Persistence as a business trait has been highly overrated. It runs the risk of glorifying doing anything the hard way. In the final analysis, achieving your results the easiest way possible should be your objective. There’s no premium paid for having done something the hard way, so why not maximize your effectiveness and constantly look for shortcuts and efficiencies.
Many people view persistence as doing the same thing over and over until it succeeds. The only problem is if your technique is wrong, it doesn’t matter how many times you repeat it, the result will always be the same. A better approach in that situation is to take the negative feedback as a sign you need to change your technique to succeed, and then making those changes.
Work has a valuable place in the overall scheme of things, but trying to become successful by outworking every competitor is not a panacea for whatever challenges a business may face. There’s an opportunity cost involved - the cost of repeating what has only worked in a very low percentage of times in the past has to be measured against the results that could be obtained if a high yield technique were substituted instead. That is, effectiveness combined with persistence is always going to be measurably more productive than sheer persistence alone.
If you focus on where you want to go rather than on how to get there, you might be surprised by the number of opportunities that will arise to get to your goals in easier ways than you imagined. Take advantage of those opportunities rather than insisting on always having to do things the hard way.
The bigger your ambitions, the more people you’ll most likely offend along the way. Many people mistake self-confidence, self-promotion and aggressiveness for arrogance and become offended. On the other hand, if you wait to be rewarded on merit alone, you’ll probably never get there. People actually prefer to be associated with someone who is absolutely certain of themselves and their convictions.
Many high achievers are blatant self-promoters to the point of arrogance and abrasiveness in their individual relationships and associations. They are usually considered to be brash and extraordinarily pushy. In essence, these people are intimidating up close.
Yet, it is their willingness to offend and to blatantly intimidate people, while feverishly and openly working to create a legend-in-their-own-time status for themselves that generates their success. They are simply working hard at creating a mystique about their performance and their careers.
The person who is not bombastic, pushy and risk-taking never gets differentiated from the crowd. They become bland and indistinguishable. On the other hand, aggressive individuals are either loved or hated, but never ignored. Creativity really isn’t required to succeed in business, and sometimes it can even hinder your chances of succeeding. More wealth has been generated by doing whatever has already been proven just a little better than by anything else. The most high-profile creative industry in the world is the entertainment industry. Yet, very little that comes out of this industry is ever original - successful storylines and themes are just recycled again and again in different settings.
If an industry which prides itself on being creative shamelessly copies models which have worked in the past, why shouldn’t you do the same?
Creative people who come up with new product ideas sometimes fall into the trap of assuming their ideas have intrinsic value in and of themselves. In reality, value is created in the ordinary and mundane process of raising capital, finding manufacturers and vendors and in doing everything necessary to develop a business to capitalize on the product. Ideas only take on real-world value when products are produced and developed, positioned in the marketplace, test marketed to prove their potential and brought to fruition. That’s a lot more uncreative and mundane work than was ever required to develop the product in the first place.
Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, try looking around for a business model that is already succeeding. Using that as a baseline, what can be added with a little zeal and diligence. That should point you in the best direction to head, instead of trying to create something from scratch just for the fun of it.
The prevailing logic is that winners never quit, and that you should stick with something until it turns around and you win big in the end. Yet, that only makes sense if you’re trying to actively change and improve whatever you’re doing instead of endlessly repeating what didn’t work in the past.
A better perspective is to always view whatever you’re currently doing as a test. If it works out, great - you’ll keep repeating it over and over. If it doesn’t, however, look seriously at applying your background and skills in another field altogether. Quitting what wasn’t working out may turn out to be the smartest thing you could have done.