The “Graveyard of Dead Hopes” and the “Front Porch of Opportunity” is what Napoleon Hill called Broadway. Here is an example of just what he meant by that.
The Secret…Of Broadway
The secret is told in the struggle of Fannie Hurst, whose persistence conquered the Great White Way. She came to New York in 1915, to convert writing into riches. The conversion did not come quickly, but it came. For four years Miss Hurst learned about “The Sidewalks of New York” from first hand experience. She spent her days laboring, and her nights hoping. When hope grew dim, she did not say, “Alright Broadway, you win!” She said, “Very well, Broadway, you may whip some, but not me. I’m going to force you to give up.”
One publisher (The Saturday Evening Post) sent her thirty six rejection slips, before she “broke the ice and got a story across. The average writer, like the “average” in other walks of life, would have given up the job when the first rejection slip came. She pounded the pavements for four years to the tune of the publisher’s “no,” because she was determined to win.
Tried And Tested
Then came the “payoff.” The spell had been broken, the unseen Guide had tested Fannie Hurst, and she could take it. From that time on publishers made a beaten path to her door. Money came so fast she hardly had time to count it. Then the movie industry discovered her, and money came not in small change, but in floods. The movie rights to one of her novels, “Great Laughter,” brought $100,000.00, said to be the highest price ever paid for a story before publication at that time. Her royalties from the sale of the book probably will run much more.
A Modern Example
Her story is not so unlike that of today’s famous best-selling author John Grisham. Grisham, originally a lawyer by trade, spent three years writing his first novel, A Time to Kill, only to have it rejected by publishers time and again. But Grisham’s dedication to his work, and his persistence finally paid off when the book was picked up by Wynwood Press. Wynwood published only 5,000 copies of A Time to Kill originally, and that, too, might have been enough to discourage a budding writer’s career, especially on the heals of multiple rejections; however, Grisham again persisted and wrote his second novel, the breakout best seller The Firm. Today, John Grisham has more than six million copies of his books in print worldwide, a number of which have been made into box-office movie hits.
Here in the stories of Fannie Hurst and John Grisham you have clear description of what persistence is capable of achieving. Neither Fannie Hurst nor John Grisham are exceptions. Wherever men and women accumulate great wealth, you can be sure they first acquired persistence. Broadway and Hollywood will give any beggar a cup of coffee and a sandwich, but it demands persistence of those who go after the big stakes.
First Things First
Cultivating the habit of persistence is what Napoleon Hill considered your insurance policy against failure. Your best and most direct path to success is to cultivate that habit – that character trait – now, so that it can serve you sooner rather than later. Take a listen, insure yourself against failure, and take the most direct path to success that is available to you!
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