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By Heather Robson
Posted Sunday, October 3, 2004

It doesn’t take long in an entrepreneurial trade to discover that persistence is like gold—it’s rare and extremely valuable. Without it, unless you’re unbelievably lucky, you’ll be dead in the water. Some of us come with a natural-born persistence already in place, but for the rest of us…the good news is, persistence can be cultivated.

1. Create Habits
Even if your tendency is to try something once and then give it up, you can overcome that by creating habits. Tackle positive habits by creating new ones each month. For one month focus on doing something every day that you have a hard time doing and that will be positive for your business.

2. Do One More
When you find yourself getting frustrated with something on your task list—first make sure it is something that is important for you to be doing. If it is, put a smile on your face, and do it once more if it’s a repetitive task or spend fifteen more minutes if it’s a singular task. Then move on, and come back to it the next day.

3. Start Each Day Fresh

To stick with a new or growing business, you must start each day fresh. Don’t wake up convinced that things will go badly. Begin your work day confident that things are going to go well.

4. Small Actions
A new business has a lot of goals. Many of them huge. So big, that they can be overwhelming. To persistently achieve your goals, you need to break them into small manageable actions and then move forward with those actions.

5. Keep Calling, Emailing, Following Up, Following Through
Where persistence fails most often is in our interactions with new people. A new business can’t survive without sales. To make sales, you must build relationships. And relationships require contact. So call people back, follow up on emails, send out newsletters, make new appointments, go to new events. Be persistent in both finding new contacts and following up with your existing leads. Also, follow through with your current clients…it’ll keep them coming back. If you drop the ball find a way to pick it up and make things right. It can be uncomfortable, but building solid, healthy relationships will be the lifeblood of your business.

6. Affirmations
While altering your behaviour is the real key to developing persistence, focusing on your attitude will also help. Develop a phrase to say to yourself when you find you are frustrated or worried. It can be as simple as “All will be well,” or it can be something more complex that will help you get in the mindset to be persistent.

7. Accountability
Probably the best thing you can do if you find you are struggling with moving forward on a project or carrying out an ongoing task is to find someone you trust to hold you accountable. Give them a copy of your timeline for a project or you goals for an ongoing task, and ask if they would mind checking in with you weekly on your progress.

8. Reflect, Reassess, Replenish, Regroup
Persistence is your best friend when it comes to building a new business, but you don’t want to be persistent to the point of folly. Regularly reflect on your successes and failures. Regularly reassess your goals and make sure they continue to make sense. Regularly do something for yourself that replenishes your energy so you are better able to focus and enjoy your work. And when nothing else is working, regroup and try something entirely new.

About the Author
Heather Robson is a founding partner of DragonFly Creative Media, a company that helps businesses that are overwhelmed or struggling move forward with their marketing. For a free estimate and proposal on a copywriting or web project, contact her at


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