Common lore has it that around 20% of people set goals, and only three percent of people achieve their goals. But it’s hard to quote a statistic about successful people, because, well, what is success, anyway? Everybody has their own definition, and though many people have a similar definition, just as many people have a noticeably different one.
Still, you have an idea of what success looks like. Someone who is successful is confident and has leadership qualities. She has achieved many goals, and is constantly setting new ones.
The thing most people miss is how long it took her to get to where she is today. It takes about ten years for someone to become an overnight success, to rephrase the oft-quoted joke. And there we hit upon the success factors I talk about in the following two videos.
First, I discuss the importance of patience. If you want to achieve your goals and dreams, you need to have patience in making the right connections, in gathering enough funds to start an entrepreneurial endeavor, in taking each small step toward accomplishing a goal. If you have a family, you must be patient when someone has a need that forces you to set aside your goals for a while. And when you are moving toward your goals, you have to be patient when things don’t go exactly as planned (and I can practically guarantee they won’t).
But don’t be too patient. There is a fine line between waiting out a problem, and letting it dictate your entire life. Too much patience will turn you into a doormat as far as other people are concerned, and will keep you from ever fulfilling your dreams. Healthy patience means that you recognize temporary setbacks for what they are, and work your way through them the best you can with respect and love for the other people involved. You remember that this, too, shall pass, while also disciplining yourself to keep the eye on the vision so that when it’s time to move once again, you don’t miss it.
Here is my video about patience:
Ted Dekker and John Grisham are both best-selling authors today, but they spent hours and hours after working a day job churning out manuscripts – that were summarily dismissed by publishing companies for years. When our son was a toddler, I met a lady in direct sales who had worked for ten years before she reached a six-figure annual income.
Beyond patience, there is perseverance. I describe that as patience in action. You have a goal and you know that you will get there eventually if you just keep taking steps toward it. At the same time, you’re not in a hurry. You realize that the process will take as long as it takes, and along the way life will take sudden and unexpected twists that slow you down.
I once heard that the average person who starts a blog with the intention of making money, quits after about nine months (which I believe is actually worse than MLM drop-out statistics. Mind you, I’m not saying this to encourage anyone to join an MLM company).
I recently read two other blog posts where one said the number is six months, the other, three months. Why?
Impatience. In this world of instant gratification, we’ve become too spoiled to stick it out. Going to a nine-to-five job seems easier, and since you know that you’re going to starve if you get fired you do your best not to! There is no perseverance necessary; you want to eat, so you work.
Search engines love old websites, will rank them higher simply because they’re old. Now, using certain strategies you could get a lot of traffic to your new blog much more quickly than most people do. But if you are only going to do a moderate amount of work on it, you will have to wait a good two years of consistently posting content before you start making a decent amount of cash. Sometimes, it takes even longer.
One of the worst mistakes I ever made was letting go of my “Crunchy Coach” blog. Someone who is close to me started giving me flack for strong opinions I expressed on the blog, because she had a different opinion. And I didn’t want my blog to be a stumbling block in our relationship, so I let it go totally.
If I had simply kept my webhosting and let it sit in cyberspace, posting an occasional non-controversial article just to keep Google happy, I would probably be getting more traffic on that blog now than ever (I set it up in 2009).
I didn’t persevere. I quit. And I’m sure I’ve missed out on some monetary gain because of it.
So as you watch this video about the success factor of perseverance, ask yourself: are you going to be one of the quitters, or one of the winners?