Colonel Sanders and Tony Robbins: Crazy, Thoughtless, and Unaware

This is not one of my usual posts. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed or was radically influenced by LeBron going to Miami, Hulk Hogan going Hollywood, or Star Trek’s entire crew in Mirror, Mirror when they ran into their evil selves in a parallel universe. Spock rocked his goatee! Sorry, I digress. Most of the times, I’m quite positive, tell people to Have An Awesome Day, and would normally use the KFC story as motivation.

Hindsight is 20/20

This motivational story is retold time and time again, only because there was a happy ending. I wondered, “What about his poor friends and family?” They had to suffer and endure 1009 rejections over a two-year period? My initial reaction was Mr. Sanders was heartless! Digging deeper, I found out that he was alone and had no family. I take back my heartless comment. He was tired of his $105 social security check so at 65 he set out to push his chicken recipe and help restaurants prepare a better chicken.

No Excuse Mr. Robbins

On the other hand, motivational gurus like Tony Robbins should be ashamed of themselves. I agree the story of persistence, never say quit, and pursuing your dreams is a great one. Taking action is the most important step. Many people don’t take action and just daydream about a better way of life. But in the wrong hands, lives could spiral endlessly out of control. People looking for motivational stories to apply to themselves miss the fact that Mr. Sanders was 65 and alone. If you pulled the same move straight out of college or in your 30’s during a career change, what kind of life would you have if you pulled a Colonel Sanders and never took no for an answer even if things weren’t in the cards for you?

KFC is an amazing product, brand, and story, but his story is exceptional. People barreling along without backup plans and a timeline are being too naive. Add to that they are being thoughtless and unaware if they submit their friends and family to the endless rounds of seeing their loved one go through rejection after rejection. The Colonel Sanders method of success shouldn’t be applied to everyone.

Final Thoughts

Don’t get me wrong. Colonel Sanders overcame two years of rejections and should be commended for his persistence, doing what he loved, and making his dreams come true. But you have to be realistic, too. Without knowing the future, would it really be wise to chase your dream for two years and go through over 1000 rejections? Should someone five feet tall, who can’t dunk, continue chasing his dream of being in the NBA? Should a struggling actor continue going to auditions and waiting tables part time, after numerous “don’t call us, we’ll call you’s”? Should a business owner who continuously goes bankrupt, continue searching for a successful business?

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but not all of us can be Kobe Bryant, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Colonel Sanders. On the off chance, you are not a superstar in waiting, you should really consider other options and a deadline on when to call it quits. Using investing terms, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket and you should apply stop losses so you don’t get completely wiped out. I may never be the next Colonel Sanders, but if I had to submit myself and loved ones through over 1000 rejections, I would find another way, even though it was finger-lickin’ good.

Stay Inspired!
Evil Buck?

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23 Responses

  1. MoneyCone says:

    That’s a good point Buck. Sanders had nothing to lose and he persisted without hurting anyone in the process.

    Imagine if he had to support a family! That wouldn’t be fair on his loved ones at all.

    Know when to quit!

  2. You do have to know when to hold them and when to fold them. Sorry, I had to include Kenny Rogers now. Too many celebs in one post.

  3. krantcents says:

    Many people like the ones you mention are unusually persistent and determined! The odds are against them and they persist. There is something to be said for that. All goals should have a time frame. For those kind of people, they keep trying anyway. I admire the tenacity, but you must go on with your life.

  4. You can’t compare the Colonel to a 5 foot tall NBA wannabe. The Colonel has got the goods so I think it’s completely justifiable that he followed his dream. If the 5 footer can dunk and shoots 80% from downtown, then yeah! follow the dream. He’ll have to be a play maker and steals too. 😉

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Great points from a NBA fan! Look at JJ Barea. However, we know the Colonel got the goods because he actually made it. But could we have said the same thing when he was trucking along at Rejection Number 500, 750, or 1001?

  5. I certainly have a dream as well. But you are right about obligation to my family. I have to make sure they are well cared for which means putting my dreams on hold until the kids move out of the house and we achieve a certain level of financial stability.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Good luck with you dream! Often we forget how it was to be a carefree kid, but as adults we have to be responsible as well. Sounds like you have a nice balance.

  6. Hunter says:

    This is a tough line to take. But, I can see your argument. Sometimes you have to get real. It takes someone that truly cares to tell you honestly that you are chasing a fantasy. It’s great to dream, but have a plan B, as you say.

  7. Forest says:

    Ha ha ha, nice to see you have a rant.

    I agree you need to watch out for those around you that you may harm but you should not give up on that dream and I appreciate the motivation of believing in yourself from people like Tony Robbins, although he can be a bit too over dramatic at times!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Forest! Guess you have to be overdramatic to motivate and get people to take action. I just wanted people to see the other half of chasing dreams.

  8. Forest says:

    PS, loved the commercial!!!! They strayed from that a bit with their messed up genetically modified machine brought up chickens now!

  9. Hey Buck. I am not familiar with the story of either of these guys, but I think you made a great point. Life is not all about following your dreams – especially when you have other people (a wife and kids for instance) depending on you for support and provision!

    I’m currently striving for a more ideal situation (managing a financial consulting business, along with running successful blogs), but I also work a full-time job in order to live in reality while chasing a dream!

  10. My husband and I have had this discussion. He is a small business owner and it is his passion. He loves it, but it’s been more than a decade and it’s still in “it has so much potential” stage. It pays our salary, but we don’t make very much. We have talked about when do you say enough is enough, and if it makes sense financially to walk away, but it’s not a choice I can make for him. If he left his passion, he wouldn’t be the same person, and that’s not fair to him. It’s a tough line to draw.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a tough situation. I never thought about “he wouldn’t be the same person, if he left his passion”. Great point. Seems you two are coping. I would be very concerned if chasing the dream means barely making ends meet. That would be a lose-lose situation for all. Good luck and all the best to you both!

      • Right, if you read my blog, you’ll see that that’s exactly what’s happened. 🙂 We took a drastic pay cut so he could keep the business through the recession, and we barely made ends meet. It was a wake up call for me to have an emergency fund and take financial responsibility, so as a catalyst it’s been a good one, but there have been some really tough times because of this.

        My husband was in tech before going solo, making substantially more, but he was miserable. He wakes up everyday loving his job and going to work with a smile. The passion is important, and for him, more important than money. I make it work, and am in school to go back into the workforce making more money since my passion is to not be poor. 🙂

        • Buck Inspire says:

          Great wake up call and story! Money and being miserable isn’t worth it. “Passion is to not be poor.” Me, too! Good luck to both of you on your pursuit of your passions!

  1. June 18, 2011

    […] Buck Inspire turns to the dark side, and slams Colonel Sanders and Tony Robbins…just kidding. You’ll enjoy this: Colonel Sanders and Tony Robbins: Crazy, Thoughtless, and Unaware […]

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