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2011 Redneck Rally For Rocketown
Successes like Jeff Foxworthy don’t let rejection stop them from trying again. / Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Challenging times are a part of life, says Ronda Rich, author of What Southern Women Know. In her new book, There’s a Better Day A-Comin’, Rich draws on celebrities to inspire those facing trying moments. Going through a rough patch?

Question yourself. “If you had only three months to live, what would you do with your life?” asks Rich. “Asking this question forces you to think about things you’d regret not doing—then inspires you to act on them.”

Go with your gut. When Dolly Parton was starting out, she received an offer from Elvis Presley’s manager to buy the rights to one of her songs. Rather than make a quick profit at the expense of her long-term career plans, Parton declined. “I’ve always looked at my songs as my children. I expect them to support me when I get old.”

Get strong. So you’ve had a setback. Everyone does, says Rich. “Life’s greatest blessings are born from adversity,” she believes. “If I hadn’t lost my first job, I would never have fulfilled my dream of being a writer. Use your struggles as motivation to help you win bigger than you would have won without it.”

Look ahead. “Every single person makes mistakes—no one’s life is perfect,” Rich says. “Don’t worry about what other people are saying about your situation. You are only taking energy away from solving your problems.”

Be brave. “The worst kind of risk is no risk at all,” Rich says. “A single ‘yes’ will wipe away a thousand ‘no’s.’” When Jeff Foxworthy was finally invited to appear on The Tonight Show, the talent coordinator asked, “Why haven’t we had you on before?” Foxworthy replied, “Because you keep sending me back my tapes.”

Bring your raincoat. Getting out of a rut is messy, hard work. Dale Earnhardt struggled as a driver for Richard Childress Racing but never quit. Eventually, they won six national championships. “You can’t always wait for the storm to pass,” Rich says. “Sometimes you have to work in the rain.”

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