Thursday, June 4, 2015

On the Importance of Persistence

Gillian Zoe Segal has an essay out discussing how she was able to meet people to interview for her book, Getting There: A Book of Mentors. She writes in part:
You will be ignored and rejected a lot, and you can't take it personally or allow it to depress or discourage you...

My friend (Steve Cohen!) told me this early on, and it really stuck with me. The point is, don't let a "no" from one employee deter you. If the front door is locked, try the back door; if the back door is locked, try the side door; if the side door is locked, try crawling in a window. If you can't do that, wait a while then try the front door again. Someone might answer this time!

What does this front door/side door/window bit really mean? I am talking about ways in -- avenues -- like a publicist, an agent, an employee, someone who once did business with the person, a friend of a friend of a friend....

I rarely dealt with just one employee and one door. When someone ignored me repeatedly or rejected me, I switched to someone else and acted like nothing had ever happened -- I never mentioned I was previously ignored or rejected... 
If I learned one lesson from the people who I interviewed for Getting There it is that determination and resilience eventually pay off. Of all my subjects, I think that Ian Schrager sums up this sentiment best in his Getting There essay. He says, "In the end, there's so little that separates people. Those who want success the most and are relentless about pursuing it are the ones who get it."

Pursuing any goal is much easier if you are truly passionate about what you want; that's what gives you the fuel to persevere.

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