I’ve often been curious to hear the responses given by individuals of substantial success when asked about their methods or secrets. The secrets of the wealthy, the winners, the business elite. Over the years, I’ve heard some remarkable responses, and some quite simple doctrines as well. I once at a conference listened to a rather engaging older gentleman profess that his secret was writing goals on a small piece of plywood, and then sleeping with it under his pillow. Honestly I thought to try it, once, no more than twice, but the idea of an inordinate amount of splinters ravaging my cheeks kept me from running to Home Depot for sharpies and 2×4’s.
The success of Carbon Copy PRO has now placed me in this interesting and honorable congregation of advice givers. I’ve welcomed the responsibility. The act of bestowing advice has always seemed to be considerably humbling experience, but also a small, indirect way of giving. It’s important to remember we know not the time or the hour when a quiet word of encouragement, a discreet act of kindness, or simple interest in the plight of another can be the catalyst for great change. We allow ourselves to be conditioned into thinking change comes as the result of adverse circumstance, in glamorous packaging; accompanied by fireworks, tragedy, severe adversity etc.
I rather believe that every passing moment, whether silent or filled with unrest, marked with modest bliss or an aching uncertainty, are all opportunities for breath-through growth. The moments when you not just hear, but truly listen to yourself.
I sat in my office late last night going over some of PRO’s latest logistics and stats from the previous week. I section I rather enjoy reviewing documents the countries we have members and site traffic. I sat alone, accompanied by (what I felt to be) a well-deserved after-work beer, hit refresh and the number appeared. We now have active members in 158 countries. 158! The irony of this revelation wasn’t that our business had reached such an expansive global presence, or the really the number itself, rather the shock came as a fact that it this international growth had not occurred as the result of a concerted effort. We had run no international special campaigns or promotions. Yes our new translation capabilities are crucial for global business, but that was part CarbonCopyPRO’s initial launch. I tried to put my finger on whether we had done something different recently, maybe a detail I was missing that would explain the situation. After some time, and another beer, it quietly dawned on me; there was no detail, no business elixir that we had used. It was simply the act of true Persistence.
Persistence is often spoken of, but usually has a short shelf life. People invigorate themselves initially. The idea of staying the course begins with passion and fortitude, but then we struggle to maintain the enthusiasm. We encounter discouragement, but don’t use it as fuel for the next accomplishment. The successful entrepreneur not only learns, but profits from their mistakes.
What we all must realize is that we cannot go back and start again, but we can start now and create a new ending for ourselves. We are now in 158 countries because no matter the hurdle, no matter the strife, we kept moving forward.
I set an incredibly lofty goal for myself, and then did more than ask of myself to persevere, I demanded it of myself. I knew if I could strive to do simple things perfectly, I would build the skills to do difficult things easily.
There is nothing intrinsically magical or mystical about myself, or any other successful entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs take their ordinary talents, and apply extraordinary perseverance. All things are attainable when your commitment begins within, when you refuse beyond all others not to let yourself down.
The bottom line is this: Years from now, whether it be 5, 15, or 40 years, you will most certainly be more disappointed with the things you did not do, rather than the things you did. Be brazen with your desires and the ideals you hold dear for yourself. Know that there is nothing you cannot accomplish if you refuse to waiver in your pursuits.
I’ll leave you with a short proverb I enjoy and call on when my own discouragement begins to surface:
“Fall down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight.”