The Most Important Trait For Any Business Owner

per·sist·ence – 

  1. Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
  2. The continued or prolonged existence of something.
It's easy to get fired up about a great business idea, an opportunity that just “fell in your lap”, or that eureka moment  that stuck you 3 o'clock in the morning on your way to the bathroom.  Everyone's felt it in one form or another, that burning feeling that your life is about to change.


What a great feeling that is, the moment all of the stars align, and the world makes perfect sense.  Wouldn't it be great to keep that feeling forever?    That burning desire to make progress, to move forward, to change.  Sadly, that fire doesn't last forever, it burns, flickers and sometimes goes out during the course of your businesses life.  At least for 99.9% of us business owners.


Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. 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.
– Calvin Coolidge


When you first started your business, the hours went by like minutes, you wished time would slow down so you could implement all of your wonderful ideas, you couldn't sleep at night because you felt like a kid that knows they are going to Disney World in the morning.


You could say that enthusiasm is the key to a successful business, but sometimes it's hard to keep up the enthusiasm when your train falls off the rails.  What's left when you're key employee abruptly quits, you discover that you don't have enough money to pay your employees AND the rent this month.  What left to keep you going?


It's persistence.


What makes most great entrepreneurs who they are is that fact they they refused to quit after any sane person would have packed their bags and called it a day.


Butterfly quote-proverb-the small business playbook
Most of us hate losing, we hate failure….we hate to be wrong.  A little bit of pushback, a few barriers thrown in our path……and we quit.  Why do we quit?  Because it's usually easier than pushing forward, pushing forward to potentially more failure.  If you look at the biography of any great leader or businessman, you'll usually find one thing in common.  They were all met with failures, sometimes lots of them……but they didn't quit.


Money, education, geography or social status plays no role in finding a common link to successful people.  The one thing you do find in common is that they kept pressing on, despite repeated setbacks and temporary failures.  They didn't give up.  Only a few will keep doing it when the situation looks bleak, when those around you are telling you to quite, when you're almost out of money.


The ability to keep moving forward after the startup party is over is crucial if you want to have a successful business.  Any seasoned business owner will tell you a story, in one form or another, of how, just when they thought it was all over for them, they held on a little longer……..and then it happened.  A sign of life.  An opportunity that was waiting just around the corner.  And then it all changed, slowly at first, but a noticeable change.  They got that feeling that the worst was over, that they made it past the point where most people would have given up.  They persevered.


It's not always a happy ending.  There are plenty of businesses that should have closed, probably long before they actually did.  But for an entrepreneur, you always have that feeling that you're on to something, if you can just hang on a little longer, you'll realize your dream.  Sometimes you just need some persistence to see it through.



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CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.
2 replies
  1. Gary Shouldis
    Gary Shouldis says:

    Thanks for the comments Steve, I’m glad it helped in re energizing you. I’m a small business owner myself and I know it can be a roller coaster ride. The important thing is always trying to stay upbeat and positive when we are in those occasional freefalls and knowing that we got through it once and will do it again. Thanks again, cheers

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