Some of the most valuable lessons I have learned in life I have learned through sports. Competing from an early age, I was fortunate to learn the value of hard work, persistence, and determination. Growing up one of my favorite athletes was Pete Rose. He wasn’t the most talented player in the major leagues, but what he lacked in talent he made up for with effort and his willingness to make something happen. He gave everything he had every time he played. His persistence and determination earned him the nickname “Charlie Hustle”.
So what if anything can be learned from “Charlie Hustle”? (other than don’t bet on baseball)
It is that persistence and determination are absolutely indispensable if you are to be successful in any endeavor. No matter what it is that you hope to accomplish, the obstacles you may face, or what others may think; persistence and determination combined with a belief in yourself will ultimately determine your ability to succeed.
When I came out of college, I wanted to sell for one particular major corporation. At the time they were the very best sales organization with the very best training available. Armed with a freshly created resume and new suit I started with the local branch and was told no. Being persistent and determined to get hired, I went to another branch in a different city and again the same results. Nope, sorry. Not what we are looking for. Then came another, and another, and another. The rejection letters were beginning to pile up.
After countless interviews, which took me through nine different cities, I finally succeeded in getting hired. Soon there after, I was shipped off to basic sales training. After two weeks of intense sales training, the only thing that stood between me and the airport was a final review from my basic sales instructor. He walked me though his “rating scorecard” on all the various selling scenarios and untold roll plays we had done over the previous two weeks. At the end of his highly critical review, he boldly stated, “you won’t last six months”!
Walking out of that session, I was a extremely disappointed, little bit hurt, but a hell of a lot more pissed off. I started thinking about everything that I had gone through to get to that point. I wasn’t going to let this guy, who didn’t know anything about me, tell me whether or not I would make it. I thought about “Charlie Hustle” and all his nay sayers. He once said, “you can’t measure a persons will, desire, and determination”. You know what, he’s right and from that very moment I was determined to prove my instructor wrong.
As I look back on what has been an extremely successful sales career, I am reminded that when faced with rejections, you have to rely on your persistence and determination to continue on when other tell you you aren’t good enough or talented enough. Determination and persistence, in the face of adversity and disappointment, are the qualities that more than anything will guarantee your success.
Somewhere’ over the years, I came across a quote that I keep on my desk that says “Success lies in those who are determined, persistent, and willing to make something happen.”
How determined are you? Do you persist even in adversity? Are you willing to make something happen?
Feel free to leave you thoughts and comments.