The fascinating stories of successful people who triumphed over debilitating career rejection.
And the insights those rejections provide.

Hayley Wickenheiser.
Pedro Pascal.
Missy Elliott.
Season Four Is Here.

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The fascinating stories of successful people who triumphed over debilitating
career rejection.
And the insights those rejections provide.

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Season FOUR

Short Stories: Rejecting the Fathers of Hand Washing and Rocketry (Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis & Dr. Robert Goddard)

Did you know in the late 1800s, doctors didn’t wash their hands between procedures? When Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis – an obstetrician in Vienna – realized women in his hospital were dying at staggering rates, he implemented staff-wide mandatory hand washing. Maternal death rates dropped by 90%. But doctors weren’t happy. Semmelweis was called “crazy,” told his idea was superstitious, not scientific.

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Rejecting Johnny Unitas

Johnny Unitas is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. But once upon a time, the boy with the big hands and the golden arm was 6’1 and 140 pounds. He was told he was too slight to play high school football. He was rejected by Notre Dame. He was drafted, then cut from the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was told he’d never make it in the NFL. Join us as we tell Johnny-U’s incredible story – from pile driving to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Rejecting Walt Disney

The Walt Disney Company is worth $147B today. With over 800 films to its name, multiple television networks like ESPN and ABC, Pixar, Marvel, streaming, resorts and theme parks worldwide, it’s the second-largest media conglomerate in the world. But before Mickey, before poisoned apples and before roller coasters, Walt Disney was rejected. He was fired from a local newspaper for “lacking creativity.” He was told drawing cartoons did not a proper career make. And his very first animation company went under. Join us this week as we tell Disney’s story – from bankruptcy to billions.

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Season Three

Short Stories: John Krasinski & Uzo Aduba

We regret to inform you, this week marks the final episode of our 2022 season. Over the past three years – and 60 episodes – we’ve come across so many incredible rejection stories that weren’t long enough to fill a full episode. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less packed with insight. Join us this week for Short Stories in Television, Part 2 – the inspiring pint-sized rejection stories of John Krasinski & Uzo Aduba.

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Rejecting Airbnb

Airbnb is worth more than the world’s top three hotel chains combined, with over 150 million users spanning 200 countries. But before the company made its three founders the first-ever sharing economy billionaires, they were broke. Weathering rejections from investors and narrowly avoiding eviction.

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Rejecting Fritz Pollard

If you don’t recognize the name Fritz Pollard, you’re not alone. Pollard was the first Black player in the NFL, the first Black quarterback in the NFL and the first Black head coach of an NFL team. And yet, in 2020 – the NFL’s 100th birthday – the league referred to Pollard as “A Forgotten Man.”

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Season TWO

Short Stories in Television (Annie Murphy, Squid Game, Matt LeBlanc & The Queen’s Gambit)

We regret to inform you, this week marks the final episode of our 2021 season. So, we thought we’d do something a little different. Over the past two years, we’ve come across several fascinating rejection stories that weren’t long enough for a full episode, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less packed with insight. Join us this week for ‘Short Stories in Television’ – the inspiring pint-sized rejection stories of Annie Murphy, Matt LeBlanc, Squid Game and The Queen’s Gambit.

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Rejecting Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad holds the Guinness World Record for highest-rated television show of all time. But back when creator Vince Gilligan was first pitching the series, it was rejected by four major networks. This week, we tell Gilligan’s story. From being told no one in their right mind would let a show about crystal meth air on television, to showrunning one of the most beloved series in history.

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Rejecting Lucille Ball

I Love Lucy is one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, bringing in over 30 million viewers per week in its day. But before becoming the queen of prime-time television, Lucille Ball was known as “Queen of the B-Pictures” – pin-balling around Hollywood studios, unable to draw a box office crowd. Join us this week as we tell Ball’s fascinating story – from panhandling for bus fare to becoming the first-ever inductee into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

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Season One

The Reflection Podcast, 2020

We regret to inform you that today marks our final episode of Season One. So we thought we’d do something a little different. This week, Sidney and Terry sit down to chat about the lessons and the stories from Season One AND answer some of your questions.

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Rejecting Fred VanVleet

Fred VanVleet is an NBA champion who recently signed a four-year contract with the Toronto Raptors worth $85 million. But before becoming a key player for the Raps, VanVleet was overlooked and underestimated at every single stage of his basketball career. This week, we tell his amazing story. From being rejected by all 30 teams in the NBA draft to becoming the highest-paid undrafted player of all time.

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Rejecting Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson is an Academy Award-nominated actress, known for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Hidden Figures as well as her iconic role as Cookie Lyon in the hit television show Empire. But before taking Hollywood by storm, Henson was rejected from acting school and rejected for parts, making $10 an hour as a receptionist between auditions. Join us this week as we tell Henson’s incredible story. From being labelled as “too urban” to earning the most Best Actress awards in BET history.

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