It’s simpler to delay working on goals when the day-to-day headaches takes up so much time. But to succeed in business and life, you must continually take action on your goals. You must persistently push forward. You cannot put your goals on hold until tomorrow. Or next week. Or next year. You must start now. Or you could miss your opportunity.

Think it’s impossible? Think it can’t be done?

Think again. It’s really just that easy.

For those days this spring when work gets in the way of your ultimate goals and you feel like you just can’t take another single step forward, take inspiration from these inspiring real life stories.

  • In the 1970s, a man dropped out of Harvard University. Years later he started a software company by purchasing technology for only $50. That company became Microsoft, which literally changed the work culture of the 21st century by simplifying the way the computer was used. He has been the world’s richest man for the last decade. His name: Bill Gates.
  • This man’s first animation company went bankrupt, and a news editor fired him because he lacked imagination. Supposedly, he was turned down 302 times before he got financing for creating his ultimate venture. It was Disney World. The man: Walt Disney.
  • He didn’t speak until he was 4 years old and didn’t read until he was 7 years old. His parents and teachers thought he was mentally handicapped. Later, he won a Nobel Prize and became the face of modern physics. He was Albert Einstein.
  • When he was a boy, his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. When he set out on his own, he attempted more than 9,000 experiments before realizing success. He went on to develop many devices that greatly influenced 20th century life – after that first light bulb, of course. Thomas Edison has more than 1,000 U.S. patents to his name.
  • This artist sold only one painting in his lifetime, and that was to a friend. Despite this discouragement, he continued painting and finished more than 800 works. Today, many people would like to acquire one of his paintings; his most expensive painting is valued at more than $142.7 million. We’re talking about The Starry Night’s Vincent Van Gogh.
  • Twenty-seven publishers rejected his first book. Today, every child in America has read at least one of his books, rhyming along with his wacky and memorable characters. This is “The Cat in the Hat’s” Dr. Seuss, otherwise known as Theodor Seuss Giesel.
  • This man dropped out of junior high school. He applied and was denied two times to the prestigious University of Southern California film school, ultimately attending California State University in Long Beach, Calif. Yet, he went on to direct some of the biggest movie blockbusters in history. Today, Steven Spielberg is worth more than $3 billion, and in 1994 got an honorary degree from that film school that rejected him twice.
  • His first book was rejected 30 times, so he threw it away. His wife pulled it out of the trash and encouraged him to resubmit it. Today, he’s sold more than 350 million copies of his books, which have become the stuff of legend, and nightmare. That first book was “Carrie”. The author: Stephen King.
  • 20th Century Fox dropped her after one year into her contract because her producer thought she was unattractive and couldn’t act. She didn’t let that deter her and was recognized by the public as the 20th century’s most famous movie star, sex symbol and icon. We’re talking about Marilyn Monroe.
  • Many record labels rejected this rock band. In a famous rejection, the label was quoted saying, “Guitar groups are on the way out.” Not long after that letter, this band signed with EMI and brought Beatlemania to the U.S., becoming one of the greatest and most iconic bands in history.
  • Cut from his high school basketball team he became one of the greatest basketball players in the sport. One of his famous quotes: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions, I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” This basketball legend is Michael Jordan.

Today, you may feel like you can’t move forward. Today, you may feel like your goals are too far out of your reach. Today, you may feel like a failure. But you have what it takes to succeed. You just need to start. Today. As “The Happiness Project” author Gretchen Rubin says, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

And it doesn’t matter if you get knocked down along the way; you just have to remember to get back up.

Nicole Wisniewski is a 15-year green industry veteran and award-winning journalism and marketing professional. She is currently a senior project manager in The Davey Tree Expert Co.’s marketing/corporate communications department. Reach her at [email protected].