Yesterday, as I was flicking through the Scotsman newspaper, four words made me sit up and rub my eyes in disbelief.
International news, culture, classifieds, sport, a-ha, business news: “Dana Petroleum, ordinary 813.5p”
I nearly choked on my cornflakes.
“So what?” you might be thinking “This is meant to be an article about success. If I’d wanted to read about share prices, I would have bought the Financial Times!”
Okay, it might appear to be totally unconnected with success, in the same way that nail extensions have nothing to do with bog snorkelling.
But you’d be wrong! Because I’m about to reveal the cruellest lesson of success.
Just five years earlier, I’d managed to get my hands on 7500 Dana shares at just 14.5p each. 14.5 pence! And now they were changing hands at more than eight quid a time!
Great! But I wasn’t in a celebratory mood, because I’d sold my shares for virtually the same price three years earlier…just before the price of oil started to rocket.
Talk about missed chances!
You can do the maths yourself, but I reckon that I’ve missed out on a sixty grand bonanza.
I’d done everything correctly. I’d done all my homework, I knew it was a well run company with great potential, but I’d overlooked the vital ingredient of success – Perseverance.
I’d had the shares nearly two years, and the price hadn’t moved so I sold them. And because I was a teensy-weensy bit impatient, I missed out on the success.
Now before you think I’m looking for sympathy, nothing could be further from the truth. Okay, I might have thought “what if…?” a few times, but that experience has taught me a lesson worth far more than sixty thousand pounds.
Success isn’t always instant. Sometimes you have to keep going until you achieve the fruits of your labour.
Successful people, true champions, never give up. They have confidence in their ability and they keep going until they achieve the success that they desire.
Let’s face it, when Tiger Woods drives a shot to within twelve foot of the pin, he doesn’t put his golf ball back in his bag just because his approach shot wasn’t good enough!
He doesn’t cover 400 yards, just to give up twelve feet from success.
Of course not!
All his efforts are focused on continuing his round and playing the next shot as well as he can. That’s the only way he can keep moving towards the success that he desires.
Perseverance is VITAL if you want to achieve anything worthwhile. It’s your insurance policy in case success isn’t instant.
Think about your life. How often have you put in all the work, but given up too early and missed out on the reward?
And how did that make you feel? (No answer necessary)
So from now on, if you want to become more successful, and avoid thoughts of “what if…?”, here’s what I suggest;
Number One: Do your homework
Whether it’s golf, share dealing or even bog snorkelling for that matter, give it 100% effort. Learn everything you can about your subject and prepare diligently. Aim to be the best that you can. That will give you the confidence to take the next step.
Number Two: Trust your judgement
You’ve done all the ground work. You’re moving towards success, but things aren’t going as well as expected (and share prices are drifting sideways).
You’ve got a difficult decision to make. Do you trust your judgement and push on towards success, or do you doubt your abilities and throw in your hand?
This is where preparation is vital. The more groundwork you put in, the more you’ll be able to trust your judgement and keep going.
If you don’t have confidence in yourself or your abilities, the chances are you’ll quit just before you become successful. And that’s worse than not trying in the first place. After all, the well known saying is “quit while you’re ahead” and not “quit before you’re ahead”.
Persistence is all powerful. You will become successful, provided you put in the effort, trust your instincts and keep going.
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