When you ask someone to do something, do they immediately do it, or do you have to hound them to get it done?
When you are asked to do something, do you immediately do it, or do you wait to be hounded before you decide to get it done?
Need for Persistence
Great leaders are survivors; they are survivors by understanding the art of persistence.
Think about the last time you were persistence. Maybe you returned your car to the repair shop because it was not repaired correctly and you wanted it fixed and not to be charged for the second trip.
Or, maybe it was an occurrence where you were persisted against. Maybe you promised to write a reference letter for a friend which is holding them from getting a new job. And they call at all hours of the day to remind you about your promise.
To benefit from persistence, we need to be aware that persistence has two sides: the persistence delivering side and the persistence receiving side. Both of which are invaluable to our success as an entrepreneur.
Most stories about successful businesses focus on how the founders were persistent in starting and nurturing their business. Businesses fail when the owners and main decision makers simply give up too easily.
Business professionals succeed because of their persistence. For example, Tim Ferriss sent his breakthrough New York Times bestselling book 4 Hour Workweek to 25 publishers before one finally accepted it. That’s persistence.
Certainly, there comes a decision point where it is time to throw in the towel, but that point is never at the first sign of difficulty. The early years of business growth are going to be tough, and when you start a business, you need to mentally prepare yourself for obstacles, tough decisions, setbacks, and disappointments.
Many times, it is through persistence and persistence alone that you overcome these unplanned deviations from your well-thought-out business plan.
Just because you have persisted in getting your business off the ground doesn’t eliminate the need for more persistence. Continuing to run a business requires persistence on several fronts.
First, you need to stay abreast of the trends in your industry. If you are an entrepreneur, you are probably not in a stagnant business environment.
Technologies evolve, business practices change, and regulations grow and expand. Client types mature, and your workforce becomes more practiced and educated. To stay competitive, you need to persist in studying what your chosen industry is doing so you can plan the changes you will need to incorporate in the upcoming years.
Second, you need to stay on top of your routine business. Just when you thought you solved one management problem, the same problem arises from an unexpected direction.
Maybe you thought you had a raw materials supply issue resolved only to find it resurface again not from a source standpoint but a delivery standpoint.
Your daily business management issues will not quit, and you need to be persistent in identifying and solving them.
You’re an entrepreneur of a growing business, which means you are busy all the time. Your time is constantly divided and under attack. Your managers are constantly vying for your attention, customers are calling, and you have your projects that need attention.
The problem is the persistence of others is robbing you of your management time and your creative time.
To manage your time and give you more time to be persistent in running your company you need to set boundaries. Here are three ideas on how to manage the persistence of others.
First, delegate where you can. Let your managers manage.
Second, protect your time. Despite what else is going on, schedule time for yourself and stick to it. If you need time on the factory floor, schedule it. If you need to write daily, set a consistent time and don’t let anyone interrupt.
Third, establish priorities. What parts of your organization do you need to pay close attention to and what parts can run on autopilot? Do you have client or suppliers that require personal attention or can an account executive manage them?
Do not feel as if your delivering or receiving persistence is unusual or unconventional. The Bible has verses about persistence in prayer that applies to businesses.
In Luke 18 is a story of a widow who was the victim of an injustice. Day after day she brought her case before a judge of questionable reputation asking for justice. The judge at first was indifferent to the widow’s cause but was compelled to reconsider because of her persistence. Through persistence she gets the justice she is seeking. This parable begins with Jesus saying.
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1)
“Lose heart,” is what we need to remember in both delivering and receiving persistence. Whether on the delivering side of persistence or the receiving side, we need to confident that our persistence will bear fruit and we will be successful.