Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

8 Boomers Who Could Have Easily Bombed by Baby Boomer Jan Bolick


jan bolick 8 Boomers Who Could Have Easily Bombed by Baby Boomer Jan BolickPersonal Note and Thanks to Jan for providing this exceptional, inspiring and encouraging article. If you are not a subscriber to her blog shame on you.  Always Positive, Boomer54 Mark

This list has been assembled by request from a daily reader of Business Class, Mark Young. 

 Mark saw 10 Famous Fools and 10 Business Failures which we posted as morale and productivity boosting tools – inspiration to “keep swinging” even when feeling foolish for failing.

He wrote and said he liked the lists and would love to see one for baby boomers.  Why you might ask?

It’s because Mark is publisher of Baby Boomer Talk Online .   which features ”Boomer Inspired Videos, Quotes, Self Growth Articles”.  

So – here’s the list.  We hope you enjoy it.  And to Mark – thanks for your inspiring work, loyal readership and suggestions! 

1.  Mark Victor Hansen (born in 1948) and Jack Canfield wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul.  The manuscript  was reportedly rejected by 23 publishers, 

Over 2 million copies have now been sold.  And an entire a series has been published - 105 titles, over 140 million copies in print, in 54 languages. 

Wise words from Mark Victor Hansen:

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”

2.  James Taylor (born in 1948) left prep school because of the pressure.  While applying to college, he became depressed and committed himself to a facility where he stayed for 9 months.  He moved to New York City, formed a band and became a heroine addict. 

He needed a change of scenery and moved to London, where he wrote “Carolina in My Mind“.  He became the first non-British act signed to Apple Records.  While recording,   he fell back into his drug habit; and sought treatment, in Britain, New York and in Massachussetts.  

He was still in the hospital when Apple released the album, ”James Taylor“.  He was 20 years old.  Critical reaction was good but the album suffered commercially because he couldn’t promote it (still in the hospital).    Shortly afterwards, he was in a motorcyle acident,  broke both hands and both feet and couldn’t play or perform for months. 

He recorded ”Sweet Baby James” at age 21.  Both the album and the single “Fire and Rain”  reached #3 in the Billboard charts and the album sold more than 3 million copies in the United States alone.  The following year, he won his first Grammy for  “You’ve Got a Friend.”  

Since then he has won an additional five Grammy Awards, produced twenty-three additional albums, several of which reached gold or platinum status.   He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Wise words from James Taylor:  

 ”I would advise you to keep your overhead down; avoid a major drug habit; play everyday, and take it in front of other people. They need to hear it, and you need them to hear it.”

3.  Bruce Springsteen (born in 1949)  was at odds with both the nuns and students at his first school.  He transferred to a public school but didn’t fit in there either.   Teachers described him as a loner who just wanted to play his guitar.  He completed high school, but felt so uncomfortable that he skipped graduation. He briefly attended a local college.  

He joined several different bands and signed his first record deal but no one paid much attention when released.  Same with the second one.  

His next album, “Born to Run” took him more than 14 months to record, with six months alone spent on the song “Born to Run“.  He was angry and frustrated about the album, saying others didn’t understand what he wanted.  When done with recording, he threw the record into the alley and told his agent  he would rather cut the album live at a club where he played.  When the album was finally released,  people loved it!   Within months his photo was on the front of both Time and Newsweek Magazine -  in the same week.  

 ”Born to Run” has since sold six million copies.  He has produced twenty-six additional albums (seven of them reached #1 on the charts), won twenty Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, an Academy Award and an Emmy.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.   

Wise Words from Bruce Springsteen:

“When it comes to luck, you make your own.”

For more inspiration from The Boss, read An Inspirational Boss.

 4.  Roy Williams (born in 1950) grew up in the mountains of North Carolina.  His family was poor.  His father became an alcoholic and wasn’t around very much. 

