In today’s episode, Allan shares some thoughts about overcoming challenges and facing rejection. Allan recently attended a podcast conference in Los Angeles with keynote speaker Will Ferrell. Will shared his experience with being on Saturday Night Live and how his famous Cowbell Skit was pitched in 1999, and was rejected numerous times. Will did not give up on his vision for the skit and kept pitching it, which eventually made him famous. What separates the successful people from everyone else, is how they face rejection.
Below is the link to the Cowbell Skit on YouTube
Everyone, Welcome to the Business Growth Pod. I am Allan Draper. I am really excited about our episode today I’m going to be flying solo and sharing some thoughts that I’ve been kind of putting together over the last month or so several weeks. Before I get to that, make sure you share this episode with somebody if you think it’s going to help them on their path to personal development, entrepreneurship, starting their business, or just in general, this episode is super applicable in overcoming challenges and facing rejection. And I think everybody can use a little more of that in their life. I know I can. So if this resonates with you, and you think of somebody that it could help, go ahead and make sure to share it with them. That’s how you could really do me a favor and pay it forward. So I was at a podcast conference, it was probably about a month ago in Los Angeles. And there were you know, I think there were a couple of 100 people there. It wasn’t a super big conference. I’ve been to conferences with 1000s of people. And the keynote speaker on one of the days was Will Ferrell who lives in LA so I imagine it wasn’t too tough to get him. And you know, he came out on stage and he does have a podcast now. I guess. It’s a comedy sketch type podcast. I haven’t listened to it. But there was some questioning done by a moderator that sat up on stage with Will Ferrell, and he was up there for 45 minutes an hour just answering questions. And it was very entertaining. For me, it might have been the most impactful event of the entire conference. And I was there for three or four days. And it wasn’t really about podcasting. He did ask him some questions about his podcasts and things like that. But it was more about wills story. And there was one specific story that Will Ferrell shared, and I did not get to meet him. I do not know him personally, I don’t know why I just called him well. Like I think he’s hilarious. Like I love his movies, and everything is skits. But so this was just me sitting in the audience. And the audience wasn’t that big, even though there were a couple 100 People probably at the conference that were probably only 50 to 75, maybe some more I was really close up front, I was like two rows back. So I’m not sure how many people filed in after me. But in any event, it was not very large. It was very small. And in fact, at one point, Will Ferrell said something like, you know, he like looks around and he’s like now I can tell my parents that I made it, you know, kind of joking about how small the venue was. But now halfway through his time on stage, he gets asked this question, tell me about your time on SNL Saturday Night Live and tell me he kind of insinuated THE MODERATOR kind of insinuated something like, you know, it was difficult for him or there were some challenges or something. I can’t remember exactly what the question was. But it kind of insinuated that it wasn’t all, you know, fun and games, like a lot of us perceive it to be and we’ll said something like in response, he said, Yeah, my time at SNL really helped me develop thick skin and you know, a lot of us look at successful people, ultra successful people to a guy like Will Ferrell and we think all they just have it made you know, he got a lucky break, right. He knew somebody who knew somebody or whatever, and it was really humanizing for him to share this story about the cowbell skit arguably the most famous Saturday Live skit of all time certainly Will Ferrell’s most famous skit, and I’m going to put in the shownotes a link to the skit if you haven’t seen it or even if you have, you need to see it again. And it’s hilarious kind of refresh your memory about what it’s about and who’s involved. But he starts talking about the cowbell skit and I think he got a question from the moderator saying, you know, after Will said, Yeah, Saturday Night Live gave me this opportunity to develop thick skin because a lot of people may not know, but Will Ferrell. In addition to being an actor, he was actually a writer. And I don’t know if that’s common at Saturday Night Live. I don’t know if all the actors right and all the writers act, I don’t know we’re a percentage of them, but he came up with this idea for the cowbell sketch. So if you haven’t seen the cowbell sketch, click on the link and watch it. And then come back to the podcast. Make sure you come back to this episode, because I’m going to finish the story about what he said. But watch it and then come back. And all of this I didn’t know even though I grew up watching Saturday live, and when this came