None Of Them Had It Easy. None.

by James L. Rubart, @jameslrubart

Are you a fan of the TV show, Biography?  A few years ago I got hooked on the show and binged on it for a few months.

Here are a few of the profiles/episodes I took a look at:

  • John Travolta
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Eminem
  • Jodie Foster
  • Robert Downy Jr.
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Plus another 10 or 20.

I’m fascinated by where these people came from, what got them from there to where they are now, and what they had to go through to arrive.

I was surprised. Every time.

I had this idea that many stars walked into their gifting/destiny with a few minor pebbles in the road, not a street where bombs had gone off and were still exploding.

ALL of the stories revealed serious setbacks before these stars achieved fame and fortune. All.

A repeating mantra when outsiders describe these people is,

  • “They were so incredibly determined.”
  • “They worked harder than anyone else.”
  • “They knew what they wanted, fixed their eyes on it and refused to give up.”
  • “No one came to see them at first, but they didn’t care. They just kept at it.”

I read an article on Kelly Clarkson in the September 7th issue of Entertainment magazine where she says, “A lot of people that I know, especially from Idol, don’t necessarily want to be singers or artists; they just want to be famous.”

Talent isn’t enough. We have to work hard. When the rain is falling. When it feels impossible.

A friend of mine, Caleb Breakey,  recently signed a three-book deal with Revell and he posted this photo on Facebook that I love:

It took him ten years of rejections, late nights, sacrifice, pain. But he did it. He persevered. He refused to give up.

I suppose I could have made this reflection much shorter and simply said, “Hey, it’s tough on everyone who wants to reach a dream, you’re not alone.”

But I think knowing others have been on and are on this path, helps.

Maybe you’ve “made it.” Been published. Reached all your goals. Wonderful. Maybe you’re just starting out, or are a ways along, but have so many more things you want to accomplish.

It comes down to this: You have to believe in yourself. When no one else does. There is no other choice. There is no other path.

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

What if there was a place where everything wrong in your life could be fixed?

Corporate trainer Jake Palmer coaches people to see deeper into themselves—yet he barely knows himself anymore. Recently divorced and weary of the business life, Jake reluctantly agrees to a lake-house vacation with friends, hoping to escape for ten days.

When he arrives, Jake hears the legend of Willow Lake—about a lost corridor that leads to a place where one’s deepest longings will be fulfilled.

Jake scoffs at the idea, but can’t shake a sliver of hope that the corridor is real. And when he meets a man who mutters cryptic speculations about the corridor, Jake is determined to find the path, find himself, and fix his crumbling life.

But the journey will become more treacherous with each step Jake takes.

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s the best-selling, Christy BOOK of the YEAR, INSPY, CAROL and RT Book Reviews award winning author of eight novels as well as a professional speaker, co-host of the Novel Marketing podcast, and co-founder of the Rubart Writing Academy. During the day he runs his branding and marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at