Here is an admission; I used to work for a man who turned down The Beatles…! We never let him forget. But thankfully, the persistence of John, Paul, George and Pete (the original drummer) meant that eventually they landed a deal with EMI. The rest, as they say, is history. Similarly, J.K.Rowling did not give up on her creation, Harry Potter, which was rejected 12 times before Bloomsbury snapped it up for a mere £1,500 advance. And 3M originally rejected the adhesive that eventually went on to be the basis of the now ubiquitous “Post-It” note.
There are hundreds of famous rejections of ideas and businesses. The inventor of Federal Express was told by his management professor at Yale that his idea was only worth a C-grade because it wasn’t feasible. Warner Bros suggested no-one would ever want to hear actors talk. And The Royal Society claimed there was no way we could ever have heavier than air flying machines.
Common to the fact that The Beatles became famous, that Harry Potter is an international phenomenon, that we use Post-Its daily and that we have all heard movie actors talk is that the people behind these things did not give up. Persistence was their watchword.
A few years ago I gave a talk about blogging and I asked my audience if any of them were bloggers. One man put his hand up and said: “I tried it once, but it didn’t work”. It seems his theory was that you wrote a blog post and then the world would beat a path to your door. Indeed, even today I meet business people who have “tried” blogging, by which they mean setting it up, writing a couple of blog posts every now and then and not actually promoting what they have written. When nothing happens, they give up.
New research confirms yet again that persistence pays. In a study on long-term unemployment researchers found that there were two key factors involved in people being successful in finding new jobs – a positive mental attitude and persistence. Those people who never gave up and who always thought they would succeed, did actually succeed.
It is a lesson to all of us that persistence is a key component in success. If your online business is struggling, don’t give up – keep at it. Remain positive and keep on going. I see so many business owners, for instance, who have blogged constantly for several weeks only to give up because “it wasn’t working”. Yet they probably only needed one more week to make it work. Frequently online, people give up too soon, often expecting instant, almost overnight, results. The fact is, success takes time. Overnight success doesn’t happen – take Jessica Cornish as an example. You probably know her as Jessie J, the singer-songwriter who “shot to fame” with “Do it Like a Dude” and “Price Tag”. But prior to this she had worked hard, going to stage school for several years and appearing on the West End Stage as a child performer. So, overnight was more like over a decade.
Your online business will succeed. But like Jessie J, or J.K.Rowling or the inventor of the Post-It glue, you must believe in it, be positive and never give up.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+