 In his recently published book, he says that his escape was the basketball court ’”where he’d shoot for hours at night. There was nowhere else to go, but as it turned out, no place he’d rather be. The first in his family to go to college, Williams wound up at the University of North Carolina with the dream of becoming a coach and learning under the celebrated Dean Smith.” 

It was a long and very unlikely path which has now resulted in several trips to the Final Four, two NCAA championships and induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. 

You can read many wise words in his inspiring book:  Hard Work.

5.  Oprah Winfrey (born in 1954)  was born to a teenage single mother.  She lived her first six years in a rural area with her grandmother who was so poor that Oprah often wore dresses made of potato sacks. 

At age 6, she moved to an inner-city neighborhood with her mother who worked long hours as a maid.  Oprah was molested by her cousin, her uncle, and a family friend, starting when she was 9 years old,  To escape the abuse, she ran away from home at age 13.  She became pregnant at age 14.  The child died during infancy.  

She was sent to live with her father who made education a priority.  She was an honor student, was voted Most Popular Girl and became involved in speech and drama.  She worked at a grocery store and at a local radio station, work which she continued through her first two years at Tennessee State University where she studied communication. 

She is now finishing her 25th and final year of The Oprah Winfrey Show, is a billionnaire and is considered by some to be the most influential woman in the world.

Wise words from Oprah Winfrey:

“The big secret in life is that there is  no big secret.  Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”

“We are each responsible for our own life – no other person is or even can be.”

“Whatever you fear most has no power – it is your fear that has the power.”

6.  John Grisham(born in 1955) was became a lawyer and a politician.  His experiences in the courtroom gave him much to write about.  But he wasn’t confident he could write. 

He wrote the first chapter of  A Time to Kill and timidly showed it to his wife who was an English teacher.  She liked it!  And so he continued writing each night after work or whenever time allowed. 

It took him 3 years to complete the manuscript. He was reportedly turned down by thirty agents and fifteen publishers.  The sixteenth agreed to publish it but only printed 5000 books, most of which he carried around in the trunk of his car as he traveled from library to library, hoping to sell autographed copies to library patrons.  

His second book, The Firm ,became a best seller.  Since then, he has produced at least one book each year,  a total of twenty-three with approximately 250 million sold to date.

Wise words from John Grisham: 

 ”You live your life today, not tomorrow, and certainly not yesterday.“ 

7.  Scott Adams (born in 1957).  We’ll let these wise words tell his story.

Wise words from Scott Adams: 

“Most success springs from obstacle or failure.
I became a cartoonist largely because I failed
in my goal of becoming a successful executive.”

The cartoon he created? 


  8.  Michael Jordan (born in 1963) didn’t make the high school varsity basketball team his sophomore year.  He was upset, but highly motivated to work hard.  He became the star of the junior varsity team and trained rigorously during the summer.  He made the McDonald’s All-American Team after his senior year. 

The awards continued to flow through his years at UNC-Chapel Hill and in the NBA, including the ultimate…induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.  He is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time. 

 Wise Words from Michael Jordan:

“ I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

“ I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.”

Plus our favorite which we share by video:  Michael Jordan’s “Failures

copyright 2010 – Business Class Inc


Jan Bolick has worked in sales and management for over thirty years. She is currently using that experience plus a couple of love affairs to lead Business Class on a global mission to boost morale and productivity one business at a time. But she says it’s okay if it happens in multiples.

The love affairs? Setting and achieving challenging goals. And making work fun.

The tools provided on the Business Class website can help you boost morale and productivity so that you and your team can achieve challenging goals – like increased sales and earnings. If you’d like help implementing the tools or simply don’t have time to do it yourself, contact Jan to discuss the possibilities.


2 Responses to “8 Boomers Who Could Have Easily Bombed by Baby Boomer Jan Bolick”
  1. Jan Bolick says:

    Thank YOU for the suggestion. Inspiring stories!

  2. Mark,

    Great stories. It shows what people can do (no matter what adversity they go through) if they will work at whatever talents they have. Thanks.

    Phil McMillan´s last [type] ..Carole King… Relentless Music Writer

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