Are Your Personal Goals Livin’ on a Prayer?

We’re not huge fans, but Stacy and I watched the four-part Bon Jovi documentary this weekend.  Even if you don’t love the band, it was really interesting to see how 5 middle class kids from New Jersey achieved world-wide fame.

 (Spoiler alert – I’m about to disclose multiple plot details here – read on at your own risk!)

If you watch the documentary, you’ll see that it’s obvious that Jon Bon Jovi is a highly driven individual.  From an early age he had his sights set on being a rock star and how he got there is nothing short of amazing. 

Elements of his story are relevant for all of us whether you have big goals like his or smaller, but meaningful ones like owning your first rental property, starting your own business or retiring early.

Some key lessons I gathered:

Don’t Listen to the Critics: Before achieving stardom, Bon Jovi was told by multiple voice coaches that he couldn’t sing and that maybe he should consider a different line of work.  Obviously he didn’t buy this assessment, kept working on his craft, and became arguably one of the most recognizable voices in rock and roll.

When we talk to others about what we’re trying to do in our lives, a long line of critics will often form telling us how this isn’t possible.  Stay focused on your goals and surround yourself with supportive people who will help you get to where you want to go.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Like most young rockers, Bon Jovi started a band (The Atlantic City Express) with a bunch of friends playing cover songs.  He pretty quickly realized that he wasn’t going to get noticed playing covers and so he quit his own band to go sing original songs for someone else. 

I’m a pattern person and love doing things the same way day in and day out and month in and month out.  However, sometimes to achieve your goals, you need to step out of these routines and embrace new and different ways of doing things.

Don’t Take No For an Answer: Despite not having his own band at the time, Bon Jovi recorded Runaway, which would become his first hit songHe sent it off to all 11 major record labels.  Not only did he not get any “No’s,” he got no responses whatsoever.  Crickets.

Many people would choose to give up at this point and settle for a different path in life.

So what did he do?

 He walked the Runaway demo tape around to local DJ’s until he found one who was willing to play it.  They started getting multiple requests from listeners for it.  They then started playing it on their sister stations and the rest is history.

Getting no’s is an aspect of life we all experience.  We all have to decide if this particular goal is important enough to us to keep trying and looking for alternate paths to success.

So what are your current goals in your life?  You probably don’t need to play 540 concerts in a two year span or grow your hair out and dress like an 80’s rocker to get there.  But you might need to step out of your comfort zone at times to create the life you are meant to lead!