out, I had just graduated from high school. So I was kind of in the college scene and very aware of what was going on, you know, in Hollywood was watching budget movies, it’s time TV, and he explained that he originally pitch the cowbell sketch in 1999. It aired in 2000. It wasn’t a year later, but it was probably six months later that actually aired, but he originally pitched it to Noor McDonald, and he was talking about how in Saturday Night Live, the host has a lot of leeway in deciding which skits they choose because the host is you know, the central feature of the skits. Usually, the skits are usually written around the host. And so it was originally designed for Norm Macdonald and I guess Norm Macdonald Will Ferrell said something about how Norm Macdonald, at this point, been kicked off of Saturday Night Live, but then they invited him back as a host. And you know, he made some comment about that. But he pitched it, and the director, and nor McDonald immediately rejected the idea. And you know, he thought the idea was so great, you know, and obviously we know the end of the story. But at that point, no one did. Remember that was before the results were out, right? He just had an idea. He was very passionate about it. He was convinced it would work. But he got rejected. He got rejected by Norm Macdonald. He got rejected again. And again. And again. And again. I’ve done some research on Wikipedia, in preparation of this episode. And I think he was rejected seven times. I think he tried to pitch it seven times. Before I continue. I wanted to give some backstory about how Will Ferrell came up with this idea of the cowbell, because it’s so unique and it’s so borderline bizarre and different. So he said that he was listening to this old rock music on his way home one day, and we’re talking this is 20 plus years ago, this is 23 years ago or something. And on his way home, this rock song is like 70s, rock song had a cowbell in the background. And he was thinking like, you know, what is that guy that’s playing the cowbell? What does he go home and tell his wife when he gets home? You know, like, what’s that conversation like? Is it like, Hey, honey, I absolutely just crushed the cowbell today. You know, when he was kind of making light of, you know, the situation, this guy playing a cowbell and how it’s kind of an ancillary Knott central focal point of the band. And it was just kind of an interesting instrument. Right. So from that thought he developed, you know, this skit where it becomes the central point of this rock song almost to the detriment of some of the other members as is portrayed in the skit. So kind of back to the story, so he gets rejected seven times. But he’s convinced that this is going to work. And Christopher Walken is coming up to be the host. And he reads the skit. And he’s like, let’s do it. So Christopher Walken decides that he’s going to take this role on okay, and Will Ferrell actually has to rewrite it just a little bit for Christopher Walken, because he has such a unique personality, this dry sense of humor, this kind of serious, like monotone, almost approach, which is, you know, apparent throughout the skit and at 1.1 of my favorite lines is Christopher Walken says something like I need more cowbell. I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell. Right. Kind of playing off the irony of this ancillary instrument. And then, you know, they record and the rest is history. Right. Like I said before, I think it’s the most popular SNL skit of all time might maybe it’s the top five, Christopher Walken, they asked him about it. And he said even decades later, all these years later, whenever somebody comes up to me, after all the things that I’ve done, they all want to just talk about the cowbell skit and I think this story really hit me hard for a couple of reasons. One It kind of shows that the Uber Ultra celebrity successful type people, they struggle, and they get rejected. And they get told no. And they get told, you know, in roundabout ways that their ideas suck, that they’re not good enough. And what really separates the uber successful from everybody else is they don’t care if they get rejected, they don’t stop because they get rejected, especially when they believe in something. A lot of times when they get rejected, they’re actually just getting started. Will Ferrell continue to work on this get he re wrote it, specifically for Christopher Walken. So number one, if you want to be successful, and we’ve heard it time and time again, you can’t quit, you know, seize the day, all these cliches, right. But this story from Will Ferrell just really it just hit different, it was just more in your face, because he was being so vulnerable about it, talking about it on stage at this podcast conference of all places, and it was just really impressive to me. And it really humanized him. And a lot of times when we’re trying to be successful, we’re trying to go after our dreams, we’re trying to achieve things that other people haven’t achieved or achieve things that are on our goal list are things that we’re wanting to accomplish. We think that we’re not