Og Mandino says that one of the biggest determinants of success is persistence. Persistence is characterized by a willingness to keep putting in the time and keep trying. When you fail you get up and go again. Some days, this is harder than others.
I clearly remember one of those days. One of my clients was in the middle of a crisis that seriously endangered their ability to continue in business in the long run. I had nothing to do with how they arrived at this point; and I did not have the power to ensure that they could go on. It’s crushing and humbling, especially since I had invested myself in their business on an emotional level.
I had worked with this client for more than five years. I’d seen them go up and down. I saw them face adversity and financial challenges that would have put a lesser company with less determined leadership out of business. I was thrilled to celebrate with them as they were emerging strong, vibrant, and ready to expand their operations.
And then out of the blue, they received a letter that threatened their continued existence. I am grateful that I was present and able to lend what limited support and advice I was able to provide. And yet, even though it is not my company, I felt crushed.
This experience made me appreciate my business and also to feel more acutely the challenges that my business faced. After working with my client shoulder to shoulder on their challenge, I felt too wiped out to come home and face my own personal challenges, lesser though they be.
I think resilience is a big part of the persistence that Og Mandino was talking about. Resilience is the ability to roll with the punches, the ability to fall down and get back up again, the ability to get a good night’s sleep and start all over again. Resilience is the inability to stay down on the ground, the determination to crawl if one cannot walk.
And so it is that the next day I was ready to fight again. To do the things I needed to do to make my business strong and create the vision that I saw. To make myself available to my client who was struggling – even if all I could offer was a sounding board, encouragement, and moral support. To give my client the perspective they needed to be persistent and resilient in this trying time.
This story had a happy ending and my client is once again thriving and growing. Their resilience and persistence was strong.
When you are down on the floor, wondering if it’s worth the effort to get up because you’re pretty sure that you’re just going to get knocked down again, remember, success comes to those who are persistent, resilient, and just too stupid or stubborn to stay down on the ground.
I wish you selective stupidity and stubbornness!