What is the determining factor for success in business today? Is there some secret certain entrepreneurs have learned that makes success a reality rather than a fantasy? These questions have a a one-word answer – persistence.
Zion National Park is less than three hours from my home, and I enjoy making the trip several times a year. Together with several close friends, we hike the steep canyons where vertical cliffs of 1,500 to 2,000 feet in height tower above us. On a recent excursion to this hiking paradise, I waded up through the Virgin River towards our ultimate goal called The Narrows. I remarked to a close friend, “It’s amazing how such a small river can carve a canyon, thousands of feet deep through rock hard stone.” I listened as my friend described the geological process unique to the Park. When he finished, I added that it wasn’t power, but persistence that was responsible for the geological marvel.
As the Director of Real Estate Education at Response, I am acutely aware of the role that persistence plays in real estate investing. Of course there are other elements in play such as education, training, experience, and hard work, but the ultimate key for success is persistence. Response has developed a vast library of training, tools, and resources that can provide the background necessary for success, but unless the individual understands the role of persistence, success will usually remain a fantasy. Persistence is key. Calvin Coolidge once stated, “Nothing in this 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.”
None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes. Failures, large and small, are a fact of life. How we react to those hard times will determine how our lives and our investments end up. Persistence and determination will determine whether you succeed or fail. One opportunity for persistence comes when real estate investors come face to face with the obstacle of criticism. Friends, who usually have little or no experience, offer unwanted and wrong advice. They say they want to help you avoid failure by pointing out how you made one mistake after another. Perhaps they criticize your current investment plans. The truth is that there will often be people who tell you that something won’t work, that you don’t have the abilities or talents, or that you just can’t do it. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Instead seek the advice of people who have the experience and knowledge to help you succeed. And then, make the determination to hold steadfast to your goals and objectives despite setbacks. When you develop the trait of persistence you can and will overcome these negative attacks.
How do you develop the ability to become more persistent?
- 1 – Identify your objectives. What do you want to achieve? What are your short and long-term objectives? Be realistic and concise.
- 2 – Determine your motivation. Why have you established your goals? Goals are great, but unless you have a burning desire to accomplish them, they can slip by and soon be forgotten.
- 3 – Believe in yourself. Everything starts with a self-evaluation. What are your strengths and talents? Acknowledge your weaknesses and commit to finding help in overcoming them. You must believe that you can overcome weaknesses, use your strengths, and actually achieve your goals.
- 4 – Learn through education and experience. Once you determine where you need help, find experts who can guide you and point you towards the resources that will give you confidence to actually do something. But education is not enough. You must gain experience by following through. Yes, you will make some mistakes, but use those mistakes as part of the learning process.
- 5 – Outline and live by an action-plan. Your plan should be a roadmap full of micro-goals with which you can measure your progress. Your personal action plan should be written out in simple terms which allow you to complete short and intermediate goals.
- 6 – Commit to remain positive. A positive mindset is critical when you meet obstacles. If you are surrounded by negative people, change your friends and associates. You will never be better than your own attitude. Remove every source of negativity in your life.
- 7 – Develop personal discipline. Minimize stress from other parts of your life and commit to following your action-plan on a daily basis. You can measure your success by the amount of time you are following your plan. When you set a timetable, be realistic in what is required to accomplish the task. Once you’re committed, follow through on your decisions.
Persistence will determine how and when you will complete your goals. No truly successful person has ever found success in life without experiencing setbacks, obstacles, or even outright failures. Success is the byproduct of learning from these mistakes and continuing on.