When Arnold Schwarzenegger came to America, he could barely speak English
He soon landed a role in 1969’s Hercules in New York. They gave him only a few lines – because that was all he could pull off
1. The Rough Start
His success in the world of bodybuilding turned him into an overnight success. People loved seeing his big muscles and commanding posture.
But, that’s about all they wanted from Arnold. No one considered casting him for any dramatic roles
When he told movie producers that he wanted to be a leading man, they outright laughed at him
Producers explained to Arnold that this was highly unlikely, if not impossible. The early 70s brought new names to the movie scene, such as Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, and Woody Allen
They were little guys with tiny voices. Those were the new leading men, the new sex symbols. Those were the giants of the day
According to the Hollywood producers, no one wanted to see an overdeveloped bodybuilder with a German accent (well, an Austrian accent, but they didn’t care for specifics)
So, the best thing Arnold Schwarzenegger could hope for was the role of a Nazi officer or a prison gang member, at best. They were willing to help him with those roles.
There was just one small problem…that was not what he’d planned for himself.
2. Not Willing To Give Up
Arnold kept on going, determined to make it. Audition after audition. Rejection after rejection
But, he kept going
He starred in the acclaimed bodybuilding docudrama Pumping Iron, for which he got The Golden Globe for New Star of the Year
But it wasn’t enough
Because Schwarzenegger’s dream was to get to the top – and stay there.
He became wealthy through real estate. Even becoming a millionaire in the early 1970s, around the age of 25. For most people, this would have been – it. They would have felt as if they had made it. But not Arnold
He kept on
3. Success Long Overdue
Everybody thought that there was nothing more to achieve. He had done everything a non-native could do in the US
Until the day he got a role in what was to become one of the best movies of the 80s, and a groundbreaking achievement for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Conan the Barbarian
It was the only logical choice. No one else had such a commanding figure, except Arnold
He didn’t have to play Conan.
He was Conan.
The movie was a smash hit. As a result, Arnold’s career sky-rocketed. He went on to
Becoming the Governor of California – and he succeeded
4. Case In Point
Sometimes, there is no path. It literally may not exist. You have to make one
It’s the same in business
A niche may not exist at the moment, but you can create one, given enough talent, drive, and self-innovation. You can become what you want to pursue
But here’s the catch – you can create your own path by being yourself.
It’s important to have role models and to compare yourself with others. But only up to a point. After that, you’re on your own.
If it feels scary – good. Because it can be the adventure of a lifetime. Just like it was for Arnold. He started by being mocked and ridiculed. But, then…he created his own niche. He redefined the action genre.
And became the highest paid action star ever, with the legendary Terminator 2
Remember – everyone told him it cannot be done. But he didn’t listen to them. He knew it could be done
All you need to do is be aware of the fact that – you can be your own brand. You can be original by being you. And change the world in the process