Which Pitch Will Change Your Life?

As the story goes, Colonel Harland Sanders was rejected 1009 times before someone believed in him and the secret recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, which began the now-global franchise.


That’s not a typo: one thousand and nine rejections.


Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen heard “No” 144 times by all the major publishing houses in New York before HCI, a little Florida-based self-help publishing company said yes to the original Chicken Soup for the Soul.


Even J.K. Rowling got rejection letters from twelve different publishers before Bloomsbury saw the genius potential of all things Harry Potter.


They all kind of remind me of that scene from the movie Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts walks back into the boutique in Beverly Hills where the sales women had refused to wait on her the day before. She shows them all her bags of purchases from other stores and says:


“You work on commission, don’t you?”

“Yes,” one woman replies.

“Big mistake. Big. HUGE. I have to go shopping now…” and she walks out the door.


They’re all such fabulous stories of perseverance and vindication when it seems like the universe is telling you to give up.


Even Dave Noll – co-creator of the mega-hit Food Network franchise CHOPPED and more than 60 other television shows, and my guest on this week’s episode of the Speaking to Influence podcast – knows what that’s like.


He actually crunched the numbers and realized that in his business it takes 960 pitches to create one mega-hit.


Again, that’s not a typo: Nine hundred and sixty pitches.


But here’s the mic-drop: As Dave so wisely put it, “You don't know which pitch will change your life.”



Knowing that that’s the path forward, and that it’s all part of the process, Dave stays motivated by celebrating each “No” he receives with the understanding that there are only 959 (958…957…) more pitches to go!


Now maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, I’m not in television, or an entrepreneur, or in a sales job, so this isn’t relevant to me.


Au contraire.


Zig Ziglar, one of the original sales gurus of the last century, observed: “I have always said that everyone is in sales. Maybe you don’t hold the title of salesperson, but if the business you are in requires you to deal with people, you, my friend, are in sales.


If you have ever tried to:


  •   Float an idea to your team…
  •  Throw your hat in the ring for a promotion…
  • Argue for or against a particular course of action…
  • Advocate on behalf of someone else…
  • Intervene to de-escalate a conflict…


Or even (*ahem*) try to convince someone to listen to a particular podcast…


…you, my friend, are in sales.


Just ask cosmetics pioneer Estée Lauder, who asserted, “I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.”


So ask yourself: What do YOU believe in, and do you do it justice when you try to “sell” the idea to someone?


From one unofficial “sales person” to another, one of the many (MANY!) major expert insights Dave offers regarding creating a compelling, successful pitch is the importance of focusing on that “one thing” that brings your whole idea together.


How, you ask?


Listen to the full conversation here or watch it on Youtube here.




Because the next pitch just might change your life.


PS: If you are looking for additional guidance on how to enhance your (or your client’s) reputation as a go-to thought leader and create even more of those life-changing opportunities, join me for my next LinkedIn Live: “Podcast Ready: Prepare Your Clients (or yourself) to be Awesome Interview Guests.”.