worthy of it, that only certain successful are connected or wealthy or people in the exact right position, only those people can do it. And then you read their stories, and you find out man, he definitely has a different skill set than I have Will Ferrell definitely has skills and talents that I don’t have, but goes through a very similar type of process to the processes that I go through. So that was number one. Number two was, you know, this concept of not giving up on your dreams. And at the end of the day, you know, at the end of the interview with Will it became apparent and I don’t know if he said it, I don’t know if he said as many words, but it became apparent that the skit ended up being much larger than he had ever anticipated. And I think that’s true of the things that we really hope for that we work for, and that we set our sights on. I think that when we get rejected, and we get told no, it tells us that one, we’re on the right path. And it gives us if we keep with it, if we continue to work towards our original goal. We continue to, you know, to pivot and develop and evolve the idea. And we don’t just scratch it, the idea does not just equate to the success that we originally thought it becomes much larger than that because we were rejected. Because we were told no. There’s some type of magic that comes into play when we are told no, and we keep doing something. Because then it’s not. I think what that does is it really makes us clarify why we’re doing it in the first place. Because a lot of times we get this idea and we’re like, this is genius. Everybody’s gonna love it just like Will Ferrell. He’s like, everybody’s gonna love this. This is so funny, right? And then he presents it and it gets rejected. But then he continues to work on it. And so at first, it’s like, wow, how is it that people don’t see what I see? Have you ever thought that before? How is it that somebody or multiple people, they cannot see what I see, they don’t believe in me like I believe in me. And as you get rejected time and time and time again, no, a couple of things. One, when you get rejected, you are on the right path, you may need to tweak you may need to evolve some things you may need to learn and put some ideas that people say into place, but you are on the right path. Number two, when you get rejected, and you stick with it, your end result is going to be greater than had your idea been originally accepted in the first place. Think about that. If your idea gets rejected, and you continue to work on it, and you eventually bring it to fruition, it’s going to be a much better in product and you’re going to have a much better result than if it had never been rejected at all. I honestly believe that we are tried through our mistakes and our errors and through this fire, right? This baptism by fire is how we evolve and how we become our best selves. So if you’re going through something right now, that’s difficult, which I imagine that you are, make sure to remember the cowbell skit go watch it. It will make you laugh. I guarantee that it will and think about how it luckily for us. Luckily for people that consume comedy Will Ferrell did not quit and even more than that. Luckily for us, Will Ferrell was rejected several times so that it was Christopher Walken. That was part of the skit the central focus of the skit, and not nor McDonald. So go through those process. The seas and I say this I know that Norm Macdonald passed away recently. And it’s not about that, and I thought he was hilarious as well. It’s not about that it’s the genius is in the synergy between welfare oil and Christopher Walken, and it wouldn’t have been like that. And it wouldn’t have attained those levels. With nor McDonald, I just don’t see how that’s possible. So don’t give up. When you feel rejected, know that you’re on the right path. And not only that, know that through your rejections through your mistakes through this process of evolution, as we continue to work on something, the end result will be much better than the result would have been had you not been originally rejected. I hope that this gives you some motivation. I hope that this story about Will Ferrell can touch you in a way that it it touches affected me helped me with motivation has helped me as I’ve been going through, you know, really tough time with a couple of my businesses over the last couple of weeks, actually, since I was at that podcast conference and heard this story. And I can look back on that and take this energy and this motivation into the next phase. So I hope that it helps you in the way that it helps me. And you know, I appreciate you sharing your valuable time with me and listen this episode again, I invite you to share it with somebody if you think that it can help somebody with whatever they’re going through whatever struggle they’re facing. In however way they are being rejected. And we’ll catch you next time.
If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please leave us a rating and for daily inspiration and business tips. Follow Allan on Instagram. Until next time, remember we build the future one entrepreneur at a time.