It’s true regardless of what you do. The number one key to your success depends upon your ability to hold the course, set realistic expectations and refuse to give up.
True story #1: One of my clients Rudolph Palmer owns Optimal Power Washing. The morning his mother was buried, before attending the funeral he cleaned a clients deck for his startup. Rudolph told me that he swore that day that his business would never fail. He would do what ever it took to keep it going – Persistence in the face of pain.
I think most individuals who start something get this as it applies to them (the individual, the person doing the starting), but most don’t realize it’s equally important for their team, spouse, partner, etc to have the same willingness to persist in the face of obstacles.
Does your team have the same willingness to persist as you do?
True story #2: The Thrilla in Manila was the third and final fight between boxing greats Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Frazier was quoted as saying “If Ali wanted to win he’ll have to kill me in that ring”. Now that’s true will…I’ll die before giving up or letting the other guy win. The fact of the matter is that both fighters had a larger than life willingness to persist in the face of great odds, but only one of them had a team with the same willingness.
The fight went 14 of 15 rounds. By the 14th round both men were beyond complete exhaustion and Frazier fought the entire 14th round blind. Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, seeing the results of the 14th round decides, against Joe’s will and despite his open protest, it’s over and throws in the towel. Here’s the irony – after the fight Ali admits that he had gone back to his corner and instructed his team that he was done, he couldn’t fight another round. Frazier had broken Ali’s will and won the fight but his team gave up literally seconds to soon.
Does your team, spouse, partner, etc, have the same drive to persist as you do? Are they willing to go to the same extremes as you?
A few closing thoughts:
- Pleasant persistence wears down resistance – use drip campaigns, social media, and email marketing to gently remind prospects you’re here.
- A steady drip of water eats a hole in a rock – the Gran Canyon started as some little crevice but the persistent running of water over millions of years has made it the wonder it is today.
- “Become like water” – Bruce Lee
[Update 12/5/2012] Found this on Seth Godin’s blog it’s so relevant to this post I had to add it here “Most people with a big idea, great talent and/or something to say don’t get lucky at first. Or second. Or even third. It’s so easy to conclude that if you’re not lucky, you’re not good. So persistence becomes an essential element of good, because without persistence, you never get a chance to get lucky.” You can read his entire post here.