When Harland Sanders was 65 years old, he got his first social security check. It was about $100. Not much to live on. He was broke. Sanders wasn’t content with collecting a small check and living out his life just getting by, so, he decided to do something about it.

At 65, Sanders set out on a mission to get people to use his chicken recipe. He began going door-to-door, asking people and restaurants to sample his recipe and tried to get them to partner with him. Legend has it that the first 1,009 doors he knocked on, he was denied.

Wait… Stop… Let me say that again…

Colonel Sanders failed 1,009 times.

But here’s the key: he knocked on door number 1,010. It was on the 1,010th try that someone finally agreed to use Sanders’ recipe. They offered their customers his chicken and gave him five cents for every piece they sold. He would periodically deliver more seasonings himself and collect his money.

The rest is history. Sanders’ chicken became famous and more people began selling it. Nine years after he started knocking on doors, and after 1,009 failures, his chicken was being sold at over 600 locations. He ended up selling his business for $2 million dollars but remained the face of the company.

At age 74, he was a millionaire and is still one of the most recognizable people in the world.

A little better than a going off into the sunset with  nothing but a $100 social security check, right?

Sanders was confident in himself and his creation, and he stuck to it. This is what I am to do. I want to be confident in myself and my creations. I don’t want to question myself or compare myself to others. I don’t want to be shaken by negative reviews of my work. I want to be so confident that the first 1,009 people I talk to can tell me no and it doesn’t slow me down. I want to stick to what I do and who I am. I want to be more like Colonel Sanders.

Colonel Sanders’ story taught me three things:

It’s never too late. – He was 65, broke, and unknown. He didn’t say he was too late or past his prime, he just did it. Before he died he was a multi-millionaire and world famous. How old are you? 65? 30? 80? Doesn’t matter. It’s never too late. Go do whatever it is your dreaming of doing. You can do it!

It’s never too easy. – Can you imagine being rejected 1,009 times? How miserable? Wouldn’t it be tempting to question your creation? Yourself? Sanders persevered. It wasn’t easy, but great things shouldn’t be.

There’s never too many No‘s. – Your YES is out there. Go find it. Don’t give up. Ever.

If we choose to be like the Colonel, we will one day get a taste of true success.

And I hear it tastes like chicken.

And it’s finger lickin’ good. 


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