The Power of Persistence

CoverDesignFinalVersionFour years ago, I set out to write a book about people who became successful entrepreneurs in the second halves of their lives. I undertook this challenge for several reasons but at the heart of it all was a personal one. I wanted to know what it takes for an ordinary boomer like me to excel at business ownership.

It took hundreds of hours of research, more than 40 interviews and at least six or seven manuscript rewrites (I lost count after the fifth round) but I finally finished. This month, I self-published Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40.

The journey renewed my admiration for authors of all stripes, including the ones mentioned in this post by Debra Eve of Later Bloomer. It also taught me that self-publishing is very much an entrepreneurial endeavor.

Like any startup, a professional-quality book requires seed money, third-party resources, marketing, timetables and risk. But to me, it seems like the biggest must-have is persistence.

This is the time when many people think about goals for the New Year. When you set your sights on something big and difficult, you have to find ways to keep trudging along. Here are five suggestions based upon what worked for me:

  1. Make appointments with yourself to work on your initiative. Honor them as you would any other commitment on your calendar.
  2. Celebrate milestones. Give yourself rewards along the way to your destination.
  3. Read books that motive you. Some possibilities: The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg), Think and Grow Rich (Napolean Hill), Drive  (Daniel H. Pink) and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey).
  4. Expect setbacks and take them in stride. If you fall down, get up. Brush yourself off – and keep going.
  5. Have a strong support system. Find good mentors. Join online communities with members facing the same types of challenges. Avoid naysayers.

Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the U.S., had a wise perspective on going the distance. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence,” he said. “Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men 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 ”

Whether your goal for next year is a new business, a book or some other big challenge, don’t just start it – commit to it. As Coolidge would say, press on.  See it through to the end.

Best wishes for 2014 –

Lynne

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About Lynne Strang

I'm a writer who blogs about 40-and-older business owners. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." Outside of work, I enjoy reading, cooking, vegetable gardening and exercise (especially cycling).
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, Careers, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Retirement, Success and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to The Power of Persistence

  1. Congratulations! This is wonderful news. You set a goal to do this by the year end and you met it. I have always liked the concept and I believe there are many others out there who also will appreciate the good read of all your research. I think you have a page turner with the number of case studies you offer up. The book cover is engaging. It’s been a pleasure following you on this journey.

    • lbstrang says:

      Thank you, Georgette. As I indicated in my post, I believe the fulfillment of long-term goals requires a network of supporters. I feel fortunate to count you among mine.

  2. Mike Wilson says:

    Way to go Lynne. Way to stick with it. This is very exciting! I couldn’t agree more about persistence. Congrats! I wish you great success.

  3. Debra Eve says:

    Lynn, congratulations and thanks for the shout-out! I’ve always enjoyed your stories about late-blooming entrepreneurs. In fact, just picked up your book. Could I interview you on my site in the New Year? 🙂

  4. Jack Macholl says:

    Congratulations on your book. These are some inspiring thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

    • lbstrang says:

      You’re welcome. I think choosing the right goal — i.e., one that really motivates — is so important. It’s difficult to reach the finish line if you’re pursuing something that doesn’t matter enough to you. Thank you for reading.

  5. Great post, I think a lot of people underrate the power of persistence. You have not only harnessed your persistence, you found a way to “do” and keep yourself going. Big credit to you!

  6. jpsgreenroom says:

    Reblogged this on jpsgreenroom.

  7. Perry B says:

    Reblogged this on Inspiration for the Intra|Entrepreneur and commented:
    Great post

  8. lvsrao says:

    Congratulations. Very Nice Post.
    The Best way of Guidelines. ALL THE BEST.

    Happy New Year.
    Let’s welcome the year which is Fresh and New,
    Let’s Cherish each moment it beholds,
    Let’s celebrate this Blissful Year 2014…..
    Wishing you a Happy New Year

  9. Thank you for well wishes and congratulations on your book, Lynne! May 2014 bring you all the fruit of your labours!
    Diana

  10. rlinet says:

    Congratulations, very inspiring, especially since I started a company after 50, that is growing very rapidly, and become national in a short time., something all Baby Boomers should consider. Can’t wait to read your book.

