When confronted with challenges sometimes it is easier to give up than to stay focused on what we want. Some say this year has been the Perfect Storm for the American people. Yesterday's post talked about keeping and maintaining a great attitude by working on yourself and minimizing exposure to things like negative news and the media. Now let's talk about staying the course in spite of challenges facing the residential construction industry.
Today, I am sharing with you a subject (persistence) taught by Napoleon Hill in the book "Think and Grow Rich". This fine work was produced over 70 years ago. It was commissioned by the late Andrew Carnegie. Mr Carnegie's request to Napoleon Hill was that he write a book on how to become successful by studying the habits of successful men and women of the day. The book was to be written so that any average individual of sound mind and health could read and apply it to become successful if they wanted to. Rather than re-word his fine work I am quoting words from his chapter on persistence as printed in "Think and Grow Rich"
Following are some phrases as printed in Napoleon Hill's book. The concepts may seem simple and old fashioned, however they still apply to todays' principles of success in both business and personal life.
You can train yourself to be persistent
Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated. Like all states of mind, persistence is based upon definite causes, among them these:
a. Definiteness of purpose. Knowing what one wants is the first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development of persistence. A strong motive forces one to surmount many difficulties.
b. Desire. It is comparatively easy to acquire and to maintain persistence in pursuing the object of intense desire.
c. Self-reliance. Belief in one's ability to carry out a plan encourages one to follow the plan through with persistence. (Self-reliance can be developed through the principle described in the chapter on autosuggestion).
d. Definiteness of plans. Organized plans, even though they may be weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence.
e. Accurate knowledge. Knowing that one's plans are sound, based upon experience or observation, encourages persistence; "guessing" instead of "knowing" destroys persistence.
f. Cooperation. Sympathy, understanding, and harmonious cooperation with others tend to develop persistence.
g. Will-power. The habit of concentrating one's thoughts upon the building of plans for the attainment of a definiteness of purpose leads to persistence.
h. Habit. Persistence is the direct result of habit. The mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experience upon which it feeds. Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage. Everyone who has seen active service in war knows this.
How to Develop Persistence.
There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of persistence. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:
1. A definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment.
2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.
These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. The entire purpose of the thirteen principles of this philosophy is to enable one to take these four steps as a matter of habit.
I have read and studied "Think and Grow Rich" for over 25 years. The principles in the book are simple and work. The key is that you must put in the work to get the result. Now is the time to "sharpen your saw" while it is slow in the industry. The economy will rebound and the Next Level Consumer will be looking for The Next Level Contractor. The contractor of the future will be the one who has spent this down time wisely investing in himself and his business. Things you can do during the down time; read positive books, listen to cd's or tapes, sales training, business planning, marketing plan, hire a contractor coach, work on system development and more.
What are you doing for you and your business the next two weeks to prepare for next year's market?