Mindset Mastery 190 – A Broadway Success

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!

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
Aussie Internet Marketer © 2004 – 2010

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. IO enjoyed this read, it gives you that extra ambition to succeed. you know you will do so long as you continue to believe and be passionate about what you are doing.
    .-= Richard Colum´s last blog ..Investors are Driving the Real Estate Market =-.

  2. The message from Napoleon Hill is consistent. “If you want to be successful you must be persistent.” Talent & intelligence are important, but without persistence, you’ll disappear off the radar screen.
    .-= Gary Birch´s last blog ..Cognitive Benefits of Second Language Learning =-.

  3. dennis carr says:

    I am almost certain that Fannie Hurst and John Grisham must have changed their tact fractionally along the way.It’s like that old saying about the fly trying to get out of a room and keeps hitting the window.The fly will not get out until it changes it’s approach.Persistence is very important yet very hard to maintain when continually failing.dennis carr

  4. Hi Sean
    Persistence to me is important, without it i would not be writing this today, if I think I might be stumbling a little, then its time to reassess things and try a new approach, but give up… NEVER !!!

  5. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,

    These are incredible stories of persistence. It just shows that you have to go after what you want and persist until you make the universe give you what you want.

    I heard just the other day that David Beckham was told when he was 12 that he’d never play football for England because he was too small physically. It’s a good thing for us that he persisted until he fulfilled his dream.

    Rita’s so right. Never give up.

  6. One of my favourite quotes is “Quitters never win and Winners never quit”. I might have even read it somewhere on your blog 😉
    But it brings it all back to that point – you don’t justs “get lucky” but you make your luck by persisting. And the more you believe in your dream the easier that is.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Self Improvement – 25 Self Motivation Quotes =-.

  7. Phil Browne says:

    This reminds me of something that happened to me a while ago okay a long while ago
    .I was trying at the time to get a job at the Department of
    Main Roads which is now the Roads and Traffic Authority a mate laughed when I told him about my plans as you needed to have a relative or know someone to get a job there.I decide that no matter what I was going to be employed by these people.I thought up a plan what I would do is knock on the timekeepers window EVERY morning until they gave me a job so every morning I walked up to the window and asked if the had any work going after 6mths doing this guess what the gave me a job.

    • G’day Sean,
      Good old persistence ! Seems to be the most important element of the success formula in my opinion. When one persists, one doesn’t suffer evils like procrastination, time wasting, or ” It’s Too Difficult ” syndrome.

      Winston Churchill is reputed to have loved persistence and when invited to speak to a graduating class at Oxford University, waited for respectful silence, drew a deep breathe and said ” NEVER EVER GIVE UP,”” NEVER EVER GIVE UP,”” NEVER EVER GIVE UP,”” NEVER EVER GIVE UP,”” NEVER EVER GIVE UP,”” NEVER EVER GIVE UP.” And then he left the room !
      Good Point, eh ?

    • G’day Phil,
      What a great story ! I love it ! Reminds me of myself when in the early 1960’s I moved from the country to Melbourne to pursue my music career, and had severe difficulty getting any jobs, casual or permanent.

      A trumpeter I worked with suggested a similar approach to the one you tried, so every Monday and Tuesday morning at 9.15 I phoned the Musicians Union organiser, Fred, asking for jobs for the following week. At first, he would find one job per 2 or 3 weeks, but as I PERSISTED with the phone call at the same time every week without fail, my number of jobs increase rapidly.

      After a few months I was getting as many jobs as the best players, more from PERSISTENCE than talent, I think, although being exposed to some really good musicians did my playing a world of good. After several months of doing this Fred found me my first 6 nights per week job in a classy hotel, so that was the end of 9.15 Mon / Tue routine for a year. When the regular job finished, guess what ? Back to the old routine. And it still worked. Blessings to Fred !

      .-= Harry Lynn´s last blog ..MY EIGHTH STEP TO PROSPERITY =-.

      • Cathy Howitt says:

        Harry, your post was very inspiring. Certainly a fantastic story of perseverance and you achieved your dreams (where many others would have failed). I’m going to read this to my kids.

  8. Thanks Sean I really love these inspirational stories,

    If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again! Cultivating a habit of persistence sounds like the way to get to the top. I can tell that even just persisting through these blog posts is going to pay off in the long run! : )

    • Hi Jeremy,

      If you persist all the way through Sean’s blog posts you’ll find that there’s gold in these here posts. There is so much great information. The Mindset Mastery series will change your life. 🙂

      So, be persistent. You’ll be glad you did.
      .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Finding Your Passion =-.

  9. Cathy Howitt says:

    A broadway success can epitomise any part of our lives, that’s what makes this blog so inspiring. I love the fact that Fannie Hurst didn’t listen to naysayers, that she had an unwavering belief in herself and that she persisted even when others would have given up.

    I am going to stick the following saying up on my mirror to remind me everyday that
    “Cultivating the habit of persistence is my insurance policy against failure.”


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