Persistence is refusing to give up.

Most people don’t realize that persistence is a better indicator of success than talent. In fact, Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Talent doesn’t help a person if they give up at the first sign of resistance.

Persistent people understand how the principles of gravity and exponential growth operate on them on the way to reaching their goals. Consider this generic exponential growth chart over a hypothetical two year period:

This chart could represent many different things, but lets imagine we are brand new sales people starting at a firm today and this chart represent our future sales.

After six months we both look at our sales reports and realize that we have made very little visible progress. If you didn’t value persistence, you might quit because you didn’t think that the job was for you.

What you didn’t account for is the fact that a lot of things have to be in place before someone will buy something from you. You have to have complete knowledge of the products, you have to hone your listening skills, you have to know how to handle rejection, and you have to get rid of that beginners look of desperation. All of these things come with practice and are working against you when you are new.

To make things worse, most people won’t trust you if they don’t know anyone who has bought from you before, and all of the people you are talking to are “cold” prospects. The hardest work is at the beginning, but when a person has built up experience and contacts, sales come very easy to them.

If you quit, unfortunately you would face the same sort of performance curve at your next job. Can you see how easy it is to get stuck in a cycle of failure? The significant growth in most situations occurs after the initial gravity is overcome.