Patience, Persistence, Perseverance and Success
by C. S. Clarke, Ph.D.
In an earlier article, I suggested that a big factor in successful product (or service) creation/development is understanding that potential buyers want it now; they want it easy; they want to feel good about it immediately and in the long run. Yes, their expectations may be totally unrealistic. But, in order to give your potential customers or clients what they want, you have to be willing to take the time and risk of development. You have to have the discipline to persist and persevere through the research, creation/development and marketing cycle.
Although failure to match your product or service to the right group is a major cause of start-up failure, even the best match won't overcome the effects of impatience to get that product to market post-haste. And, in the long run, you'll need that patience along with perseverance to overcome the inevitable obstacles you'll run into in your journey down the path of success. Not merely in developing your products, but in building your business around your products.
Go through all the steps of research, development and marketing. You know that you can't research your target market in a few hours and get on with slapping a product together in another few hours and have the whole thing online by the end of the day. But just because you know better than to fall for the slick, get-rich-quick scams, doesn't mean you don't need to watch your own tendency to push for speedier results.
This is hard. You may be unemployed and going into business just because you can't find work. You need the money and it's tempting to rush the process. Keep your feelings and motivations in mind and monitor yourself.
The best way to speed up the process is to enter a market you already know thoroughly because you are part of it. Make a product you already know very well how to make that matches the market. Then acquire online or offline marketing skills -- or both. After all that, you still must patiently await sales growth.
Remember, no matter how well you've done your job, significant results are unlikely to come quickly. You may start receiving income right away, but it probably won't be huge. (Unless, of course, you are already well-known or get interviewed on Oprah.) Be patient, in most instances overnight success takes a while.
Rinse and repeat
Many of the steps in your process will need persistence, the ability to do the same thing over and over again. Part of performance improvement is learning to do a task well and effectively by repeating it with minor adjustments until it is as perfect as it can get.
As an example, say your product is decorator pillows. You already know your market and you know how to make the product. However, to make a decent return on your investment of time and money, you need to keep expenses low and make the product in the most time-efficient way. So, you might make the same pillow design repeatedly for a week to determine the fastest process and the best way to cut the fabric to reduce waste.
Sometimes persistence is mind-numbingly boring. It's just part of the process.
Keep on keeping on
Perseverance is the intentional and creative part of endurance. Being patient and persistent will get that product out to market. Persevering will use the patience and persistence you've developed to overcome the many different obstacles you'll encounter along the road to success.
No matter how well you've planned, no matter how well you know your market, no matter how good your product or service, stuff happens. Mostly unexpected stuff. Perseverance is taking the stuff that happens, dealing with it as best as possible, and continuing to produce.
I know a man, a solo entrepreneur, who runs a decorator's workroom. Shortly before the financial market crash, his bank, in anticipation of the crash, suddenly cut his credit line. Naturally, he really needed that credit line to be able to account for such things as late-paying clients and unexpected urgent needs for supplies to finish jobs because of inadequate deposits. Solo entrepreneurs run very close to the line financially, so statistically speaking, this entrepreneur was too high a risk, despite having had the account -- always in good standing -- for the prior 10 years. This was a devastating loss. Couple that with losing clients because of the following recession.
Yet, he perseveres. He just keeps making adjustments, such as collecting higher deposits on his custom work, selecting better clients and taking on jobs that can be completed more quickly. It's not ideal, but he keeps on keeping on. It's his life's work. He's not giving it up.