  11. Reblogged this on Noble Thoughts and commented:
    The actual Power to be an entrepreneur and get results never finishes as long as man is alive on the planet.

    • lbstrang says:

      I agree with your general idea: good business opportunities are everywhere and always will be out there to discover. Thanks for sharing this post with your readers.

  12. publicthoughtsandopinions says:

    Reblogged this on Opinions, Thoughts, and News and commented:
    Interesting read.

  13. Congratulations Lynn, what an accomplishment. You are so correct that we can pursue our dreams over 40. I am 57 and am just beginning a new venture that I have been working toward for the past 10 years. It has taken time, but it is certainly rewarding now that it is starting to come to about.

  14. M.E says:

    Reblogged this on MEDIA EMPEROR and commented:
    Amazing:)

  15. Congratulations Lynne! Quite an accomplishment to publish this great book…I am sure it took a lot of persistence and focus but I know your were up for the task and the results show that! Since I am a visual sort of individual I will wait to have my own printed copy and send it to you for your autograph…please? Have a successful and rewarding new year!

    • lbstrang says:

      Mike, thank you so much. As I told Georgette, I couldn’t have done it without supporters like you. I look forward to seeing more of your photography capturing the beauty of Maine!

  16. HR Laura says:

    Lynne Congrats on your endeavor! Wishing you much success.

  17. Kelly Michalek says:

    Congratulations Lynne! Power of Persistence is just what it takes. That is the way it was with me, Persistence, Dedication, Passion, Integrity, and Pure Hard Work and much, much more! I know what it takes, and I am very proud of your accomplishents and your desire to succeed!

    • lbstrang says:

      Thank you, Kelly. Your words mean a lot. I hope other readers of this blog will read the post about the gymnasium you built. That, too, is quite an accomplishment.

  18. love this post and I love reading your blog every week!! You’re a huge inspiration.

    • lbstrang says:

      Thank you! There are so many stories out there about great people doing great things. I’m glad I can highlight some of them.

      By the way, I see you attended UVA. That’s my alma mater as well. Go Wahoos!

  19. wkcooley says:

    I found your site through the yearly wordpress statistics. I think it is great that feature is available to connect people to different sites. Great site to follow. I as well have posted many goal oriented blog posts. Enjoyed reading. Thanks.

    • lbstrang says:

      Goal setting and blogging seem to go well together, don’t they? Writing your goals in a post clarifies your thinking and holds you a little more accountable. And reading the goals of others reminds you that you aren’t the only one looking to make improvements. Thank you for reading.

  20. Reblogged this on steamyoli's Blog and commented:
    Awesome. Let’s start the year.

  21. Reblogged this on marinetrep's Blog and commented:
    I love this article!!!

  22. Pingback: The Power of Persistence | 2tasks

  23. Great idea for a book, and inspiring topic.

    • lbstrang says:

      Thank you. On your blog, you pointed out that there a million little things each of us can choose to do each day — even when we’ve been through a difficult physical experience. That, too, is very inspiring.

  24. Great article. Having set up my own company 19 months ago the one thing that I found was crucial to making things work was a diary. Blocking out time, keeping to a schedule and getting friends to realise that what I was doing was as much a job as anybody elses – maybe not a 9-5 office job, but it was a job nevertheless and my time needed to be respected as much as theirs.

    • lbstrang says:

      You’ve raised a good point about the importance of treating the startup process like a full-time job (and then some). Another advantage of a diary: it’s a great tool for tracking progress. When you look at what you’ve accomplished on a daily basis, you can’t always tell that you’re moving forward — but it becomes evident that you are when you view your progress over a period of several weeks or months. Thanks for commenting.

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