Most people in North America know who Michael Jordan is ... a former professional basketball player, now a highly successful businessman and principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.
One of his most famous quotes that he shared with the world when asked how he achieved great levels of success:
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."
In other words, Michael Jordan never gives up, he never quits, rather he keeps trying and persevering until he succeeds. The personal characteristic of perseverance requires steadfastness in doing something despite difficulties or delays in achieving success.
Interestingly, perseverance happens to be one of the top ten personal qualities of successful Entrepreneurs and business owners. To persevere in business requires personal discipline to finish what you started regardless of the obstacles that stand in the way.
Perseverance actually provides the energy that drives the human spirit. It keeps the soldier tracking his target, the lover pursuing his/her beloved, the athlete moving toward the goal line, and the entrepreneur to push through the dip until they come out of the valley and up the peak to levels of success that a tiny minority of people enjoy.
A number of Persistence Dispositions Questionnaires (PDQs) have been derived to measure the tendency to keep trying. One such study was conducted by B.N. Mukherjee when he was a professor of psychology at York University in Toronto. The items in the following quiz are adapted from his research, which was written up in the Indian Journal of Psychology.
Do you rise to the challenge or call it quits? To learn what your persistence index is, take the following assessment.
TAKE THE PERSEVERANCE QUIZ
Instructions: Answer True of False for each of the following 10 questions.
- Little can be gained by people who attempt to do things that are too difficult for them.
- Compared with others, I hate to lose at anything.
- The stronger the chance of failing at something the less determined I am to keep at it.
- I am known to be a stickler for fighting for my rights.
- It's better to accomplish many easy jobs than to attempt a few that are very difficult.
- Luck is an important factor in determining whether one successes.
- Compared with others, I set high goals for myself.
- People who get ahead work only with their heads rather than with their hands.
- Regardless of whether I work for myself or someone else, there's no change in my level of ambition.
- I procrastinate more than my friends when faced with an unpleasant job.
To tally your score, give yourself 1 point for each response that matches yours:
A score of 8-10 points: You are very tenacious and work hard to achieve your goals.
A score of 4-7 points: You have an average degree of persistence
A score of 0-3 points: You give up too easily! When things become difficult, try to stick it out.
If you are in business for yourself, just launched your business, or are in the thinking and planning stages and you scored under 8 points, you need to strengthen your mental fitness. Different people give up too soon, throwing in the towel just when success is right around the corner.
One of the best pieces of advice I received when first starting out in business, came from Andrew Patricio of BizLaunch. He said to me "Nancy, never give up! Never quit. You have what it takes to be successful in business. Keep going even when you feel like throwing in the towel. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners give up and it is the rare few who have the tenacity and perseverance to keep going. It takes five years before you will see breakthrough. If after five years you are still struggling, then make a decision at that point, until then, keep moving forward until you reach success."
You know what, here I am eight years later and I can say Andrew's advice kept me going, and he was 100% right! About the five year mark I started to see a turn for the better in my business, and by this time many of the new market entrance had given up. Now at the eight year mark, I'm the only one left standing and incredible opportunities have come my way, including working with Rivers Corbett and Karl Bryan on developing a new coaching and mentoring program for new business startups for StartUp Canada.
I found reading motivational business books that were quick and easy reads helped to keep me going, along with listening to books-on-tape in the car while driving ... now-a-days it will be books-on-cd or MP3.
One book I strongly recommend is "The Dip" by Seth Godin:
This quick easy read will teach you when to quite and when to stick, with a focus on perseverance. You may be surprised to discover that a little effort can yield results that are more positive than you'd imagined.
Nancy Beth is an Entrepreneur & Small Business Owner, Founder of Sweet Spot Marketing Canada and a Motivational Speaker for Women & Girl Leadership.
As an Internet and Digital Marketing veteran, Nancy Beth has vast experience in Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Online Safety and Protecting Your Digital Footprint. Since 2010, Nancy Beth has been highly sought after to share her message on being a Digital Leader, using the Internet & Social Media for good, and how to safely navigate the Social Web.
Keynote Speaker | Executive Coach | Training Consultant | Founder of Sweet Spot Marketing Canada (@sweetmarketing) |(@nbguptill) | Digital Leader | Women & Girl Leadership
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