Get Back in There and Try it Again

During last year's commencement ceremony for the University of San Francisco’s College of Arts & Sciences, comedian, Bill Cosby served as the guest speaker.

In his address to the graduates, Cosby reminded the students to push through obstacles in order to reach their potential.

To illustrate his point, Cosby shared about his first real opportunity to make it big as a stand up comedian. It happened back in Chicago, where he was hired to headline at a popular club for $740 a week. Big money back in the day.

"I knew I could go there 'cause I was good!" he said.

After having the red carpet rolled out for him by the club, Cosby stepped out onto the stage and was horrible. He bombed!

He told the story"The room felt heavy. I felt heavy. I began to understand: I had no business in this nightclub."

Cosby offered the club-owners their money back after the show, and promised to quit comedy and become a teacher. The owners nodded, agreed that he'd stunk, and told him to get back on stage for the second show.

"I stayed, still feeling heavy," Cosby said.

This time, instead of announcing Cosby as "America's fastest rising new comic" as before, the announcer simply told the audience his name.

Cosby stepped onstage as the curtain rose and demanded, "Where was my intro?" The announcer replied, "Obviously, you didn't see the first show!" And the two began to banter.

"I was back!" Cosby told the graduates. "I was brilliant! 

I cannot imagine a world without the comedy of Bill Cosby. No Cosby Show. No Fat Albert. Yet it almost happened.

Had it not been for the words of some club owner in Chicago who said, “Get back in there and try it again,” the world would have lost a brilliant comic.

As a leader, might there be someone in your circle of influence who needs to hear you say, “Get back in there and try it again?”

Is there an area where you, yourself, need to have a do-over? If so, dust yourself off and get back in there and give it another shot. And of course, encourage someone else toward their dream too.

We all bomb from time to time, but we must not quit. For we never arrive at greatness without picking up a few scars along the way.

Stay the course, and soon someone might be saying of you, “She’s back, and she was brilliant.”



Is there a place in your life where you have given up and need to reconsider?




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Coach Brown

10 years ago

Encouragement is like a baton in the relay race of life. It is received and then passed on to win the race set before us. Like the passage in Hebrews, we must run the race before us, encouraged by those who have finished the race before us (Heb 12:1-2).


10 years ago

Good word, Coach!


10 years ago

Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement, fortunately I
never have to look further than my wife. It is my opinion that sincere
encouragement is a leadership requirement that leads to strong teams remarkable
camaraderie and people willing to do whatever is required of them in good and
bad times. Find someone doing something good and let them know. Then stand back
and watch them shine, one of life’s simplest pleasures.


10 years ago

Great advice Mike!


10 years ago

Sometimes I feel that way about writing the devotional thoughts. But then someone tells me that it was just what they needed that day. Then I think it is worth writing and I need to persevere. Who knows maybe someday I can become a real author...
Thanks Randy, and I am glad you didn't hang it up on those difficult days because you do make a difference...


10 years ago

Thanks Jason!

Patricia Freeman Nesberg

10 years ago

Flailing around like a fish out of water gasping for sustenance, I've continued on while my environment whispers in observation of the situation. I believe in myself. I walk on in faith even as my days are too long for my body and mind. I'm glad to hear this story. I'm glad someone encouraged Bill to stand in a room of possible disbelievers, a room full of scrutiny, and drive forward anyway. It's really ugly sometimes, but there's something in there to be seen and to be found and cherished.


10 years ago

Thank you for commenting Patricia. I hope you have a great weekend!


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