Our culture bombards us with the promising message that persistence will be rewarded in the end.
But effort alone is not enough. We could kill ourselves and get nowhere.
When I give presentations to businesspeople, I remind them that there’s a fine line between following up and being a stalker. Whether it’s looking for a job, closing a sale or following up with an old client, if we don’t demonstrate a valid reason for our persistence, we’re just annoying.
Irritating our way into people’s inboxes isn’t a wise approach for getting attention, earning permission or solidifying trust.
Persistence, like most things, is like tofu. It takes on the flavor of whatever sauce it’s immersed in. And so, if we fail to pair persistence with value, the flavor won’t be right, and the answer won’t be yes.
I once did four interviews for a potential consulting gig, each round coming to the table with bigger and better visual aids, homework assignments and other unnecessary props. And I was convinced that my antics and performances and stunts would impress them into hiring me.
Unfortunately, the company explained that bringing in someone with a personality as big as mine did not make sense for them. I may have been talented, but not talented in a way that was necessary to fit into their machine.
Woops. Guess not every company needs a creative visionary.
Behold, the dangers of misguided persistence.
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
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