One of the most valuable character traits a small business owner can have is persistence. It's like a muscle though: you have to work at it, building it up. Your persistence muscle also need regular use to maintain its strength. Here are some tips on how to build your persistence muscle.
Google defines persistence as:
the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
Similar: perseverance tenacity determination
Think back on the times when you persisted and achieved something, despite the setbacks and obstacles you encountered. If you can’t think of anything, then think of this: you’re reading this now because at some stage, you learned how to read. That likely wasn’t easy. You didn’t give up though, did you?
The same thinking can be applied to your business goals. So you launched a product with high expectations, and your launch flopped. Did you give up? Or did you keep going, all the while tweaking your offer or your marketing copy, giving it all you had until you finally succeeded?
Now remember another time when you were persistent and successful in your endeavour? What did you do? How long and how often did your behaviour repeat in order to get the results you wanted?
Persistence is important to find success, & knowing when to persist can help you find success even faster. If you're having trouble getting the desired results, you must continue to do more of what's gotten you results so far. Having an understanding of how to be persistent can help you get what you want. You can practice these strategies until you feel more confident on when persistence will work for you. With all activities, the more you practice the better!
Try these tips to build your persistence muscle for greater success in your business
- Persistence is something we're all born with. Don’t tell yourself that you can’t be persistent because you weren’t born that way. You were! You just forgot how to use it. Persistence is something that you can re-learn. And it’s never too late to start re-learning how to be persistent.
- Keep checking that the goal is important. Since persistence requires quite a lot of mental and physical energy, you must ensure that the goal remains important. Circumstances can change, and sometimes things become less important, so you want to be certain that the effort you’re expending is still worth it.
- Get clarity about what you want to achieve. Know what you want. Focus on the desired outcome because this will motivate you to achieve your goal.
- Keep the faith. Persistence may not require any particular skills, but it does take some faith. If you truly believe in what you're doing, there's a better chance that it'll happen.
- Be adaptable in your approach. Focus less on the HOW and more on the WHAT. You must be willing to change the process of achieving your goal if that process will produce a sub-standard outcome.
- Know when to tweak or change a goal. If you find your business situation has changed or the goal is no longer important, go confidently in a new direction. Make a plan that will take you to a new goal.
- Never, ever, give up - even if the goal changes, keep going to achieve that new goal.
- Find a role model to inspire you. There are many stories of persistence that lead to success! And for anyone, it's possible to take inspiration from these stories. They include writers, athletes, humanitarians, musicians etc.
- Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting against apartheid in South Africa, and was labelled a terrorist by his opponents. He was released in 1989 and went on to work with the white government to dismantle apartheid. He was a joint winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. Imagine what the world would be like if he gave up on his dream of eliminating apartheid at any time during his 27 years in prison.
- Consider Turia Pitt, a mining engineer and ultra-marathon athlete. In 2011, she was competing and was caught in a bushfire in the Australian outback. She received full thickness burns to 65% of her body, lost seven fingers and was told she’d never walk again. Today, Turia is an author, a speaker, a teacher, and a mother. She has walked the Kokoda Track and competed in Ironman events. She never gave up on her life, even with the significant obstacles she faced then and still faces today.
- Find your own role model in someone who persisted and rose above their hardships. Seek your own inspiration to encourage your own persistence.
Persistence is something we're all born with. Babies learning to walk don't give up when they fall down the first time. They see their parents and siblings walking and they focus on being able to do the same thing. They have faith that they will eventually learn. Sometimes they will hold on to furniture or someone's hand to help steady themselves. If a baby can be so persistent, then you can too!
When all’s said and done, it takes courage to persist, but anybody can do it – and the benefits are huge.