“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins–not through strength but by perseverance.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
I was at a client reception yesterday evening. It was for their company’s 50th Anniversary. 50 years of continued success; 50 years of happy clients and customers AND blood, sweat and tears. It’s a great achievement that we should all deeply admire.
At first I wasn’t really phased about this achievement as I had had a very bad day and needed a drink, some cheese and some good meat on a stick. So my wife and I made our way to the Hors D’oeuvre table.
After making our selections we settled at a table, and soon after, another couple joined us and we engaged in light conversation. Soon though, the subject turned to business and work and I found that this gentleman has a successful business of his own, with three offices in three states. We chatted about life and children and nursing (my wife is a nurse and so is their daughter) and later at the bar the subject came back around to business. By this time the drinks were sinking in and our moods were improving to the point where we felt a little more comfortable with each other and the man gave me some welcome advice – being that he has been in business 28 years and I’ve been at this for much less.
It was weird, almost as if he was sent to deliver the message that I needed to hear that day. My day was terrible and at one point I laid on my bed talking to my wife about actually giving up on one of my pet projects that we’ve been toiling over now for several years; it’s just not going well. So the man says to me “To succeed in business you simply need to persevere. It doesn’t matter what today brings, you need to simply focus on your quarterly and yearly results and you’ll continue to be successful. You can’t let the bad days stop you.”
To remind himself of this he told me that he used to keep the word “Persevere” taped to his desk.
After that it was like a lightning bolt hit me; it was one of those moments where you put things in perspective and know that you now have a better way to get through those bad days. It’s like Richard Carlson’s great book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” You MUST not let the little things and the day-to-day grind derail your plans for building your business, being a better parent or spouse, becoming healthier, or even enjoying life more.
I think about giving up often. It’s simply the easy way out and I could easily go get a job somewhere and have half the worries and work that I deal with on a daily basis. But I really do enjoy what I do. I help people and provide an affordable and valuable service to my clients. I really do have it good and I need to remember that when I have bad days – we all do and that’s the simple point of this post.
Going forward I have pasted a note on my desk to remind me of this day and that we all should not sweat the small stuff, the bad days, and the daily hassles and troubles – It simply says “Persevere”.