It’s a Numbers Game, Bro…Truly

Dakota Shane
Mar 9, 2016 · 6 min read

Want to know the solution to 80+% of your concerns? Well the answer is simpler than you might want to think.

It’s all a number’s game. Everything. Or at least everything worth doing right.

Gif Credit:

I know what you’re thinking right now:

“Oh God, here’s another Medium article about something I already know.” -Every Medium Reader Ever

Hear me out for a second, and I’ll get back to my regular-scheduled marketing/business writing soon enough. I think there’s value in this.

There’s a reason why something is repeated over and over and over again throughout life.

And that’s because it’s the truth.

This post is not about the TRUTH of the number’s game principle. Everyone knows it’s true. Instead, this post is all about the SCALE of it.

I don’t think many people fully understand the true magnitude of the scale. I know sure as hell that I didn’t up until recently.

The scale of the number’s game is borderline insanity. The scale may scare you. The scale is something everyone thinks they’d do but barely anyone ever does.

Daymond John, founder of billion-dollar FUBU, got rejected 27 times before he landed the funding he needed to take his company to the next level. You can read all about it in his new book, The Power of Broke. I highly recommend it, it’s fantastic.

The Power of Broke by Daymond John

Tim Ferriss got rejected by 25 publishers before his book The 4-Hour Workweek landed a deal.

Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, got rejected by 217 out of 242 investors he initially pitched to.

Let’s rewind…217 of 242 times!

Can we be honest here: how many of us would actually keep going? Take a minute and count to 100, then imagine getting told “No” that many times multiplied by 2 and then some.

Not only getting told No, but getting told No about something you’ve put your heart and soul into 120%. It’s astounding.

But that’s how you’ve got to be.

You’ve got to be on a whole other frequency. Your self-confidence has to be so tangible that it spews over into the people you associate with. That it can be felt and not just heard.

The point is, don’t trip about the No’s. Just celebrate the Yes’s.

In short, you’ve got to be impenetrable. You’ve got to absolutely solid in your feeling of self-worth and confidence. You’ve got to be the type of person that’ll cheer yourself on even after facing endless rejections.

The first time I ever truly experienced this was when I was searching for the perfect job. A job I may or may not have been under-qualified for.

(But hell…I work in tech, aren’t we ALL under-qualified?!)

I applied to 50+ places to get the job I wanted.

53 in total. Out of those 53 applications, I received 11 interviews, and 4 offers.

I might not be the next President, but I’m sure as hell not a scrub either. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a 3.5 GPA and pretty intensive work experience. And even with all of that, I received 49 rejections before landing a job that I felt was a perfect fit for me and conducive to my career path.

Maybe my ratio was that lop-sided because I was searching for the “perfect job”, or maybe that’s just what it takes nowadays in such a saturated industry.

You’ve got to be scrappy. You have to be willing to lay it all out there and expose yourself 100% even if you might get shut down.

Apply this principle to what you will. The thing is, you only need one full-time job (hopefully), you only need one investor to get your business off the ground (also, hopefully), and you only need one boyfriend or girlfriend (especially, hopefully).

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you think you should have — it’s the same result. You have to struggle at first. Just because you have a Harvard degree doesn’t mean you’ll be free of hustling.

Getting a degree is just the beginning. Starting out is starting out whether you have a degree or not. That’s it.

So cut it out with the whole, “I could do better than her/him” bullshit. If you can do it, then do it. Stop talking. If you think you can create better work than someone else, then go out there and prove it.

Stop whining and do something!

Me to the Whiners (GIF Credit:

I’ll wrap up with a little story that resonated with me…

Investor extraordinaire, Chris Sacca, recounted a story centered around one of his many seed round investments; a little startup you might know called Instagram.

The story was about him sitting down and speaking with Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, back when there were only a couple employees cramped in a coworking space in the SOMA District in San Francisco.

The two were sitting down together. The company had little traction at that time. Despite the state of affairs, Chris Sacca recalls Kevin telling him, in great detail, about plans for Instagram when the user base reached 10 million users. And then 100 million users. And more…

Chris Sacca, Image Credit:

Some might’ve found this comical or even crazy. But Chris said there was this conviction in his voice that was undeniable. A conviction that made others believe what Kevin was saying wasn’t trivial at all, but instead truth.

If you want to acheive all you’re capable of, you’ve got to have that level of self-confidence. Of course, be sure you are truly gifted in something before diving head-first into it— otherwise you might end up like so many self-delusional American Idol contestants.

Once you have that, you’re good to go! Go hard. Make those in your way be like:




“Still no.”

“Absolutely no!”

“Damn. You’re still here?! Fine, just take it and leave me alone. Here you go.”

Good luck on your journey!

If you liked what you read, then do me a huge favor and pound that Heart Button and I’ll love you forever :)

Also, give another one of my articles a read:

If you would like to learn more about this topic, social media marketing, copywriting, and more then shoot me an email at

If you just want to chat or ask any other questions, then hit me up at

I’d enjoy hearing from you. Have a great rest of the day! Thanks again :)

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

Dakota Shane

Written by

I help make content marketing simple. Columnist: Co-Founder: Copy Buffs (a copywriting agency). Follow me on Twitter.

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

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