Persistence (noun): the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Persistence is one of the most important qualities in life.
Nothing worthwhile comes easily. You have to struggle, sweat, and toil away until you get there. Things aren’t going to just be handed to you in you life, on a nice silver platter without you having to do anything. You have to work to get them.
Ultimately though, we will come up against obstacles. We will naturally want to quit and give up. You don’t get the job, the promotion, or that important deal. So what do you do? Just give up? No, you keep trying until you get what you want. Persistence is the quality we need to drive us forward.
Jerry Failed Everyday for a Year
In the 1970’s, Jerry Weintraub was a young, ambitious promoter, running his own talent management agency and concert promotion business in the US. One evening, Jerry was suddenly woken up in the middle of the night and had a vision: he was going to promote Elvis Presley and take him on a nation-wide tour.
Also woken by the commotion, Jerry’s wife said it was a crazy idea: Elvis had stopped touring, plus Jerry had never even met the guy! Never-the-less Jerry knew that it was a vision sent from a higher power and that it would happen, so he rolled over and went back to sleep.
The next morning he managed to get the phone number for Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker and called him, introducing himself as Jerry Weintraub and then explaining that he wanted to take Elvis Presley out on tour.
The Colonel responded with: “No. First of all Elvis doesn’t tour anymore, and second of all, if he did, he wouldn’t tour with you. There are a lot of other producers and promoters I owe dates to so it’s not gonna be you. It’s never gonna be you”. Then hung up.
Unperturbed, Jerry proceeded to phone him every morning at 8:30. ‘Good morning, Colonel, this is Jerry Weintraub. I want to take Elvis on tour’. And every morning the Colonel said no. He would say to Jerry ‘What are you, you’re crazy?! Why do you keep calling here? You’re wasting your money, the answer’s no’.
This went on for a whole year of Jerry calling Colonel Tom Parker and asking to take Elvis on tour. Everyday the answer was still no, but during their calls they started to became friends and got to know each other.
One morning after over a year of rejections, Jerry had an early morning call from the Colonel, who said ‘you still want to take my boy on tour?’ To which Jerry said ‘yes’!
The rest – as they say – is history. Jerry took Elvis on a highly successful tour across the country, which took Jerry Weintraub from a relatively small, unknown promoter to one of the best and biggest in the business. It rocketed his career to new heights, and shows that persistence truly does pay off.
Whatever it is you do, just keep on doing it. Keep on writing, keep on running, keep on learning, keep on showing up. What ever the setback, don’t let it affect your enthusiasm.
The more you write, the better your chances of being a writer. The more you sing, the better your chances of being a singer. The more you act, the better your chances of being a good actor.
That’s all you have to do, just keep on trying again, and again, and again. The more you show up, the more you’re likely to reach your goal.
Remember; persistence pays off.
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