Persistence – Keep On Keeping On


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

– Calvin Coolidge

I recall a famous story that was told about a prospector that set out to find fortune in the famous gold rush days. He took his life savings and bought the necessary mining equipment, and set out for the “hot” mining spot. After months of drilling, he was on the last hole that his finances would allow him to dig. He was running out of money, and he would not be able to set up in another area.

Another man came by and observed the prospector’s operation. This man had seasoning and experience, and made his living picking up the deserted mines of others. He had come to recognize when the rock formations in a mine were such that a gold vein was more likely to be close. He also knew that it was not hard to pick up mines of miners who were broke and tired and had not found their fortunes.

So it came to be that this man struck a deal to buy the prospector’s equipment and rights to his mine that had not yet produced one cent of gold. The prospector had been mining for months, was tired and discouraged, and happy to get a little money for his worthless mine and equipment. He quit digging and sold all to the man.

The man who took over only had to dig six more feet before running into what proved to be one of the biggest gold veins of that time. Had the prospector held out one more day, skipped one more lunch, taken one less break, or done anything to delve six more feet, he would have made his fortune.

Read today’s quote again at the top of the page. This is one of my favorite quotes, and something I relied on for many years in commission sales. There were many times over the years when I was having a week where no sales were made, and that meant no paycheck. I knew that if I stuck with the basics and continued to be persistent, things would turn around, and often they did.

At a time when things were bleak, a time when I felt like quitting, I knew the next sale was just around the corner, but I had to continue pursuing it.