Try and Try again, With a Smile.

Reading Peter Bergman’s post, “How Not Achieving Something Is the Key to Achieving It” on the Harvard Business blog, reaffirmed my feelings on networking and goal breaking.

It was like getting a cold bucket of water splashed on my face!

Bergman discusses his experience during the early days of his consulting business, trying to land an account with a particular individual, and the repeated attempts to get face time, encompassing numerous re-scheduled lunches and calls, over several months.

The “cold water moment” occurred when I read this part of the post:

“Here’s what I realized though: if I could avoid reacting to my feelings of frustration or hurt, then the cost to me of rescheduling the meeting was a two minute phone call with Fred’s secretary. And the upside was potentially enormous.”

Right on.  A lot of us hit that wall, I have anyways.  We just want to give up after the second canceled lunch or missed phone call.  It sucks.  I’ve given up a few times when I should have just called once more, or twice more, or as many times as it took!

I always (try) to remember that networking, while social, is business.  It’s more personalized, and hopefully genuine (read: Not brown nosing), but it’s not the sandbox either.  Also, unless you are just THAT abrasive, no one is going out of their way to avoid you.

Back the post, Bergman also discusses Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, and the 10,000 hour rule.  For those not familiar, it’s the idea that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours (obviously “raw” talent and other factors can affect this but you get the idea).

This leads to the crux of his post, that “[A]nyone can do anything.  As long as three conditions exist”:

  1. You want to achieve it
  2. You believe you can achieve it
  3. You enjoy trying to achieve it

On these three points he states:

“We often think we only need the first two but it’s the third condition that’s most important. The trying is the day-to-day reality.”

The tie-in to the 10,000 rule is that you will only get better, at whatever it is your trying to do, by DOING IT, and enjoying doing it in the face of obstacles.

There are a lot of things I want and believe I can achieve, but want and belief are mental states.  It’s easy to dream, but it’s another thing to live out that dream.  Trying requires physical action, which often can be the hardest part.  That first, actual, step towards a goal.

I found Mr. Bergman’s post a great refresher for staying on the grind and not letting obstacles impede you.  Check it out.


“And if at first you don’t succeed
Then dust yourself off and try again
You can dust it off and try again, try again
Cause if at first you don’t succeed
You can dust it off and try again
Dust yourself off and try again, try again…”

Try Again, Aaliyah


One Comment on “Try and Try again, With a Smile.”

  1. linda says:

    i agree!
    i really enjoyed Outliers and remember finding that 10,000 hours rule super fascinating.

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