Comebacks, Redemption and Second Acts

“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”

— Napoleon Hill

When the novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote that… “there are no second acts in American lives”… he was obviously incorrect and ignorant to the fact that human beings have an enormous capacity for overcoming adversity both personal and professional, with intelligence, patience, and panache.

COMEBACKS, REDEMPTION AND SECOND ACTS are ubiquitous in our culture today: the salesperson or entrepreneur who turns a bad year or quarter into one of redemption and prosperity, the celebrity or athlete who falls from grace and bounces back bigger and better than ever.

So often it’s a major setback — cancer, divorce, job loss, the death of a loved one, bankruptcy, an accident, or a faux pas — that puts the spotlight on our lives and shows us the way to a meaningful “second act.”

Sooner or later we all hit the skids. It happens to everyone. At some point, we all wind up with our backs against the wall and need to make a comeback.

Yes, we all get knocked down, but successful people know how to pick themselves back up.

So how do we do it?

What follows is your blueprint for staging an epic comeback. It’s your catalyst for quickly and dramatically turning things around… primarily because it focuses on one thing — getting you from point A to B (setback to comeback) as quickly as possible.

The single best strategy for staging your comeback and creating radical results fast is…to play a strong, relentless offense.

Teaching you how to play offense…more specifically, how become a formidable opponent, an unstoppable powerhouse, a lean, mean results generating machine that bounces back higher than before and makes huge performance gains is what this message is all about…so let’s get after it.


Strategy is defined as a plan of action intentionally designed to achieve a desired goal. There are two and only two types of strategy…offense and defense.

Offensive strategy exists to advance your position, to score goals, to put points on the board…to win. Offensive strategy is proactive…it means playing to win.

Defensive strategy is about protective posturing, it exists to hold ground, to prevent the offense or opposition from scoring. Defensive strategy is reactive…it means PLAYING NOT TO LOSE.

Without apology or sugarcoating…far too many people spend their lives deploying the wrong strategy and that’s precisely why they find themselves in need of a comeback.

They choose to play defense. They choose to resist change. They choose to maintain the status quo. They choose to lower their standards. They choose to play it safe and settle for less.

They do not strike fast and hard when opportunity presents itself. They merely exist; they are a spectator and live a small fear-filled life.

Because of playing defense, they operate in a reactive, wait-and-see mode, constantly retreating, forever back pedaling, they are ridiculously hyper-cautious…. and sadly, they will have very little to show on life’s highlight reel.

On the other hand, those that choose to deploy a strong, relentless and determined offense will find themselves constantly advancing, consistently gaining ground, building massive momentum, proactively creating the conditions for positive change in their life and career and most importantly…achieving their goals.

That’s what you really want? Isn’t it?

As to why it matters…while there’s always a time and place for defensive competitive strategy…a strong, relentless offensive strategy is the ONLY sure way you are going to stage your comeback and lead yourself to greatness.

What follows is your ten-point game plan for bouncing back, redeeming yourself and crushing your goals. Deploy it vigilantly and not only will you be astonished by the results…but you’ll be enjoying those results faster than you ever thought possible.

Download Comeback Manifesto



THOSE WITH THE CHARACTER to triumph in the end Refuse to Die. They will not allow the indignity of a failure or setback to force them out of the game.

You will not turn things around, nor do you stand a chance of making any meaningful progress in your life until and unless you refuse to die.

Until you decide to go all in and commit to crushing your goals by developing a plan and executing your plan consistently…you will forever remain in the situation you are in.

That’s why you must decide that no matter what happens in your quest to turn things around …no matter how much suffering you need to endure…no matter the price you need to pay… that you are in it to win it…and that you Refuse to Die.


IF THE OBJECTIVE is to make up for lost time, to redeem yourself and get back on top than you owe it to yourself to find the fastest way to get it done.


If the goal is to become debt free…why perpetuate the pain and do it slowly?

If the goal is to lose weight and get in great shape…why on earth should it be a long draw out process?

If the goal is to get better grades…why should it take any longer than the next exam to turn things around?

If the goal is to become the sales leader…why should it take until next quarter or next year when you can wear the crown next month?

The fact is…any goal, plan, idea or project expands so as to fill and reinforce the unrealistic amount of time you have made available for its completion.

“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.”
— Vince Lombardi


“NO” is not only the most powerful word in your vocabulary…it’s also a complete sentence. It’s the easiest word for setting a limit, honoring priorities, holding firm to boundaries, and being clear about what you will or will not do in any area of your life.

