How to turn lemons into lemonade, part I

July 17, 2011 by Joshua
in Awareness, Blog, Tips

Life has challenges. Successful people succeed anyway — not because they have easier lives, but for knowing how to handle challenges. They know how to use unexpected or undesired situations to improve their lives.

Successful people make their lives great. You can too.

In particular, you can learn from their successes. An interview of Johnny Depp on Inside the Actors Studio revealed some of how he succeeded. Depp is one of the great actors of his generation. As one measure of his success, his films have grossed $8 billion.

How did he achieve so much success? Whereas some actors were born into Hollywood families or had other easy access, Depp was born in Kentucky with no such access. Here is the part of the interview on Depp’s rise, which is on the video below, about seven minutes in. By this point, Depp had described being a teenager in a rock band and having moved to Florida.

James Lipton: When and why did you leave Florida for California?
Johnny Depp: I left with a band. We were in search of the record deal.
JL: Yeah. How’d you do out there?
JD: We ended up doing some very interesting sort of opening act stuff. But you don’t really get paid so we were all just broke you know real broke. Low down broke, you know.

By this point he hadn’t achieved any outward success, nor did he have any prospects. It gets worse.

JL: How did you support yourself?
JD: I sold ink pens over the telephone.
JL: Telemarketing?
JD: Yeah, telemarketing.

I’ve seen surveys in which telemarketing topped the list as the worst job. Keeping in mind the audience of aspiring actors is likely looking for ways to follow in Depp’s footsteps, how do we resolve Depp’s employ in such an undesirable industry with his ultimate success?

His next answer provides the resolution.

JL: How’d you do?
JD: I think that was my first acting gig, actually.

What an amazing response! Telemarketing — what for most people is the worst job imaginable — became the launching point of his greatest success.

This is the perspective of a man who knew how to create success for himself. It wasn’t handed to him. He didn’t let other people’s perspectives or judgments define his life for him.

More tomorrow

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3 responses on “How to turn lemons into lemonade, part I

  1. Pingback: » How to turn lemons into lemonade, part II Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: Joshua Spodek » How to turn lemons into lemonade, part III

  3. Pingback: Rants, raves, and monologues, volume 12 » Joshua Spodek

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