Perseverance And Passion Separates The Entrepreneurial Men From The Boys
A recent article, outlining 15 Inspirational quotes by Steve Jobs, listed one phrase in particular that has really caught my attention. After looking into the quote a little more closely, I realized how important the lesson was behind the slogan. He said,
“A lot of people come to me and say, ‘I want to be an entrepreneur.’ And I go, ‘Oh, that’s great, what’s your idea?’ And they say, ‘I don’t have one yet.’ And I say, ‘I think you should go get a job as a busboy or something until you find something you’re really passionate about because it’s a lot of work. I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs
While some might argue that luck, or chance, plays a part in every entrepreneurial success story, I have to strongly disagree. Sure, there are those who get dealt a better hand in life and those who happen to “fall into” the right place at the right time. And to those who this happens to, congratulations. But for the rest of us, I believe in perseverance, plain and simple.
Webster’s defines perseverance as the “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition”. Basically, it means refusing to take no for an answer…all the while working your ass off to get what you want or go where you want to be. How many ingenious products, ideas, businesses, or services have been shut down before they ever had a chance to succeed because the person behind them didn’t persevere long enough? If you don’t believe me, look around. Nearly every major “it” entrepreneur that I know of had to push through rejection and tough times to get to where they could truly shine. Steve Jobs, for example, was fired from Apple! Did that mean his ideas were worthless or that he should throw in the towel and quit? Absolutely not. All it meant was that he had to work a little harder to prove to the world what he already knew to be true.
Perseverance. In essence, it is what separates the entrepreneurial “men from the boys” you might say. And while starting over, trying again, and pushing forward isn’t the stuff that dreams are made of, it does build character, strength, and courage that can’t be gotten any other way. I once heard a friend of mine talk about someone who he considered to be a “champion” in the sport of boxing. The funny thing, though, was that he didn’t go on and on about their skill, their training, their strength, or their agility. The thing that made this man great in the ring…and took him to the top of his career…was the fact that he knew how to take a punch. He knew how to bounce back, even after a hard hit. He knew that it wasn’t about how many times he got knocked down, but how quickly…and how many times…he could get back up. He knew how to persevere.
Jobs went on to say that “Unless you have a lot of passion…you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right, that you’re passionate about. Otherwise, you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there.”
Honestly, we want to look at the greats of our generation and be just like them. But are we willing to take the same steps, have the same passion, and work just as fucking hard as they did to make it happen? Do we have the same drive that caused people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg to devote tens of thousands of hours to a project before it became “successful”? If the answer is yes, then, by all means, be just like them. If not, keep looking for that thing…be it business or idea…that is worth that level of effort to you.
So the next time you feel that your level of success isn’t quite where you think it should be, do a check up on your perseverance and on your passion. Look to see if you have stopped pushing, stopped working, or stopped fighting for what you want. Look to see if the “no’s” you have received in your life have taken priority and precedence over the “what ifs.” Hell, you should probably also ask yourself if you even like what you are doing and desire to see it happen badly enough to do what it takes to get it. Because, according to Jobs, perseverance is often what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. Choose passion. Choose success. Choose to persevere.
I want more stuff like this!