Courageous Little Steps
Finding Success – After 300 Rejections!
Jay and Karen discuss the value of perseverance and the faith needed to keep taking little steps forward, one after another.
Success takes perseverance, belief and the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Little steps – one at time. Often feeling as though you are making no progress at all. But, you just keeping pushing ahead. As Steve Jobs once said, the path to success looks so obvious when you look backward and connect the dots. However, it takes a special kind of faith to persist – step after step – when you are trekking forward on that uncertain journey. Especially, if you have met with stone-cold rejection on 300 attempts in a row.
But, that’s the true story of a man, starting out in 1919, following the end of World War I. This young man from Chicago had just returned home from his post as an ambulance operator and began searching the classifieds for work opportunities. He came across a job in Kansas City as an illustrator and apprentice at a commercial arts studio. After only a year on the job, the company began losing revenue and was forced to lay off the young man. Having always wanted to start his own company, he remained undeterred, enlisting the help of his brother to launch their own cartoon business. The company saw success early, but hardly enough revenue to keep the lights on and eventually, they declared bankruptcy and closed shop. It was a heartbreaking moment, one that almost convinced him he didn’t have what it took to be successful in business. Once again though, he chose to remain steadfast, moving to California with only $40 to his name to try his hand in the budding motion picture industry.
After a few months of little success and living off inconsistent income, he finally came upon a producer who liked his work and hired him. With his brother in tow, they started their own production company to meet the demands of their new business partner. It would later turn out, on a visit to New York to renegotiate his contract, that the producer not only convinced the majority of the young man’s employees to come work for him directly but had also sold the rights to one of their best-selling characters to a rival studio. It was yet another setback that had him questioning not only his talents as an illustrator, but his acumen as a businessman. Instead of fighting the loss, and now rid of the constraints of his old contract, he decided it was an opportunity once again to start fresh, while also learning a valuable lesson in trust. On the train ride back to California, he drafted idea after idea for new characters, but one stuck out from the rest, a curious little mouse. The young man pitched the mouse, named ‘Mickey’ to bank after bank, attempting to use the laurels of a character he no longer owned to help finance new short motion pictures featuring a new unproven one. Over 300 banks said no to Mickey Mouse. Considering a move back to Kansas City, he received a call from one courageous banker who said he enjoyed what he’d seen and was willing to take a risk on this unproven character and this up and coming illustrator, Walt Disney. Five years after losing his entire design team to his own business partner, Walt Disney would go on to win two Oscars during what were the beginnings of the now famed Walt Disney Studios.
“When you go to bat as many times as I do, you’re bound to get a good average.”, Walt Disney once said. He understood very well that sometimes in life, we don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we respond to it. By choosing to embrace the imperfect, seeing it not through a vindictive lens or feeling as if we’re the victim of someone's misgivings, and instead as a learning experience, we present ourselves with more opportunities on the other side. Little by little, we are still able to make the progress we seek by choosing to respond positively to a negative situation. With all that’s happening in the world today, you’d be excused if you felt like trying to find the silver lining of it all was a futile exercise. That’s the thing though. In a world where much is out of our control, why wouldn’t we take ownership over what we can? Just think, had Walt Disney not done so, the world may have never been able to experience the magic he brought to the world.
Embracing the Winter - Snowmobiling in NH
The winter months in New Hampshire should never just be about staying indoors and sipping hot chocolate, even as enjoyable as that can be. You’d be missing out on a thrilling set of opportunities – and none more exhilarating than snowmobiling!
There are 7,000 miles of snowmobile trails in the Live Free or Die State. In fact, someone could hop on their sled at the Massachusetts border and ride it right up to the tip of New Hampshire and arrive at the Canadian border. The ability to do such a thing and take in the majestic views of the mountain ranges and other wonder sites across the Granite State, is made possible through both state and private owned land. This valuable relationship allows for the nearly 45,000 registered snowmobiles in New Hampshire to be put to test for some good old fashion riding.
This is all made possible thanks to the efforts of the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association – a great organization, responsible for organizing the hard work that goes into maintaining the trails. With over 100 clubs across the state, members maintain, map and mark a system of trails for riders to enjoy. That alone is a huge undertaking, and working alongside New Hampshire Fish and Game, our trails are top notch and an annual destination for avid snowmobilers to come and visit.
But the trails maintenance and safety plan execution isn’t the only thing members of the Snowmobile Association accomplish year after year.
Since 1972, members of the association have played an active role in raising over $3.5 million for Camp SnowMo, an Easter Seals run summer camp for children with disabilities. Year after year, riders come together to make a difference and the impact has been nothing short of remarkable. In addition to their annual ride in to support Easter Seals, the association and its members give out textbook scholarships for students. And in some ways most exciting, a truly great American pastime is the Grass Drags. This springtime event brings record breaking speed enthusiasts together from across the country for an action-packed weekend which includes pond racing, hill climbs, and much more. Now keep in mind this is all run by volunteers, with all proceeds raised going to help execute their trail development plan and other community action programs that help make meaningful, positive change in our communities.
So, if you're not skiing or ice skating, and want to take part in a winter thrill experience, consider snowmobiling. You can easily find guided tours available throughout New Hampshire to let you experience a great winter first-hand! I invite you to learn more about snowmobiling and ways you and your company can become a part of the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association by visiting www.nhsa.com.
Colebrook – Great Small Town of the North Country
We love Colebrook! This friendly town of 2,300 people is located in Coös County in New Hampshire’s mighty North Country, along the Vermont border. Founded in the late 1700’s, Colebrook was a farming town that produced at one point, one third of the potatoes in the state. When we compare that to the country at the time, the little town of Colebrook was producing one twentieth of all the potatoes and starch in the entire country. The town was known for its Potato whisky, which it happily exported to Maine.
As times progressed and other more suitable farmland was developed across the country, Colebrook turned towards dairy production and of course logging. One of the town’s most famous residents was the Native American, Metallak, who was the last living member of the Arosaguntacook. It is said that he helped tame the area and reportedly died at the age of 120 years old.
Today, Colebrook is a get-away for many people looking to vacation and escape city life with lines of sight to Dixville Notch, the location of the world-renowned midnight voting – first in the nation voting in Presidential elections. It also serves as the banking and business capital of the region and continues the small-town New England tradition of having a close-knit community with many old churches still active and thriving today! Colebrook embodies so much of what is good in our great state and country!
Positive Profile of the Week: Bryan Gould
This week’s profile highlights a dear friend, trusted advisor and selfless contributor to the common good – Bryan Gould. Most of all, a true gentleman of the highest integrity and intellect.
Bryan is an attorney at Cleveland, Waters, and Bass located in Concord, New Hampshire. An expert in business law and committed to maintaining the integrity of our Constitution and system of laws.
I have known Bryan for more than twenty years, as he has dedicated his time to the community. Especially, providing legal counsel to the State’s Republican Party – cycle after cycle. Not an easy or always popular task – but Bryan’s steady hand has helped guide the party successfully through many difficult situations. He has not only served as Merrimack County Chairman, but more recently – and quite deservedly - was unanimously elected Vice Chairman of the party by the nearly 500 voting members.
We love Bryan’s keen mind and his steadfast commitment to principle and reason. The Granite State is indeed fortunate to have Bryan as a leading legal expert – and we are all grateful to know Bryan as a friend and highly respected member of our community. They don’t come any finer than Bryan Gould!
Quotes of the Week: Little Steps
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
“Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete.”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
“Peace is a journey of a thousand miles, and it must be taken one step at a time.”
Lyndon B. Johnson