Build up your staminaHumanities
“The one common link among all unstoppable people is adversity – they struggled, tripped and stumbled, and had setbacks and failures, but they pulled themselves up and kept on going... With each trial, they emerged stronger, surer, and more deserving of the dream itself.”
Cynthia Kersey: Unstoppable: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just Like You
Some years ago I heard a speech by Bill Kinsella, author of the book Shoeless Joe, which became the movie Field of Dreams (“Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa”). What I most remember is his telling us that being a successful writer requires four things. As I recall, the four things were technique (which he said was five percent of the equation), creativity (another five percent), vocabulary (another five percent) and stamina (the remaining 85 percent). He went on to define stamina as sitting down to write your 50th short story after having received your 49th rejection letter.
You might have read that eight or nine out of ten new businesses fail. Whether or not that statement is technically accurate (and if you count out the people who “start a business” by setting up a website and then sit back and wait for the orders to come in, it’s not), it is not true. The truth is that businesses do not fail - owners quit. For every business that has “failed” there is another somewhere else in the same industry facing the same problems where the owner, instead of throwing in the towel, made one more call, went hat-in-hand to one more bank, made one more personal sacrifice to keep the business from going under. And in the end it was that flirtation with failure, and the commitment to push the rock up the hill one more time, that gave the company the stamina and strength of character to endure, to beat the odds, and become one of the survivors.
Joseph Campbell - author of many books on the power of myth - wrote that we all, one way or another, live out the hero’s journey. At one point in the story, the hero falls off his horse and loses his sword. The dragon hovers over him, breathing fire, and you want to close your eyes because a horrible end appears inevitable. Yet somehow, against all odds, the hero finds his sword, slays the dragon, saves the beautiful princess, and they live happily ever after.
Businesses don’t fail – owners quit