Rule #12 – Work Hard, Then Persist

Everyone’s going to tell you to work hard. But the key is to persist.

When my wife Laura was a little girl, her stepfather would lecture her incessantly with this statement: “If you work very hard, you will only be competing against 10% of those you encounter in nearly any workplace. That’s because 90% don’t go the extra mile.” She would roll her eyes – not to his face! – but it stuck. (Maybe that’s because he was so persistent in saying it. There may be a lesson there if you get into parenting yourself someday.)

Today Laura will tell you that she has repeatedly seen her stepfather’s words play out in every work environment she has ever experienced.

Although he was famous for not saying much, President Calvin Coolidge spoke volumes in this paragraph of wisdom:

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.

One guy who understood something about work and persistence was Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Here’s what he had to say: “The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity and stands on its head for those few-and-far-between souls who devote 100%”

So, “Press On.” Go ahead and make the world stand on its head.

Onward, Malcolm Gauld