Entrepreneurship is the toughest challenge I ever undertook. Hurdles came in all forms leading me to the thought of quitting. We may disagree with popular thought, hear our friends telling us to quit, and have a tendency to second-guess ourselves. But deep down, do you really want to quit? http://www.smoothsale. net/do-youreally- want-to-quit/

My secret to success is, ‘Be stubborn enough to remain true to yourself.’
Embed your values and priorities in your mind and never deviate from them. Take the high road at all times. A successful business is based on credibility and trust, making stubbornness an essential quality to maintain. The only way to establish belief in your authenticity is to remain true to your ideals. Too many people give in to others in their attempt to please. The first person to please is you.

I’ve heard too many stories of elders looking back on their lives with regret. And former businesspeople lament they did not stick up for what was right or best for them in the long run. Unfortunately, they spend their days focusing on what could have been.

‘Personal Brand’ is today’s term referring to your inherent talent. We each have a unique DNA and upbringing that affect our thinking and view of the universe. Our duty is to retain focus on our purpose. Our clientele quickly recognizes who we are and for what we stand. Those who are similar-minded will come to know us better, and appreciate who we represent. By being our individual selves, we attract the better partners and clients into our lives.

In a world filled with ‘you should,’ the only ‘should’ is to follow is your heart and mind. For example, in my first year of entrepreneurship, I was repeatedly told by many, “you should do this…” All of the urgent suggestions were very pricey. I chose to ignore the ideas. By the end of the year, I was still in business while most of the others had to return to an unwanted job.

And in my sales career, joy was found in the personal conversations I had with my clientele. We exchanged experiences, found humor in our collective stories, and only then moved on to the business portion of the meeting.

Are You Stubborn Enough?

One Sales Manager was livid seeing me in action with a prospective client. As we drove toward the office, he threatened my job if I didn’t begin selling like everyone else. Back in the office, he firmly restated, “Do you understand you are to immediately change your way?”

“When someone refuses to listen insisting they are right, take an immediate left turn.

I said, “Yes, but first please answer this question. If I’m doing everything completely wrong, can you explain why I’m always at the top of the sales scoreboard?” The manager couldn’t look me in the eye. My clientele, on the other hand, referred to me as a ‘breath of fresh air’ while inviting me back for more meetings and additional sales.

As an entrepreneur, come to terms with your motivation. You may receive tests on your limits, truthfulness and innovative approach. Passing the test brings you to higher ground and a more lucrative market.

“Everyone knows something you don’t, and you have knowledge others do not possess.”

One evening a couple were at our home for dinner. The husband was a professor at a university instructing students on earning their MBA. Surprisingly, he, too, was complaining how difficult it is to get a new business off the ground. My reply was, all business is dependent upon marketing and sales. I explained while I find sales easy, I strive every day to learn more about marketing. I then offered help with sales insight knowing that wasn’t their area of expertise. To my disbelief, the man’s face grew red, he and his wife left early, and they chose to limit communication with us. The irony was the MBA instructor could not make a go of his own business.

Within a year, he had to shut it down. But there are more lessons to be heeded from the experience.

Eliminate the totem pole syndrome

The man put his career above my status as a former salesperson and a previous stay-at-home mom. I was too low on the totem pole to be taken seriously. The error is in not acknowledging that everyone possesses decision-making capability and unique insights.

The above experience led me to a better way of communicating. Upon hearing an opposing viewpoint from either a client, friend or peer, I first ask of their experience to understand how they came to their belief. Often, the inside knowledge proves to be our best training ground.

Entrepreneurship requires a dedication to continued learning. Getting into a comfort zone will kill business. Be willing to learn from everyone and every experience. Stubbornness turns into motivation and determination for remaining ahead of the curve as we hold firm that we can do it.

Commit to:

  • Collaboration
  • Formal and self-education
  • Trial and error and learning from failure
  • Transform hearing ‘that’s impossible’ into your motivator to continue
  • Achieving your fondest wish

“Assumptions most often prove to be incorrect.”

At the very least, hearing out the experience of others gives insight on the best way for us to proceed. As a volunteer, I recently sat down for lunch with only one other person at the table. I asked the gentlemen what he did for the organization.

Taken aback, I heard him arrogantly say, “I build relationships within large corporations and introduce the executives to this organization. But I won’t go into detail, because you wouldn’t know anything about this.” Had the person not made the assumption about my ignorance, we might have had a conversation beneficial for both the two of us and the organization. I could have mentioned that I’m the one who wrote the book on the topic, but that would have produced heated words. Instead, I departed with a smile on my face. I saw the experience as another training module in the making. Being open to varying perspectives, and without judgment, broadens our scope while opening many more doors. Allow your stubbornness to shine through.

The following strategies will help get you to your goal:

Stubbornness dictates:

“Never give up but find a better way” “Transform negativity into Yes I can!”

“Revise your original plan for a grander vision.”

In the end, you will be the one who celebrates success!
elinor@smoothsale.net www.smoothsale.net

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