On those occasions when you’re tempted to think “It’s hopeless! I’ve tried everything! It can’t be done! I’ll never make it!”, it’s timely to think of Colonel Sanders of finger-lickin’ chicken fame (KFC).
Have you ever wondered how someone like the Colonel did so well? Was he born wealthy? Did success simply fall into his lap? No, it was actually just the opposite. Colonel Sanders didn’t start dreaming his big dream until he was 65! He was broke. He was alone and he was unemployed. But instead of blaming his parents or circumstances he had a moment of clarity “There’s gotta be something I can do to make a living.”
The only thing he could think of was his home-cooked chicken with its secret recipe of herbs’n’spices. Friends had told him it was finger-lickin good! “Maybe I could show a restaurant how to cook it?” he thought. “And if their business improves, maybe they could pay me.” So he cooked up some chicken samples and went knocking on restaurant doors.
The restaurateurs laughed in his face, claimed they were too busy, told him to go away. But Colonel Sanders did not give up. Because he’d heard that “Winners aren’t those who never fail, but those who never QUIT.” Each time he got rejected he tried to learn from it so he could do better the next time round.
How many times do you think he heard the word NO before he finally got the answer he wanted? Not 10 times, not 20, not 100. No, Colonel Sanders knocked on 1009 restaurant doors before he heard his first yes. It took him two years, driving across America in his beat-up old car, sleeping on the back seat in his rumpled white suit. And often the only food he had to eat was the chicken samples he’d prepared the night before.
How many people would have kept going, putting up with 1009 no’s, refusing to quit? Most likely very few.
Today his legacy lives on. There are now more than 120,000 KFC outlets around the world in 118 countries, serving billions of the Colonel’s chicken meals every year.
In our efforts we may not have been rejected 1009 times but we may have lost count of the times we faced similar odds. Hopefully you kept going, and will keep on with your dreams, inspired by the faith and courage shown by Colonel Sanders.