“Without bloody-minded determination and persistence you don’t achieve success.” These are the words of Mandy Haberman, the inventor of the Anyway Up cup. And from the interviews that I have conducted recently with successful entrepreneurs, it certainly seems to be the trait that differentiates those who make it with those who don’t.
Persistence is probably the one trait that you will find in all high achievers. They are like a dog with a bone and won’t let go until they have achieved the outcome that they decided upon. No matter how difficult it seems, the longer you persist, the more likely your success.
I was recently at the North London chamber of Commerce Successful Connections event and had the pleasure of hearing Sally Preston, the founder of Babylicious and Kiddylicious share her story and challenges in creating her business. Her challenges have been many from a trademark dispute when she was launching her company, to someone launching a malicious campaign against her company by telling all her buyers that her company was in dispute with Marks and Spencers, to having a 200 store rollout cancelled after purchasing the freezers and ordering the stock to fulfil the order. What amazed me, was that through this all, Sally would not and did not give up. Her persistence is what has kept her going, despite problems that would have stopped many of us.
“The most essential factor is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.”
James Whitcomb Riley
Sometimes you are going to face obstacles, both predicted and unforeseen, in your business or personal life that are going to stop you in your tracks. And sometimes you’ll wonder why you ever set out on the road that you are on.
Code of Persistence
From “How to turn Failure into Success” -Harold Sherman
1. I will never give up so long as I am right.
2. I will believe that all things will work out for me if I hang on to the end.
3. I will be courageous and undismayed in the face of poor odds.
4. I will not permit anyone to intimidate or deter me from my goals.
5. I will fight to overcome all physical handicaps and setbacks.
6. I will try again and again and yet again to accomplish what I desire.
7. I will take new faith and resolution from the knowledge that all successful men and women have had to fight defeat and adversity.
8. I will never surrender to discouragement or despair no matter what seeming obstacles may confront me.
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
One man – one journey
In the Success Principles, Jack Canfield shares three stories of persistence and hope and what people can achieve once they set their mind to it. One of the stories, is one that I have had personal experience of; the courage and tenaciousness of Terry Fox, a Canadian national hero.
Terry Fox was a young man who lost his right leg to cancer and in 1980 he decided to embark on a journey across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He shuffled and hopped 24 miles a day, with an artificial leg. He ran from St. John’s Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada to Thunder Bay, a town in Northern Ontario over 143 days and 3107 miles, when he was forced to stop as they discovered that he had cancer in his lungs. He died a few months later on June 21, 1981. Growing up in Canada, I remember the national mourning for this amazing young man, but his legacy lives on today with the annual Terry Fox run. This run has raised over $400 million for cancer research. You can find out more about Terry Fox and his incredible journey at www.terryfoxrun.org
As Terry was running across Canada and asked how he kept himself going he said “ I just keep running to the next telephone pole”.
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Harriett Beecher Stowe
Never give up on your dreams
What is your telephone pole? What are the small steps that you can take to keep yourself going when the going gets tough?
If you hang in there long enough, you will eventually reach your goals. Small actions, taken consistently and regularly are the path to success. Do what it takes to achieve yourself and believe in yourself and your goals.
“Persistence isn’t using the same tactics over and over. That’s just annoying. Persistence is having the same goal over and over.” Seth Godin
Photo credit: This photo has come from Flickr and was taken by Rapster