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7 Life Lessons From Famous Billionaire/Millionaire Authors That’ll Motivate You To Kick Ass!

#3 Expect a Shit Sandwich

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Best-selling authors are the Michael Jordans of the writing world.

They’re superstars! But they only got there after countless failures, rejections, and years of learning and practice.

They’re the hardest workers in the room, and I find them inspirational and motivational! Not just for aspiring writers but anyone with a goal.

I won’t pretend to know it all; I don’t. I’m just someone who needs their daily dose of motivation, a daily kick in the butt, to keep moving forward.

Especially with the pandemic, lockdowns, and the mess the world is in, it wasn’t easy to remain motivated this past year.

What helped was learning from the best.

The following are just seven life lessons from some of the world’s greatest authors. They apply to everyone trying to achieve something.


You’ve Got To Do the Work

“You have to resign yourself to the fact that you waste a lot of trees before you write anything you really like, and that’s just the way it is. It’s like learning an instrument, you’ve got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot, cause I wrote an awful lot before I wrote anything I was really happy with.” J.K. Rowling

There’s no magic bullet. Mistakes and practice are your friends.

You won’t expect a baby to win the Super Bowl, so why do you expect to reach your goal without practice?

You earn your achievements. You earn your status. You are on a growth journey to reach your destination, and you continue growing to stay on top. It’s not a slot machine. You won’t win the jackpot after a couple of tries.

Practice makes perfect.


Don’t Take No for an Answer

“I started typing up stories on an old typewriter, and I started sending them to magazines. And I pounded a nail into the wall, and I’d get the rejection slips back and I would put them on that nail. And around the time I turned 17 or 18, the nail fell out of the wall because there were so many rejection slips on it, so I got a bigger nail. And if there’s any, any secret that I know to success it’s if you don’t succeed get a bigger nail.” Stephen King

King eventually started selling short stories to magazines, and the rest is history.

The minute you stop, you lose. If King stopped, he wouldn’t be the King we’ve come to know today.

Face rejection head-on. There’s no dignity in giving up.


Expect a Shit Sandwich

“Every pursuit, no matter how glamorous it may seem, no matter how exciting it feels to you, no matter how much you feel you were born to do it, comes with a Shit Sandwich. The question is not, what do I love? The question is, what do I love so much that I don’t mind eating that Shit Sandwich that comes along with that thing?” Elizabeth Gilbert

You will fail, and you’ll have to put up with a lot of shit sandwiches.

There’s no shortcut. There’s no way around it.

It’s like driving at night, in the middle of nowhere, when you suddenly hit a patch of fog, you can’t avoid it, you can’t go around it, you have to drive through it. It’s not easy, but you keep going. It’s the only way to arrive at your destination.

It’s not easy, but you can manage your expectations knowing this will happen.

It won’t always be rainbows and butterflies. Prepare to eat that shit sandwich and keep going. It shouldn’t stop you.


It Won’t Happen Overnight

“Overnight success?? Took me 30 years before I got my first novel published.” Steven Pressfield

There’s no standard timeline to achieving your goals. Your friend might reach the same goal in their twenties, while you reach your goal in your fifties.

Enjoy the journey; each one is unique.

It took Pressfield 30 years. How long have you tried?


When One Door Closes Another Opens

“There was a period there when I couldn’t sell my fifth novel, where I was looking to sell my house, and I took one of those courses in buying real estate for no money down in my desperation… Oddly enough, the very book that ended my career as a novelist opened my career in Hollywood.” George R.R. Martin

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin thought his career was destroyed after his fifth novel “The Armageddon Rag” failed to sell. No one wanted to read his books anymore.

But that very same book opened his career in Hollywood. He wrote several series, and then in 1996 wrote his novel, A Game of Thrones.

There is no right path.

Life will throw you curveballs; you gotta keep swinging.


Learn To Shrug and Keep Going

“It does help, to be a writer, to have the sort of crazed ego that doesn’t allow for failure. The best reaction to a rejection slip is a sort of wild-eyed madness, an evil grin, and sitting yourself in front of the keyboard muttering “Okay, you bastards. Try rejecting this!” and then writing something so unbelievably brilliant that all other writers will disembowel themselves with their pens upon reading it, because there’s nothing left to write. Because the rejection slips will arrive. And, if the books are published, then you can pretty much guarantee that bad reviews will be as well. And you’ll need to learn how to shrug and keep going. Or you stop, and get a real job.” Neil Gaiman

Rejection will come in all shapes and forms. I can guarantee they will judge you, they will criticize you, and they will reject you.

How will you deal with that?

Don’t expect to achieve anything without failing. And certainly, don’t expect to become a writer without rejections.

Whatever your goal is, it will only happen with persistence and consistency.

Ignore, but don’t give up.


We’ve All Got Issues

“I’m a fast worker. And the reason I’m a fast worker is because I’m afraid that if I slow down and give myself too much of a chance to think that I’ll decide that what I’m doing is crap and it doesn’t make any sense. I don’t have the world’s best self-image, frankly. I’m a little puzzled by the success that I’ve had and a lot of times when I’m in a group like this, I feel an outpouring of affection that’s wonderful and at the same time, I always feel a little bit like I’m an imposter. Like you can’t possibly wanna come and listen to my stuff. So, the idea is to keep it fresh and not pay too much attention to my own insecurities or whatever they are.” Stephen King

We all have fears and insecurities, but they aren’t excuses to fail.

Yes, even Stephen King, the best-selling author of over 96 books that sold over 350 million copies, and is worth half a billion dollars, is insecure about his writing and self-image.

But King moves forward. He doesn’t dwell on his insecurities and fears. They don’t stop him. That’s not how winners work.

Your fears are not excuses to fail. Whatever your dream is, keep at it. Pull a King, and write faster.


Final Thoughts

Be consistent. Be persistent. There’s no dignity in giving up. You lose the minute you stop.

It takes time and effort. There’s no magic bullet, and there’s no right way.

There’s no right time, either. Everyone’s journey is different. Enjoy the ride.

Your plans won’t go as expected. Expect shit sandwiches and curveballs. Keep swinging because when one door closes, another opens.

And remember, we’ve all got issues; don’t make them your excuses.

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