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Life Lessons from The Movie Stars - #3

by Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

Be willing to pay your dues.

My friend Scott McKain used to review films for WISH-TV in Indianapolis where he lives. He insists that one of the nicest guys in Hollywood is John Travolta.

Two decades ago, Travolta seemed to be a big star. Then suddenly everyone was saying he was washed up. When John became popular again, the same folks said, "It’s a comeback." Scott asked him about this perception.

"No, no, no!" said John. "Everyone’s got it wrong. You always have to pay your dues in this business, but sometimes you pay them at different times. What people don’t realize is that I went out for my first audition and got the starring role in ’Grease.’ So I just paid my dues later, in the middle of my career, while most people pay for the first eighteen years and then achieve their ’overnight success.’"

The next time you lose money, get fired, don’t get the promotion, or don’t make the sale, tell yourself, "I can’t please everyone all the time. I’m just paying my dues in advance for my overall long-term success."


Patricia Fripp CSP, CPAE is a San Francisco-based executive speech coach and professional speaker on Change, Customer Service, Promoting Business, and Communication Skills. She is the author of Get What You Want!, Make It So You Don’t Have to Fake It and Past-President of the National Speakers Association.

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