Think & Grow Rich Lessons
Celeste Smucker Nellysford, VA, United States

Posted: 2017-03-07

Chapter 9 Persistence

I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.--Steve Jobs

How persistent are you?  How willing are you to keep moving forward when the going gets tough?  When people say "no" or distributors quit?

Hill tells us that "lack of persistence is one of the major causes of failure,"  and that successful people demonstrate "will-power, which they mix with persistence, and place back of their desires to insure the attainment of their objectives."  He gives us many examples of persistence at work in the stories he tells of successful people.  Steve Jobs, who was fired from his own company and then hired back, was one of many modern examples of success through persistence.  

We all understand the power of a strong "why" as a motivation for persistence.  Why put up with the down times if we don't have a strong reason to keep going?   The importance of willpower also makes sense, since having more of it  helps keep us focused on a particular path and not get distracted by ups and downs.  

Research shows that willpower takes energy and one way to have more of it to back persistence is to increase what we have and not squander it on small stuff.

For example, making decisions takes energy, so the more decisions we make in a day the less we have for persistence.  And this includes small decisions like what to wear or what to do first when you get up in the morning. 

Margi Starr recently wrote a great piece about the power of morning rituals.  One of many reasons to have a list of morning activities to jump into as soon as you get out of bed in the morning is that you don't waste time on making a decision about what to do first.  You already did that so now you have that much more energy to be persistent in your business.  Of course the rituals themselves, like meditation or prayer or exercise can increase your energy levels so two powerful reasons to adopt this practice.

On just about every call Michael talks about the importance of a to-do list, especially for blues, but for everyone who wants to be more efficient.  Not only will you get more done, but now you have a track to run on and you won't be asking yourself what to do next.  To make it even more powerful, try scheduling each activity.  Since it always makes sense to do the important things first, this forces you to set priorities in advance. That means these decisions are already made and you won't waste energy on them during the most productive part of your day.

But it's not just the critical decisions that take energy, it's all of them.  I  recently read an article about things successful people do every day, and one was that they don't waste time on unimportant decisions.  For example, Mark Zuckerberg always wears the same type of clothes...jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie.  Why does that matter?  He doesn't waste time and energy deciding what to wear every morning and has more available for the important things.

How often have you stood in your closet and asked yourself what to wear, then changed your mind and tried something else, then something else?  Always this happens when I am in a hurry so I end up rushing out of the house leaving a stack of discarded choices on my bed.  And always wearing the same clothes doesn't just apply to people who wear jeans every day...I have also read about high level corporate executives, men and women both, who have a sort of uniform...like a suit with a white blouse or shirt.  They always look the same and they don't waste the energy they need for willpower...and no doubt they are persistent or they wouldn't be so successful.

And by the way, willpower research also found that it requires blood sugar.  If you are feeling overwhelmed and ready to quit, maybe it's because you forgot to have lunch.  

Celeste Smucker, Nellysford, VA