When was the last time you showed persistence?

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’m coaching somebody at the moment who used to work in Television and is in the process of setting up a new business. We were talking about the importance of persistence and she told me a story about her early days in TV when she was a Programme Editor’s assistant. Jenny was contacted by a guy who was looking to break into television and was willing to do any job to help him achieve this goal. After checking with the Editor Jenny told him unfortunately there were no opportunities available.

A few weeks later the guy rang back again, with the same answer, sorry nothing available. At the end of the month he called again, still no joy. However he was friendly and eager and told Jenny he would call again….

At her next meeting with the Editor Jenny talked about the guy and how she knew he was going to call again and again and again, and was there anything they could give him, if only to stop him calling!

The Editor asked how much they had in petty cash. £50 Jenny replied. Well, the Editor decided, if he calls in again tell him we can give him some work, but we can only give him £50 a week in expenses.

Sure enough the guy called in again and he was taken on and stayed long enough to become Editor of the TV station’s main news programme.

This is a really important lesson to learn, it is too easy to give up. If you want to succeed you need to be prepared for rejection and you need to be able to accept it and try again. Too often in sales environments you see sales people give up at the first hurdle. Persistence is what seperates the successful from those who don’t last the course.

Nothing in the 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. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Calvin Coolidge

When was the last time you showed real persistence?

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3 Responses to When was the last time you showed persistence?

  1. John Fox says:


    What an inspiring topic!! Indeed, the race is not to the swift but to the one who never quits. Thank you for posting this.



  2. admin says:

    Great story! I totally agree with you on the need to have a worthy goal and enlisting other people to help you get there. The Michael Jordan ad for Nike illustrates the importance of embracing failure:


    Who’d have thought he had failed so often! 🙂

  3. Great post, encompasing perhaps one of the top principles of success.

    At 23, with no money in my pocket, I decided to quit my job and become a millionaire… or homeless – nothing in between. And in short eight months, I reached my goal: I became…, well, homeless. How’s that for persistance 🙂

    I never gave up on my dream… I lived at a church shelter for close to a year, and every morning I’d put on my suit and tie and hit the streets… and by 27 I was on top of the world – more successful than I ever imagined.

    So, yes, persistance does pay off. Just have to be careful you are persistant with WHAT / in WHAT DIRECTION. A fly can be really persistant trying to get out of a window, only to die on the window seal. I’d say
    1. Pick a worthy goal (a BIG one) and go for it
    2. Ask other successful people how they got “there” and follow in their foot-print
    3. Take massive action – don’t be afraid to fail. There’s no such thing as failure – only learning experiences and stepping stones…

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