Grammy-winning artist John Berry has accomplished success in life that most people will only dream about. He went from humble beginnings making records in his father’s basement to making hits on the Billboard charts.
It wasn’t always easy for Berry. Like everyone, he’s gone through some tough experiences in life to accomplish more than 40 years of making hits in country music.
Right when his career was starting to take off, Berry was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness that required immediate and experimental brain surgery. After bouncing back from that surgery, he courageously faced chemotherapy for throat cancer.
Ships that don’t come in
Berry has stared down a ton of adversity in his life, and he has a lot of life lessons that anyone can learn from. But I think the greatest lesson to learn from Berry is the moment that he almost gave up his dream.
How you respond when your ship doesn’t come in makes all the difference.
Berry was having great success playing at college bars right outside of the University of Georgia for several years while dreaming of a career in Nashville, Tennessee as a country music star. He was preparing for his “big break” in the music business, but no matter how much he played, the big break never came.
Take one more shot at your dream
He was driving home from a show one night when he heard the song Ships That Don’t Come In by one of his favorite artists on the radio. Berry realized that this song described his life in the lyrics, “…and those who wait forever for ships that don’t come in”. This was a moment that cause him to take one more shot at his dream of becoming a Nashville star.
Most people give up 1 step before greatness!
Berry scheduled a couple of shows in Nashville to attract the attention of major record labels. He was going to give his life’s dream one more shot. He put all the plans in place to put on his best show, and he sent out hundreds of invitations.
You can only imagine how disappointing it was to know that none of the big-time music producers or record executives showed up to his first show… except one.
The only guy in the room that matters
Berry thought this disappointing turnout to his showcase was an indication that he’d never make it in Nashville. Most people would just go through the motions of this heart-crushing attendance and return home to lick their wounds.
Not Berry. He decided to give his best ever show, no matter if it’s an audience of 1 person or 100,000.
It turns out, the one record executive that went to Berry’s show that night was the only guy in the room that mattered. The next day, Berry was being invited to have brunch with the president of Capital Records. And the rest, is history.
What would have happened if Berry let the words of that country song describe his life? What if he never gave his dream 1 more try, or what if years of disappointment caused him to give up on his goal? This is the lesson that all of us can learn from John Berry’s story. Behind every example of a break-out product is a company that gave their goal one more try.
Read every story of a superstar and you’ll hear a similar case of someone who just held on a little longer than the others around him or her.
I hope my UNBEATABLE podcast episode with John Berry will motivate you to give your dream one more try. Maybe it’s this last attempt to accomplish your life’s goal that will finally be the one that pays off.