A music professor in college told Chris Tomlin that he’d never amount to anything in music. I remember the time my husband and I went to see him for the first time at a church. He was traveling with all his gear in a U-Haul trailer. We sat on the first row. I turned to my husband after the first song and said, “This guy is going somewhere.”

Today, while that college professor is eating crow, Chris Tomlin has sold over 7 million records. Even if he only gets $1 per record…you get the picture. He was awarded Male Vocalist of the Year at the 20062007 (along with Artist of the Year), and 2008 GMA Dove Awards, and a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album in 2012.

Whether you are a musician, author, painter, athlete, life coach (!)  or middle manager, there will always be someone trying to talk you down from the ledge of success. It’s too hard, too competitive or maybe you are too late, or worse, not good enough. I’m glad Chris didn’t take to heart the professor who told him he was not good enough. So my question to you is,

What have you been hand-crafted to give to this world? Have you started yet?

There are hundreds of stories like this. Hundreds of stories like yours. Are you going to be the one who prevails or the one who gives in? I was listening to a story from Paul Martinelli with the John Maxwell Team. When he was 24 he had a cleaning business. Yes, he was scrubbing toilets for a living and thought he was doing quite well. When a mentor began to challenge his assumptions, Paul started to see a bigger outcome for his life. Years later he sold his cleaning business for a few million dollars and now makes even more than that mentoring others to be the change they want to see in the world.

When I started as a coach, many people tried to talk me off the ledge. “Get a job,” they’d say. “We can’t all live our dream. Someone has to do the hard work. You always have the weekends.”

My advice to you if you’ve heard this — don’t hang out with the people who try to convince you to quit. You can send them a pineapple when you get a speaking gig in Hawaii, but don’t let them put out your flame. Hang out with the people who are successful at doing what you feel the fire inside your soul to do.

Not sure how to write that vision? Take a look at my Life Strategy Design program and see if there is a future in you waiting to be discovered.