Read This to Improve the Odds of Your Success

I’m a motivational speaker now, but for over 20 years I was a professional actor.  If you are old enough you might remember the man I acted with (seen here in this photo) in a summer stock show in New York in the early 90’s.  His name is Bill Hayes and he and his wife, Susan Seaforth Hayes were lead characters for something like 30 years on the soap opera, Days of our Lives.

As an actor, I had to audition for every single job I got.  Whether it was for a part in a show (running 8 to 16 weeks) or a one time television commercial, or a part in a film that I would be on set shooting for a couple of weeks.  I was constantly looking for my next job.

And here’s the thing. My competition was the  OTHER 100,000 crazy-talented unemployed actors looking for THEIR next job. It was VERY easy to get discouraged when I got no after no after no.

UNTIL, that is, I went to NYC to see my actor friend, George Peter Ryan, one of the MOST successful WORKING television commercial actors at that time.  It seemed like I saw him in some national commercial every day.  He invited me to stay with him for the week so that he could introduce me to some of his agents.

At one point I asked him if he had ever calculated how many auditions he had gone on over the years – relative to how many he actually booked.  His response was immediate, “Oh yes.  Forty-eight auditions to every one commercial I actually get.”

What?  Here was a really REALLY successful actor who told me that his ratio of no’s to yes’s was 48 to one.  Whoa.  Oh, and by the way, all the commercials he had done, represented HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars of income to him.

Here’s how  I use this.  Many, many MANY people will give up after the first few rejections they get.  So every time someone tells me “no”, my first thought now is “Whoopee! Someone just gave up and I’m THAT much closer to my yes!”

It keeps me going.  And I DO get a yes eventually!

Motivational speaker, Linda Larsen




Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Super advice Linda. The no should also be an opportunity to analyze what are doing. If someone is stumbling around, getting a bunch of no’s, we could say even a blind squirrel gets the occasional nut. We can also constantly work to up our game, to lower the “no” ratio.

  2. This is such great advice Linda – still as relevant today as it was then. We live in a society that tells us we can have it fast and now. And it’s simply not true. Just like in sales – I have to make a hundred calls to get one booking. Too many of us try one call, it doesn’t work, and we give up and look somewhere else. It’s not knowing what to do where we get stuck – it’s following through. And sometimes it takes hundreds of people to reject us before we find the one that doesn’t. Just ask my husband. He was the bone head who said yes. :)

  3. Nobody likes to get rejected — way more fun to hear the Yes. But the truth is, we learn the most from the no’s. We grow the most from the no’s. And I agree with all of you motivational speakers that the no’s get us closer to the yes! When I worked for Tommy Hopkins, sales guru, he used to tell audiences daily, “How many no’s does it take you to get your yes?” Know your numbers by knowing you no’s. Thanks, Linda.

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