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More than “stick-to-it-iveness”

“stick-to-it-iveness” mugRecently someone asked me the “one” most valuable secret to success in business. I was, of course, honored to be included in their definition of “success” – but, I think my inability to spout a quick answer left them a bit disenchanted. And I’ve been pondering the question ever since.

I could have easily gone down the typical road and suggested it was my mental tenacity, a healthy business acumen, or strategic management. It would have sounded good — but would not have been truth. So, what was it? Obviously, there was something that contributed to a successful 25 year run. But was it me or did I just get lucky… to have the right product/service at the right time for a receptive marketplace. Maybe… but I think more likely, not. The cup on my desk says it like this. Stick-to-it-iveness: 1. The ability to keep haul’n ass in a start-up business, especially when chaos prevails. 2. The “keep on keeping on” quality demonstrated by entrepreneurs. So is that all it takes — a “don’t quit” attitude? Certainly a vital component, but once again, I know of no store that sells pre-packaged “don’t quit” pills. It’s not something you pick of the shelf, like give me a little tenacity, a large portion of energy, with a little wisdom on the side. Sure, I could offer several character traits that contributed to the mix of business success, but it was the request for “one” that threw me a curve. But I think I’ve got it. When I stripe away all the superlatives typically positioned as necessary for success, I’m truly left with “one” thing. It’s the “one” thing that gave me the emotional strength to rebuild after the devastating flood of 96. It’s the “one” thing that provided a sales miracle the spring of 2002 that saved the business after the 9/11 downturn, and it’s the “one” thing that gave me the courage and patience to correct a poor management decision I made in 2006. It’s the “one” thing that powers the river that runs deep within me. It’s a relationship with God that provides the power greater than myself. It allows me to look at business as what I do, not who I am. Daily, it’s a reminder that any business success I’ve had is not about me – but instead, about using my natural God-given skills in any business He chooses to entrust to my care. It’s the “one” thing I’ve learned through experience that I can totally depend on. It’s a process that works. I’d be honored to share more about this “one” thing to any and all who care to learn more. Lunch will be on me.