In life there are few things you can control. You can view that fact with anxiety or with exhilaration knowing that the unpredictability and uncertainty are what make life fun.
Still, the unpredictability of life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take ownership of what you can in your career. If anything, it means you should be persistent in your efforts to go farther and do more with what you can control.
You’re never a finished product. You always have an opportunity to make something you’ll be proud of for the rest of your life… if you choose to keep going forward.
If you can understand the importance of persistence and apply it to your life and career (and believe me, you can), you’ll set yourself apart from the competition and achieve the goals you set for yourself.You're never a finished product. Perseverance is key to growing your career and yourself. Read more about the importance of perseverance from @debrabenton Click To Tweet
The Importance of Persistence In Business
Make your mind up, and then do something about your decision to distinguish yourself in all aspects of how you think, act, and work.
As Brian Fabes, CEO of Chicago’s Civic Consulting Alliance, says: “If a leader isn’t reaching toward big goals, which is core to getting ahead, he or she will soon find himself or herself behind. In Satchel Page’s words, ‘Someone might be gaining.’ I met a former CEO on a bike trip this fall. He told me his motto was ‘Run scared.’ I would add, ‘But don’t let them see you’re scared,’ so the core message is the same. Don’t stop striving, reaching, running.”
You’re on your own, and it’s all up to you. But it is there for you, so go hard like an Ironman athlete. (And yes, there is stress in being a go-getter, always attempting to grow and evolve. However, there is also significant stress, even depression, in a humdrum, going-nowhere, doing-nothing way of life.)
Success is about intention, belief, and action. The more energy you put into exercising this “muscle,” the more results you’ll get. So let’s start cultivating your own greatness because if you’re not moving forward, you’re slipping behind. And we don’t want that.
With persistence and imagination, one person can change the world, or at least change your world. You are that person. In fact, you are the only one who can change your world. As Michael Warring, president of American Educational Products, said to me: “Each individual is responsible for either accepting or changing his or her own situation.”
It’s that simple. With initiative and persistence, you will find yourself at the top of your game.Success is about intention, belief, and action. The more energy you put into exercising this “muscle,” the more results you’ll get. Click To Tweet
Take The Initiative But Don’t Stop There
Every leader knows the importance of being a self-starter. If you wait for someone else to give you the push you need, you will wait your whole life. You are responsible for you.
But being a self-starter isn’t just about the first steps. Being a self-starter is also the same as being the last to quit, give up, or give in. Nothing ever happens unless you initiate and then keep trying what you started—with creativity that comes from continuous learning to give you new ideas and approaches.
There will always be endless reasons to cave in “this one time” because you are tired, sick, mad, challenged, or bullied…. or whatever other reason you give yourself (and there are lots we can come up with when situations get difficult).
Stick to it. Don’t give up, walk away, or abdicate your promise to yourself.
When you try something that doesn’t work, try it again, in a new way, and if that doesn’t work, try another new way. There is seldom one right answer. The only truly wrong answer is no attempt. It seems counterintuitive, but the more you persist, the more strength you acquire to keep going at it and trying again. Don’t give yourself excuses or exceptions.
Henry Ward Beecher, twentieth-century American clergyman and lecturer, wrote: “The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will and the other from a strong won’t.”
Persistence and Drive Override Skill
The successful entrepreneur John Bianchi, stated in his book, The American Legend, “Nothing ever happens with one attempt.” Experts in skill development say it takes 10,000 hours of practice in a specific area to truly be good.
The truth is that persistence and drive override skill. You can be really good at what you do, but if you don’t persist in performing well, you will not accomplish your goals.
Nobody can stop you from being better, from getting better. Just as you constantly update your clothes, your car, and your hairstyle, update yourself. We’re all created equal, but some of us find a way to rise above the herd so as not to end up lost in it. Be that person.
Be Relentless In Pursuing Opportunities
Tenacity yields a big payback for a small effort. Persistent people are just getting started when others cave in and give up.
If you are willing to consistently persevere, no person, outside force, current circumstance, or future obstacle can keep you from succeeding. If that means following up with some opportunity 4 times or 14, you need to do it.
Now, you also don’t need to be tedious, irritating, or bothersome (no one likes that!). Instead, be creative. Author Katy Pitrowski told me about getting her first professional writing gig. She called the same man every week for four weeks—always with a new angle or idea—until one day when he answered, he simply said, “You’re hired.”
A rejection today is not necessarily a rejection tomorrow. It’s up to you to try again.Tenacity yields a big payback for a small effort. Persistent people are just getting started when others cave in and give up. Click To Tweet
Keep Pressing Forward
Tolerate nothing that keeps you from your goal of doing more and doing it better in your good work. Nag yourself to stick with it until or unless you get additional information that causes you to change course.
Nothing you do or learn will differentiate you if you don’t stick to it in a patient and focused manner. Giving up or giving in is the most common impediment to career success.
Regardless of anything in your past, going forward is what you choose for it to be. Choose persistence today, tomorrow and the next day. Your career, and you, are too valuable to do otherwise.