When we took ownership of a small business several years ago one of the first people to call on me was our insurance agent. He had served as the agent for the previous owner and told me how he got the account. Every year he would quote a policy for the owner who always refused to change insurance companies. Although this continued for several years this agent kept coming back trying to get his business.
One day the office manager called him to say that it might be a good time for him to stop by the office. The previous owner was upset with his insurance company and was ready to make a change. The agent came that very day and was able to get the business. He continued to provide insurance for the company all the years I owned it as well. His perseverance paid off.
I have read that 90 percent of salespeople give up after four unsuccessful contacts, but 80 percent of sales happen on the fifth call. Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” I believe there is a lot of truth in that. I often tell people that it’s always too soon to give up.
J. K. Rowling was a single mother living on a government check. Her first Harry Potter book was rejected by twelve publishers before one decided to take a chance. She has now written six additional Harry Potter books as well as a number of others. Several of her books have been into movies. It has been said that she is the first person to become a billionaire as an author although she claims her worth is less than that. She has said that before her first book was published she felt like the biggest failure she knew. How easy it might have been for her to have simply quit, but she persevered until she achieved a level of success she could never have imagined.
John Maxwell has written that the average entrepreneur fails 3.8 times before finally making it in business. That’s a lot of failure to overcome, and it requires a lot of perseverance to try one more time, but it’s that extra effort that eventually pays off.
If you’ve been tempted to throw in the towel and give up on your dreams, I encourage you to be encouraged by J. K. Rowling and the words of John Maxwell. Failure is an event, not a person as Zig Ziglar used to say in his seminars. Keep on keeping on, and one day you’ll see your perseverance lead to success.