I don’t think I’m the most talented.
I don’t think I’m smarter than the average.
I don’t think I have a stronger work ethic than the hardest working.
I don’t think I’m tougher than the toughest.
I don’t think I’m the most ferocious
But if there’s anything I do know about myself it’s that I’ll out persevere most.
In other words, I’ve got grit.
I know I can endure sustained amounts of struggle and hardship over long periods of time and not quit. It’s my superpower that I believe has given me nearly all the success I’ve achieved to date in life. I’ll get in the ring and take more hits and stay standing longer than my opponents. When I’ve committed to something I’m extremely focused, disciplined and loyal to that thing. People, business, relationships — whatever it is, that’s just how I win.
And from what I’ve learnt having interviewed and been surrounded by hundreds of successful small business owners over the last 7 years it’s that fortitude and staying power is often a winning formula. Out living the competition implies you’ve not only got the fortitude to stick but also the nous to out-innovate them as well.
Everyone has their unique superpower that gives them their winning formula in business and life. You might be one of those people I’ve envied my entire life who is naturally talented, intelligent or gifted. Winning might come quickly and easily to you when you apply yourself. I’m afraid it only does after long periods of slow and painfully incremental growth for me.
Funnily enough I learnt a valuable life lesson about stamina from CrossFit. It’s called choosing your ‘sets’. In high intensity exercise, the best way to avoid burning out too early in the workout is to break the entire workout down before you begin, into sets. If you need to do a 100 reps of a variety of movements, the sets you choose will make or break the time it takes you to complete the reps. Too intense too soon and you’re cooked.
The thing I’ve found is often that’s the mistake we make in life. We attack a new challenge with such ferocity that we implode before it even got a chance to get off the ground. If we can’t see a path to success quickly, we quit. This is the problem most millennials have. They haven’t been taught how to persevere through hardship and turn their work into sets.
Life is one long workout and how you choose to break up your sets might dramatically change your results. Be smart about it and persist longer than anyone else. If you’re doing what you love, the long game is really the only game to play.
Perseverance isn’t just a winning strategy — I believe it’s the only strategy.