You will be infinitely more productive once you recognize that:

1. “No” is not a dirty word, negative word, nor is it a selfish word. Learning to say “No” is liberating as it frees up your time to focus on your key priorities.

2. You are in complete control of how you spend your time and your life. Saying “No” allows you more time and energy to pursue your goals and wildest ambitions.

3. Saying, “No,” increases the value of the things you can, “Yes” to.

The truth is…a successful comeback demands a short YES list and a long NO list, yet most people have that one reverse engineered…and pay dearly for it.


THE GREATEST WASTE of untapped resources in this world are the hopes, prayers, dreams and intentions that don’t translate into purposeful, goal directed behavior.

Ideas and intentions like getting in shape, writing a novel, learning a language, or even unpacking the boxes from your last move are simply meaningless without action.

To stage your comeback and redeem yourself you must judiciously focus on results for the simple reason that in the end…only results matter.

Intentions and resolutions devoid of action are meaningless and incapable of putting food on your table…or clothes on your back.


STAGING YOUR COMEBACK and fast tracking your goals requires you to become unreasonable in what you expect from yourself…and in the unreasonable demands you make upon others.

Most people on the other hand settle for a small squeak of their potential because they bought into the belief that simply being reasonable is the way to go. How foolish and casualty creating that belief is.

The reasonable person adapts themselves to the world while the unreasonable one persists in trying to adopt the world to himself.

Therefore, all large, significant and lasting progress depends on the unreasonable person.


THE DISTANCE BETWEEN those who make a successful comeback and those who continue to under-perform…has everything to do with one’s readiness, willingness and ability to go above and beyond expectations.

Delivering only what your customer expects will give you job security (maybe), but it won’t make you stand out.

And if you don’t stand out, you won’t get promoted, you won’t get the referral, you won’t get the repeat business, and you won’t get the lifetime loyalty, devotion and reverence you’re after.

You can’t expect extraordinary results or superior compensation without consistently going above and beyond your client’s expectations.


IF YOU’RE EVER going to find your greatness, and turn things around in your life…you must decide that what you want is BIGGER and far more important than any fear, excuse or self-limiting belief which prevents you from achieving it.

By doing so, you will rise to every challenge with confidence, conviction, and certainty.

If you think about it, you only have two choices when faced with an obstacle, challenge or opportunity: you can choose to rise and shine…or you can let it beat you down into submission.

As with most everything in life, it matters more what we do about what happens to us more than what actually happens to us.


YOUR SUCCESS IN making a successful comeback and redeeming yourself is forever linked to your heart…your will…your steadfast commitment to your goals.

The relentless attitude is the winning attitude, and the remarkable thing about life is that we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

You cannot ever let fatigue make you a coward, nor can you ever expect to win without struggling, without suffering, without sacrificing…as these are all essential elements for making a comeback and redeeming yourself.

Staging your comeback and quickly closing any performance gaps necessitates that you fight on with undying, relentless determination.


EVERY goal poses a simple question: How badly do you want it?

To realize your potential and to stage a successful comeback, you must respond with some version of this answer: More.

And then you must prove it…that’s where hunger and passion come into the picture.

Passion is hardcore devotion to a person, goal or cause; it infuses life with meaning, joy, significance and unbridled enthusiasm. It’s desire in your heart, it’s fire in your belly…it’s the twinkle in your eye…it’s your magnificent obsession.

Passion is your psychological mojo, it’s the reason why you get up early and work late, it’s the why that points the way…and it is an indispensable virtue that’s far more valuable than money, power, or fame.

Whatever your goals are in life…it’s your passion, the white hot flame burning in your belly…that’s the ONLY thing that will keep you committed to success.


AS YOU WORK towards the goal of making a successful comeback and fully redeeming yourself …you must embrace the idea that your ability to recognize and adapt to change quickly is an asset in need of cultivation.

While adapting to the relentless pace of change is difficult…not adapting is fatal as history is littered with the bodies of very successful people and companies who were brought to their knees, and put in an early grave due to their inability or unwillingness to adapt or adjust to the changing environment in which they found themselves in.

Change descends upon each one of us equally; the difference is that some of us realize it faster than others and adapt accordingly. That’s why you must implement this final comeback rule…become a quick change artist.

Gary Ryan Blair is creator of the 100 Day Challengea radical approach to goal achievement that shows you how to 10X your goals by applying the strategies of growth hacking.

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