"In fairy tales there are helpful animals that come out of nowhere to help the hero or heroine through a dark and difficult time, often leading them out of the forest."
When I was 25 I wrote a book that was rejected by 37 publishers. By about rejection 25, you would have thought I might have said, "Hey, you know, there's something wrong here. Maybe I should be looking at a different career."
Instead I remember running out of money and, one morning, walking depressed down St. James Street in London, where I saw a Barclays Bank. I walked in and, armed with nothing but a lot of Greek chutzpah, I asked to speak to the bank manager and asked him for a loan. And even though I didn't have any assets, the banker – whose name was Ian Bell – gave me a loan. It changed my life, because it meant I could keep things together for another 13 rejections.
And then, finally, I got an acceptance. In fairy tales there are helpful animals that come out of nowhere to help the hero or heroine through a dark and difficult time, often leading them out of the forest. Well, in life too, there are helpful animals disguised as human beings – like Ian Bell – to whom I still send a holiday card every year. Leaning in and persevering made the difference between failure and success.