Persistance is the only name of the game

Today, we have to talk about a very DIRTY and DANGEROUS word. You’ve been warned. The word I’m talking about is: POTENTIAL.

Listen, I’ve met a lot of entrepreneurs in the last three years. Nearly all of them had enormous POTENTIAL. Writers, artists, computer technicians, number crunchers, internet geniuses. They ALL had potential.

Potential is a dangerous word because when you first embark on your career in entrepreneurship, you NEED to hear it all the time. You NEED that validation from the outside world. And when you get it, it’s like swallowing a magic pill that makes all your problems go away. I’m telling you, I’ve lived through this, it means EVERYTHING to hear a customer, or an investor, or your Mama, or basically ANYONE say, in plain English, that your business idea has potential.

Seriously, it makes you want to dance around in your underwear. But many of the potentially successful entrepreneurs I’ve met haven’t managed to pull themselves out of the dust. I worry about them at night because I know they’ve stopped doing what they’re good at. I worry about them because I know they’ve slipped quietly into a cubicle somewhere and allowed the life they SHOULD be living to float away. I often wonder why this happens.

Why do so many talented people end up living such MEDIOCRE lives?

You see, being talented and having a lot of potential means a lot when you’re in school, or when you graduate. But that’s pretty much where it ends. All this talent and potential amounts to NOTHING unless you’re DOING SOMETHING with what you’ve got. When the universe bestows talent on you, you need to start working with all your might to make something LASTING of it. So don’t stop doing what you’re good at. I’m begging you, please keep going.

Do yourself a favour and forget about this imaginary asset called potential. The world EXPECTS MORE than potential. Potential doesn’t pay the bills or feed your kids. Start focusing on something else: PERSISTENCE. Persistence really is your best friend in business, art, sport and life in general.

There’s this author I know, his name is JACK CANFIELD. You can google him if you like. He’s the guy behind the whole ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series of books. And as of today, his work has been translated into 40 languages, selling over 112 million copies so far. That’s a crazy amount of books, yes? Well, Jack wasn’t always so successful. Before he got his first publishing deal for Chicken Soup, he sent out that manuscript to 141 different publishers, and received, can you handle it, 141 separate rejection letters from them. Dude, imagine that. 141 rejection letters. It was the 142nd that worked. My message is this: every entrepreneur gets rejected, sometimes over and over. But the ones who only have potential STOP TRYING somewhere along the way. They give up. And then, before you know it, they’ve become someone who USED to own a business. Or someone who WANTED to own a business.

All I want you to do is keep trying. You don’t know when that big break will come. You just don’t know what’s waiting for you around the corner. Tell me idea if this works for you. I want your feedback.

Until then, be strong. Be brave. Be persistent. (I tip my imaginary hat.)