The Tucker Max Story: 500 Rejections Before Success


Week 404 (brendan@brendanbarca.com)

Here's your weekly dose of Fuel Your Mind Friday where I share business building ideas, lifestyle design hacks, and inspirational content to help you thrive in your work and find purpose in your life.

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PSA: My wife, Pema Sherpa, and I have another blog called The Mindful Minute! Check it out.

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THE TUCKER MAX STORY: 500 REJECTIONS BEFORE SUCCESS

"The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment." - Deborah Moggach

In early 2002 there was a guy named Tucker who had a book idea. He sent his manuscript to every publisher, literary agent, and newspaper in the country. As Tucker would later share, "I sent at least 500 query letters, maybe closer to 1000. I was rejected by 100% of them. Literally, every single one without exception."

With no other option for getting his stories out into the world, he taught himself how to code HTML. He created his own website and started publishing his stories online for free.

Six months later his site blew up. Those same publishers who had rejected his manuscript a year earlier now came back to make a deal. Tucker signed with one of them and less than three years later, in 2006, his book was published.

Despite getting no media coverage, the book hit the New York Times Bestseller list thanks to the fanbase he'd grown through his website. In October 2009, more than three years after Tucker's book came out, it reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

The author is Tucker Max and, as of today, his book "I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell" has sold more than 2 million copies.

The content of the book aside (it's mostly short stories about Tucker's party-heavy lifestyle), lets focus on Tucker's persistence, resilience and creativity that made him successful.

Tucker's idea was rejected by every book industry gatekeeper across the country, facing over 500 rejections. Five hundred!

How many rejections can we typically stomach before we give up on our idea and switch our path? Two or three? Five tops?

Success doesn't come from having great ideas. Success comes from pursuing your goal despite the countless headwinds you may face. Tucker had delusional self-belief and incredible resilience. It's these attributes that eventually propelled Tucker to be a successful author. Without it, his crazy idea would've died out before it ever got heard.

The next time you face a rejection on the path to one of your big goals, ask yourself:

"Will I let this rejection stop me? Or can I treat it as a stepping stone on my rightful path?"

Whether you have five or five hundred stepping stones ahead of you if, like Tucker's, your path is worth pursuing you must march onwards.

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- Brendan

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p.s. If you're a longtime subscriber you may have noticed this is a repost from a few years back. As a new father juggling a lot sometimes I need to repurpose old content. Thanks for your support!

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