Persistence Pays

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” –  Calvin Coolidge

One of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs is the ability to keep on going even when the going gets tough. Many a business dream that came into the world with an enthusiastic shout, later died with a feeble whimper because the entrepreneur just didn’t have the persistence to continue until success prevailed.

Ralph Marston in his Monthly Motivator online newsletter confirms that long term, consistent success in any endeavour requires persistence. “With enough persistence, anything is possible. It is a quality that counts more than skill or knowledge or intelligence or the right connections. The ability to persist is the ability to win.”

What steps can you take to become more persistent?

Decide why it’s important for you to keep going

The first action to creating persistence is to find a compelling reason NOT to give up. You have to be passionate about your purpose, and very clear about the reasons for establishing your business. Do you want to achieve financial freedom for your family? Do you want to make a difference in your country?

For me, the knowledge that there are thousands of Jamaicans in financial distress motivates me to keep pursuing my goal of advancing financial literacy and empowerment.

Do it even when you don’t feel like it

It easy to keep going when you feel great and everything is happening according to plan. The truly persistent don’t let personal feelings stop them from accomplishing their goals.

You feel a cold coming on, but you take some medication and make that important presentation anyway. You hate calling new prospects, but you smile through all the negative responses until someone says yes to your proposal. As Nike says, “Just Do It!”

Think of challenges as speed bumps, not brick walls

Persistence can be difficult when there seems to be nothing but obstacles in your path. According to Marston, obstacles are not there to stop you, but to challenge you.

“Obstacles are what make achievement worthwhile, if there were no obstacles, then achievement would be meaningless and without value.” Challenges can also develop your character and teach you valuable life lessons.

Defeat discouragement

In every business, disappointments will come which can make you doubt yourself and think of giving up. Fight the despairing thoughts by taking action – take an honest and objective look at the problems you’re facing.

Seek professional help in areas in which you lack the expertise. You may even need to change your approach and adjust your strategy to get to your goal.

Balance work and rest

Despite living in a world of instant gratification, we have to realise that important things are not accomplished overnight. Being a workaholic doesn’t always bring faster success.

In fact, if you keep going without resting you will end up extremely tired, unable to focus and more likely to quit from sheer exhaustion. Make the time to rest and re-energize yourself.

So whatever comes your way, keep going, for as Marston says, “You can only win the race if you run it through to the end.”

(c) 2008 Cherryl Hanson Simpson

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