there to make you stronger. One must continue to fight and try to accomplish their dream. One can always take a break from the stress of pursuing one’s dream but never give up. The alternative is a normal mediocre life that you will soon regret. Some people are built for the mandate 9 to 5 corporate life. While other people loath such an idea. One must search deep in their hearts to find out who they are. Are you different? Do you have dreams of having your own and being your own boss? If your dream is to be independent than keep trying!
Author: Narcisse Dargenson