Persistence Pays Now and Anytime

The first quarter is closing, and the economy seems to be gaining momentum. Some say the hard times are over while others say this is the new normal for business.

Regardless, we will have to work hard to add value through all of our business strategies. And that means persistence which can be our powerful advantage in business development and client relationships.

Photo Napoleon HillNobody advocates that principle better than the great business philosopher, and author of Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill.

An entire chapter of his famous book is dedicated to persistence and offers real insight as to the characteristics of what makes people persist. In fact, Hill believes, Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated. Like all states of mind, persistence is based upon definite causes, among them these:

  1. Definiteness of purpose. Knowing what one wants is the first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development of persistence. A strong motive forces one to surmount many difficulties.
  2. Desire. It is comparatively easy to acquire and to maintain persistence in pursuing the object of intense desire.
  3. Self-reliance. Belief in one’s ability to carry out a plan encourages one to follow the plan through with persistence.
  4. Definiteness of plans. Organized plans, even though they may be weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence.
  5. Accurate knowledge. Knowing that one’s plans are sound, based upon experience or observation, encourages persistence; “guessing” instead of “knowing” destroys persistence.
  6. Cooperation. Sympathy, understanding, and harmonious cooperation with others tend to develop persistence.
  7. Will-power. The habit of concentrating one’s thoughts upon the building of plans for the attainment of a definiteness of purpose leads to persistence.
  8. Habit. Persistence is the direct result of habit. The mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experience upon which it feeds. Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage. Everyone who has seen active service in war knows this.

How to Build Your Persistence Muscle
Hill feels there are four simple steps which lead to the habit of persistence. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:

  1. Definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment.
  2. Definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
  3. Mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
  4. Friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.

How You Can Use Persistence
Here are five ways to use persistence in your business and customer relationships:

  1. Be relevant – Know what matters to their market and how you can help add meaning that moves them; visit clients’ customers as a “customer” and report on your results.
  2. Be insightful – Add their largest customers to Google Alerts or your other social monitoring tools, and review and analyze trends that give your client special insights on customer behavior.
  3. Build visibility – Search for creative ways (publicity, social networking content and introductions to market movers) to build client exposure.
  4. Expand credibility – Show clients how to demonstrate his product or service’s value; association with industry opinion leaders, connection with professional users and recommenders, or a compelling show of product superiority.
  5. Infuse with energy – Get unreasonably creative in how to make his customer crave his product through simple energy boosts; customer usage stories, behind the scenes of product design and engagement events on social sites.

Hill believes that persistence means focusing on the victory and embracing the hard work — see clear to victory and you will have the secret to persistence.

Finally, what you need to develop persistence is will-power and desire. In other words, how bad do you want it? And how far are you willing to go to get it?

Unless the answer is all the way, you will not persist, you will give up. Here’s to your persistence and success!

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