Traits of the Rich & Free #3… Belief

June 11, 2010Post by Laura Humphreys

Here’s a principle of life…You will not succeed unless you believe you will. It’s true of any person who achieves the highest success in their chosen field – be it business, sports, the arts, music, whatever – the people reach the top are the ones who believed in themselves enough to put their neck on the line. I love hearing the story of Sylvestor Stallone, the struggling actor who wrote a screenplay called Rocky and then took it all around Los Angeles looking for a production house to buy it. No one would. He had to sell his dog to pay his rent. Then one film company offered him something like US$250,000 for the rights to the movie. However, they didn’t want him to play the lead role, which was one of his criteria for the sale of the script. Imagine that, you are so poor that you have to sell you own dog and then someone offers you a quarter of a million dollars for a script you have written. How many of us would take that offer? So what if you don’t play the lead role. It’s still a lot of money. But not Sly. He said no. He would only sell the rights to his screenplay if he could play Rocky. He held out. And the rest is history. Of course eventually someone saw the potential of him and his script and bought the whole package, including royalties on ticket sales of the movies and the rights to all sequels. The moral of the story is clear. He believed in himself and his belief allowed him to go from potentially a one hit/one script wonder to one of the leading stars in Hollywood. His dog? He bought it back of course, no doubt for considerably more than he paid for it.

And so my number 3 trait of the Rich & Free is ‘belief’. To successfully build a business that you can ultimately retire on, you are going to have to believe in yourself. You have to put a big hairy goal out there (more on that in the next trait) and then believe that you can really achieve it. You have to back your own ability to pull it off, even when the going gets tough. There is not a successful business person you could name that has not been through doubts, has not had tough times, encountered stress and had their commitment challenged. It’s your ability to allow your belief in yourself, your business, your product and your talent to overcome the doubts that will ultimately define how successful you will be in business.