During your job search, you will want to learn all you can
from highly successful people. You can learn directly from family, friends,
mentors, and coaches, and from colleagues you can trust. 

Another great way to learn how highly successful people got
that way is to read their biographies. Here are two life stories that will
inspire you to maintain hope and display genuine optimism.

Good Day! The Paul Harvey Story, by Paul J. Batura

At age 82, Paul Harvey signed a ten-year contract with ABC, for $10 million per
year. When he died in 2008 at age 90, he had completed eight of those years.
Sounds like a plush, easy life, don’t you think?

This book, though, takes you behind the scenes to learn what
Paul Harvey would have termed “the rest of the story.” Consider these little
known facts: 

*He grew up in very modest circumstances, especially after
his policeman father died after being shot by car thieves. Paul was three years

*His early opportunities with the microphone took him to
Salina, Kansas, and Missoula, Montana, with nothing there resembling Chicago’s
“Miracle Mile” that would become so familiar to him years later.

*His station owner in Missoula told Paul, “You have a silly and
funny sounding voice. Honestly, you’re never going to make it in the news
business. You don’t have a believable sound for news. It’s distracting. People
won’t trust it.” Following those words, the manager fired Paul Harvey, who
declined a sales position offer.

*A Chicago station manager disliked Paul Harvey’s on-air
vocal pauses. The manager thought Harvey was simply wasting valuable time.
After listening politely, Paul agreed to “shorten but not entirely eliminate
the tactic.” Eventually, many millions of Paul Harvey’s listeners would
recognize his trademark pauses, and stand by patiently until the next
intriguing words came.

Now please notice: Paul Harvey became one of the most
beloved broadcasters ever. Suppose he had become discouraged at his unpromising
childhood? What if he had listened to his critics? What if he had changed his
style, to blend in with the bland?

The book tells, too, about his lifelong romance with his
wife, called “Angel” in his hundreds of broadcast references to her. She became
a valuable personal and professional teammate—reflecting convincingly that few
people make it to top echelons without solid family dedication.

Mark Twain: A Life, by Ron Powers

 As was the case with Paul Harvey, Mark Twain met failure
head on.

*Although he emerged as one of America’s most popular—and highly paid—lecturers
on the speaking circuit, probably he never forgot the evening of October 2,
1866. The event: His opening lecture for a series describing his “Sandwich
Island” voyage, an extended excursion from San Francisco to Honolulu. The
lecture hall: the new Academy of Music, with a seating capacity of 2,000.

When he rose to face the audience, “nearly blinded by the footlights, trembling
with terror, frozen in place of a full minute, he finally gained control of

*Nor was Mark Twain blessed with a classic broadcast-caliber
voice. One reporter compared it to “a little buzz saw slowly grinding inside a

Still, though he was not specially gifted and though he
froze on opening night, he persisted and made a great name for himself on the
lecture platform.

*The book details other major struggles. Twain’s speculative
investments kept him dangerously deep in debt, despite his writing and speaking
royalties. He stubbornly pursued “sure winners” that flopped, especially
patents for inventions. Doggedly determined, he emerged from financial ruin
later in life.

Again, I encourage job seekers to read these biographies.
You will enjoy the fascinating life stories, and you will benefit from knowing
that people who have climbed to the top professionally, and have even become
legends, endured many a misstep along the way.