Why Persistence Keeps You In the Game!!!

I want to explore an important issue in business success, the answer to which I am not certain of.

The issue is persistence.

Many motivational speakers, authors, as well as countless others claim that persistence is the supreme secret of success.

The idea: as long as you keep trying, you haven’t lost. When you give up, you have.

When asked to give a commencement talk, Winston Churchill stood up, walked to the podium, stared at the crowd, and said: “Never, never, never give up.” That was his entire speech. Then he turned and sat back down.

Calvin Coolidge famously said, “Nothing in this 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.”

But years ago I was at a book publishing convention where Stephen King was the keynote speaker.

Someone in the audience asked him, “How many rejection slips should an author get before deciding writing is not for him and giving up?”

Without missing a beat, King replied: “Six is too few. Six thousand is too many.”

In other words, you reach some point where the world is telling you: you may be smart and ambitious, and you may be successful at some point, but not at this time in this particular activity or enterprise.

Another guy I know, AS, barely gets by as an unsuccessful commercial real estate agent.

He is convinced that any day he will hit those big multi-million dollar deals and collect huge commission checks.

But it has not happened yet. Even once. And this is his 13th year in the business.

Yet AS is convinced that the whopper deal that will put him on easy street is coming any day yet, so he sticks with real estate and ignores advice that maybe he should try something else.

So my question is: Should you persist without end at something you are not having success at?

Or is there some point where you say to yourself, “This is not for me. I need to try something else.”

I have read some authors who put a limit on persistence and say that an entrepreneur should not give himself forever to make his business work.

The rule of thumb I have heard is that if you can’t make a profit after 5 years in the business, it’s not going to work for you.

In such cases, you should close it down and try another business venture or get a 9-to-5 job, as friends and relatives are urging AS to do.

What are your thoughts on this matter?


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