Persistence is crucial for success, and even if you don’t think it is your strong suit, you can learn it.
Some may seem to be naturally gifted at persistence. Yet, it is a skill that you can, and must learn. It will make all the difference in your success, and getting what you really want. It is what separates the champions from all of the unknowns littering the highway to the top.
If you’ve ever been a fan of Mohammed Ali or Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky movies you know that often winning is simply about hanging in there, and being able to weather the blows until you get your shot. In businesses like real estate it is often a game of just working the numbers, and working your way through no’s to get to the real deals. In any new business or investment venture it can be a matter of testing and trying until the results show up. So, how can you improve your persistence and win?
Persistence, like learning to take action can seem tough if you don’t have a good habit of doing it. So, start small. What small things can you persist at, and win small victories in, to develop strong habits? It could be daily exercise, a small tweak to your diet, journaling, networking, sending thank you notes, or small marketing tasks each morning.
Most people haven’t been trained to have a good handle on delayed gratification, nor embrace it. Yet, that is exactly what you get when you persist. The more you persist, the bigger the rewards. Yet, to keep yourself going, and to keep you in the game, you need to allow yourself some small rewards for your persistence. Sometimes they will come organically in the form of personal or financial rewards from the work you are putting in. If you need more motivation, then create milestone rewards for yourself along the way. If you are working a new exercise plan, then allow yourself a cheat day to eat what you want, if you stick with the program all week. If you are throwing yourself into building a new business, maybe the reward is a weekend away with the family, after you’ve got your website launched and your first paying customer.
Recognize that it’s a Dance, not a March
Many people see persistence as a steady, miserable, dull march. Some are good at that. Most aren’t. It is this perception that causes many to fail or never to try. Yet, often slugging away with the same moves just doesn’t yield the desired results. You can still be persistent, and switch up your strategies and tactics. You can duck, weave, pivot, lunge, and leap. Sometimes you’ll take two steps back, before make a larger one forward. That’s okay. Just don’t give up.
Own the Long-Term
If you commit to taking the small steps, the ‘overnight’ success will take care of itself. Know what you want to achieve in the long term. Accept that somethings will take time. Buckle down, and just focus on the work.
Make the Work Edible
Since somethings will take time, make sure you make it doable. Don’t commit yourself to phone sales or knocking on doors eight hours a day until you make it, at the risk of your family starving if you quit, if you hate that type of work. Limit your exposure to grinding tasks you don’t love. Do that by outsourcing or using different tactics. Find ways to make sales doing things you love.
If you go too hard, too long, you will burn out. Take breaks. Plan for active breaks in advance. Determine you will disconnect, and engage yourself fully in time doing something else. Then, get back to it, fully charged again.
Know When to Quit
Sometimes there are tactics which just don’t work. Sometimes they’ll never be profitable, no matter how long and hard you try them. Set guidelines in advance. Decide when or at what level you’ll call something a success or failure. Maybe that is giving a magazine ad or direct mail campaign six months to pay off. Or getting a certain ROI from your Facebook ads.
Just because one thing isn’t working, doesn’t mean you should give up on your dream. Don’t be afraid to completely revamp your plans, brand, and way you connect. Sometimes you just need a new approach.
Few will have the mental strength to persist long term all by themselves. So, build a support system. Get accountability partners, partners, and coaches who will keep driving you on those days you are tempted to stop.