Persistence and Belief

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”- Thomas A. Edison.

I was having a discussion with my teenage daughter recently about the differences between the pathway of the entrepreneur/ investor and the orthodox employment pathway. It is concerning that conventional education often is silent about this very important threshold issue. And it is an issue becoming more significant as technology disrupts traditional labour markets around the world.

Platforms such as eLance, Guru and the like already mean people can work independently as they choose. New models of work are now being created, not just by consultants or freelancers, but by tech entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are devising new ways to create leveraged income streams, and new paradigms of wealth.

How does this relate to the important message of Edison? I can attest from many years of hard work, that the road of the entrepreneur or investor is the much harder road. I am sure others will agree. Technology and the reach of global markets are now making things a little easier, but our road has always been the harder one- necessarily so. It is the road less travelled, at least since the Industrial Revolution.

The hallmarks of the entrepreneur’s pathway include, of course, persistence– unrelenting persistence, especially in the face of necessary challenges and setbacks. I say necessary, because challenges exist to help us grow- help us be more creative, build better processes, see things more clearly, and to improve our mind, our people and the eventual product or service we bring into the world.

Persistence is tied to belief. We entrepreneurs must have an unshakable belief in what we are doing, especially when challenges arise. Belief aids persistence, especially when belief is linked to a higher purpose. If we have created a new piece of technology we must believe it can solve a particular problem, and this is best seen in terms of helping or enhancing the lives of ordinary people. This is beyond the concept of merely ‘adding value’- this idea is tied to ancient principles of wealth creation, such as: ‘when we serve first, we will then be served.’

Edison gave us the light bulb which still enhances our lives today. He dedicated much of his life to this one invention. Our challenge today is to create something, no matter how small, or how large that can similarly enhance the lives of everyday people for many years. Vision has always been the hallmark of our great pioneers and leaders. They are our teachers.

Regards, Lee M. Spano, Creatness International

© Copyright Lee M. Spano. All rights reserved.