September 2nd, 2008 15:07 EST
Perseverance in Many Forms
Perseverance takes many forms, but every once in a while somebody perseveres with such precision that the word needs to be revisited and shared with those who are trying to reach a goal.
I have a friend; his name is David Light. David worked for me about 10 years ago doing telephone marketing and sales. He was a star performer as a salesman, but he never liked the "grind" that occurs in a tele-sales environment. He always felt that there was something else that he should be doing.
David came to me in 1998 and described his dilemma. He told me that he wanted to write a book and that he wanted to get into the acting business. Although he didn`t have much money, I told him that he needed to create a plan that would help him ease into a situation where he could attain his goals. I suggested that he needed to work full time, but work two hours less in the first week and take those two hours and put into efforts that would help him to realize his dream. The following week, he should work three hours less and four hours less the week following that until eventually he had transformed himself into being completely self-contained and self-sufficient.
David did just that and in 1999 he had produced his first book. David called me in sometime later and told me that he had produced now multiple books complete with unique poetry and illustrated by the most talented artists. Later, David made it his goal to get into the acting business. He still was "financially challenged" (David`s word!), but he was also fueled by a tremendous amount of drive. He somehow, over the last two years, has figured out how to be a character actor in 82 different films or other productions.
It was always his goal, though, to get to the next level because in order to get the bigger money jobs, one has to be affiliated with the major players in the industry. Agents wouldn`t talk to him until he had a SAG (Screen Actor`s Guild) card. He needed a head shot, he needed a reel, he needed assets that he simply did not have the money to build, but he continued and persevered and one role turned into another. He successfully held back a few dollars from each gig so that he could slowly acquire the assets that he needed to accomplish his clearly defined goals. And by the way, those accomplishments include David`s recent SAG membership.
I asked David the secret to his continuing record of accomplishment and he told me unequivocally that he gives 110% to every single case. He has passion and enthusiasm at every turn and he never gives less than 100%. That means 110% on every take on every film. That is David`s recipe for success. That is how David pictures perseverance.
Giving 100% every single time is an important lesson, because very few people are willing to go the extra mile. If you can be identified as one of the people that does go the extra mile every time, then people will be clamoring to have you help them with whatever it is that you want to do or whatever service you want to provide. I`ve always heard that the definition of a professional is "someone who is able to do their best whether they want to or not."
Think about professional baseball players, football players, and other athletes who are on the road for long stretches at a time. Do you think that every single day they feel like going out and doing their best? I can`t imagine that they feel like it. But every one of them gives their best every time. Their career depends on it and they know that.
By the way, people frequently ask me for help as they are moving to the next level in their business or career. Although I wish that I could help everybody, the volume of requests simply makes that impossible. So how do I decide who to provide assistance to? One way is based on how much I see people helping themselves. And in David`s case, he is a good bet to help because I know that he will make good use of whatever assistance is provided to him. So in that spirit, I gave him a connection to a Hollywood agent that can help him move to even higher levels in his career.
So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you`re building your career, make sure that you set goals. Make sure that you`re working every day toward those goals and make sure that you`re giving 110% toward the accomplishment of whatever it is that you`ve set out to do because you, like David Light, can accomplish anything that you put your mind to.
About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit www.joelblock.com or www.growth-logic.com. Also, be sure to check out our newest project: a blog to organize the blogs that cover entrepreneurship - http://www.entrepreneur-hub.com. And finally, for film makers: http://www.filmfundingblog.com - our newest project.