Profit from persistence

I’ve recently focused on hope and courage as keys to progress. On top of those mission-critical qualities, you also need to be persistent if you’re going to reach your highest heights.

Things don’t work out the way you’d planned. Take my hairline, for instance. It’s moving progressively away from my forehead. Do you think I planned it this way? No, life is full of disappointments, challenges and obstacles.

History tells us that Abe Lincoln lost eight elections and went bankrupt twice, but he persisted.

J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, was rejected by twelve publishers. Dr. Seuss got turned down by twenty-five. Even so, they persisted.

General Douglas MacArthur was rejected by West Point not once but twice. Elvis Presley got fired by the manager of the Grand Ole Opry and was advised to stop singing. They, of course, persisted.

What’s persistence look like? Norman Vincent Peale, the author of The Power of Positive Thinking, wrote about how one man overcame his difficulties:

“Well, first, I try to go around it. If I can’t go around it, I try to get under it. If I can’t get under it, I try to go over it, and if I can’t get over it, I just plow right through it.”

That’s the spirit. If you’ve got a dream, tap into hope, courage and persistence – and push on! Keep reaching. It’ll happen.

Please comment. I dare you.


The simplest success plan – part 3


At the end of the last post, things looked pretty sad. It seemed like I had failed miserably. That’s when success skill number three kicked in. Something inside me said “don’t give up… do not give up!” There was one more thing to do. I went to every house where I’d left free samples. I knocked on the door, offered my business card, asked if they liked their papers, and asked them to subscribe. Maybe it was the business card…. Maybe it was the neatly folded papers…. Maybe it was this 4 foot 9 inch tall kid trying so hard to close a sale. By the end of the week, I had 40 subscribers. I called the Circulation Manager, and she sounded like she was going to cry. “Do you know how much you’ll earn every week with that route?” How much? “Twenty dollars, plus tips. And I bet you are going to get lots of tips.”

And she was right. I had more than $100 in a month or two, and almost always made $10 a week in tips. I was a success! So much I need to know about success, I learned in 5th grade. That’s when my hunger motivated me to become an achiever.

What do you hunger for? What do you want to achieve? I may not be smarter than a fifth grader, but here’s my advice:

Number one – set goals
Number two – have a plan
Number three – don’t give up… never, ever give up.

The simplest success plan – part 2


In the last post, I’d done some goal-setting. But goals aren’t enough, are they? Here’s where the number two success skill came into play.  If I was going to get a job, it wasn’t going to just happen. I needed to have a plan. And I did. I asked the paper if I could get 50 newspapers a day for a week, myself. My plan was to give people a free week of the paper and then ask them to subscribe. If I could get 25 to sign up, I could start my own route.

When I asked the Circulation Manager about buying papers, she said, “Young man, if you’ll deliver 50 papers for a week without getting paid a nickel for it, I’ll give you the papers for free.” Deal! My parents went along with the plan, but they warned me – don’t get your hopes up. I was at that age – still naïve enough to believe. When you believe in your plan, people want to help you. My Uncle Bobby owned a print shop and he printed me a free box of business cards: “KENNY GONYER – NEWSPAPER DELIVERY – 485-9320”

I was in business! Now I was going to work hard and do a better job than Ginger ever did. Every paper was neatly folded and left at the door, dry and safe. My houses got their papers early Saturday morning, before Ginger was even out of bed. Well, I worked for a week, then called to see how many people had subscribed. A few. Not enough.

Okay…. I cried. I’d gotten my hopes up and worked so hard, and all for nothing.

Continued tomorrow….