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Tenacity vs. Talent: What is the REAL Determinant of Business Success?

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Most entrepreneurs have a strong aversion to the word random. The word, which is defined as “without definite aim, purpose, method, or adherence to a prior arrangement,” is the antithesis of what is typically perceived as good business practice. Oddly enough, one author believes randomness, and how we deal with it, can be the greatest indicator of whether enterprises will succeed or fail.

In his book The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, Leonard Miodinow discusses in great detail how the laws of randomness are a driving factor in our successes, and how this is counter to the widely-held belief that success is directly derivative of talent or intelligence. Research from the last decade suggests there might be some merit to this line of thinking, and supports the idea that “the ability to persist in the face of obstacles is at least as important a factor in success as talent.” When faced with miscellaneous setbacks, it is the persistent one, rather than the genius, who will prevail.

For entrepreneurs, persistence is a must. At the end of the day, it isn’t just the philosophical prowess needed to envision the perfect solutions to problems, but the resolution and doggedness to actually get in there and solve them.

When it comes to your business, are you relying on your brains to get you through, or are you rolling up your sleeves and using some old-fashioned elbow grease to get you to the next level?


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Jack julian says

Hello, I truly appreciate these weekly business tips. May I reproduce them with the appropriate acknowledgements for my college business classes. Thank you for this, Jack Julian
Posted at 11:17 pm
Sheila Frazier says

We love this article. It is so true to be successful in business. Entrepreneurship has so many ups and downs that one can become defeated at their dream before it becomes a reality. But Persistence is a must, as we are seeing after 2 1/2 years of having our doors open, we are finally getting the clientele that has been part of our target group. We have only touched the top of the iceberg, and we can only see GREAT things in the near future with ESS, Inc.!!! The weekly articles help us to continue to learn, grow and remain focussed!!! Thank you so much!!!!! We love em!!!
Posted at 2:11 pm
Rafael Kemish says

I strongly agree with the idea that persistence is a key ingredient in creating a succesful business. The problem is that persistence alone is not very useful if you are in the wrong direction. It took me almost two years to realize that, and once you accept you too make mistakes it's great to focus on what's right and channel all that energy into yoour business. persistence+experience+intelligence=success, sometimes it comes in one mind, but usally it requires a team effort.
Posted at 3:33 pm
rivier says

Success comes from the ability to act today with tomorrow's hindsights. The gift to anticipate rightly is complementary to persistence.
Posted at 6:26 pm
Joseph Fantilli says

I agree that tenacity is important. I had the tenacity and the talent and the credentials when I opened my 15000 square foot state of the art professional fitness center. Was earning 100k+ but only because of a lot of personal attention, lots of client education and seminars, lots of membership deals due to the working class nature of the area and lots of direct mail. Then a bar/dance hall opened up in a vacant building next door. All of a sudden there was lots of trouble, car thievery, broken glass, vandalism, fights, police cars and bad press. And then everyone vanished. I tried to get them shut down but zoning was legit, I closed soon after that after 8 years in business and doing well, beating the statistics. I filed bankruptcy, lost everything, now I grovel for $12.00 an hour. So much for tenacity and talent.
Posted at 10:59 am
Raj says

In response to Joseph Fantilli, The reason why tenacity is so important is that in life you don't have one shot to make it...you have many. An example, my dad, made a fortune, then lost it in a bankrupcy. Then he made another fortune. Lost it again in a bad investment, where someone cheated him. But...then he made it again. The truly successful have failure stories and good ones at that. failure = lesson learned once you're happy again.
Posted at 2:55 am

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