Anyone who knows me would agree that I am always looking for the loophole. Not that I’m trying to cut corners – get away with shoddy work – but I’m looking for the tip or trick to make a difficult task more efficient. I consume content, Podcasts being the current flavor of the month, keeping my ears tuned to secret short cuts that the world-class performers use to get ahead and stay ahead.
I think I am hardwired for this… it’s something I’ve always done. It’s something I never should have.
When I used to travel North America as a sniper – a hired gun… not in the literal sense, but in the world of selling, I was a sniper. I could target and tag almost anyone. I was magnificent at what I did, partly because of how well I could connect with the USP (unique selling proposition) we offered. We will teach you the secrets of becoming wealthy through real estate. For a long time, I believed that for those who were willing to listen and follow the program, we could actually provide that at a company level, especially to those who had assets to utilize for investment. To cut eighteen paragraphs off of what will most likely be a long ass post, the curtain was pulled back the the Wizard was just a guy with a megaphone.
I preyed on others’ desire for that shortcut to riches. I entered myself into the conversation they were having in their head. I could easily figure out where they were coming from because I had already experienced the exact same thoughts and emotions myself.
It’s all total and utter bullshit. There are strategies, yes. Shortcuts, maybe. Secrets? Tricks? Effortlessness? Hell no.
I have been around enough successful people, listened to enough Podcasts, read enough books, been at enough seminars, to know that there is exactly ONE THING that separates successful people from wannabes.
My greatest strength is my greatest weakness. I am excellent out of the blocks. I start better than most – strong, fast, insightful, intelligent… persistence is what gets you to the finish line and I hate to admit, I waffle long before that strip of white is in view.
I used to work for a marketing company that sold seminars under the names of various financial celebrities – Donald Trump, Armando & David Montelongo, HGTV stars, Robert Kiyosaki – the list goes on. One name that you may not recognize is Dean Graziosi. If you are an insomniac like me (it’s 12:21am as I write this) you might just know his name from his late-night infomercials on how to become rich through real estate.
People poke fun at Dean for a variety of reasons and the industry as a whole is on the same ladder rung (surely very close to the bottom) as multilevel marketing programs. Should you give Dean Graziosi tens of thousands of dollars to teach you how to invest in real estate? That’s your call. I will tell you one thing though, he didn’t shortcut his way into his success. He didn’t luck out. He didn’t buy a book and with a few pages of notes and good intentions build a massive company.
He worked his ass off.
I forget the exact number, but there were several YEARS where he was on television EVERY NIGHT advertising. He grinds, he studies, he records daily videos, he built a community, he built a brand, he became a platform. Love him, hate him, or somewhere in-between, the man has persisted in a saturated, difficult space and is arguably one of the most successful names out there.
Jim Koch from Sam Adams is now a billionaire not because he found his grandfather’s recipe in his attic, but because he took that recipe, worked his ass off, built a brand and made 100,000 decisions and put in the time, effort, and thought to build Boston Beer Company up to the craft beer behemoth it is today.
Arnold Schwarzenegger worked his ass off in the gym, yes. But what a lot of us workout and fitness noobs fail to understand is that regardless of how hard he worked during his 5 hours of pumping iron per day, the remaining 19 hours per day were a brutal testament to his pure focus and ambition to become the world’s greatest bodybuilder. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.
Being smart, being good looking, being well-connected… it helps. It does not nor can it ever replace persistence.
I look back at my potential baseball career. I got drafted out of high school. I had the pedigree, the genetic gift of throwing a baseball at tremendous speeds, but I didn’t have the persistence. I was obscenely talented, but I didn’t work hard enough.
I started a business with a colleague who became as close to a brother a friend could be. It was a great business model. It was a great concept. It didn’t ever quite launch. Not because the service wasn’t good or that the value wasn’t there. It was because we didn’t do what needed to be done.
If you are hiring a salesperson for business development – hire someone who has already proven that he will do anything to make the deal. Comfort? What’s that?
What are you willing to do to achieve your goals? Are you willing to pick up the phone and cold call? Are you willing to just show up at prospective customers? Are you willing to wake up early, stay up late, get to the gym? Are you willing to skip dessert? Not grab that slice of pizza and instead chug a liter of water and pound a protein shake?
There are no shortcuts. There are no loopholes. There are no tricks. There is only one thing – WORK. Put your nose down, do the work, get better, and stop asking for things (yes, that’s loosely paraphrased from Mad Men – the current Netflix binge).
I know what I need to work on, do you? Shoot a comment in the box below on how you are going to increase your persistence. Need an accountability partner? I will help you! I need one too!