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Wanted: People Who Desire a Faster, Easier Way to Climb a Success Ladder With Anything They Do

Aug 30, 2007
Recently, I've been using a famous quote by Calvin Coolidge as my mantra to get me going and get things done. Specifically, getting a product together; getting it up on a website; and getting it promoted.

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence
Talent will not; nothing is more
common than unsuccessful people with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; The world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve, the problems of the human race."
Calvin Coolidge.

While creating my product, I wrote a 23-page sales letter. Everyday I was putting something into the letter, changing it; making it more personal; making it more exciting and enticing to read. I was determined to make this letter a "home run".

Then I sent out a product introduction feedback request to members of my mastermind group. The feedback I got back was an eye opener for me. My sales letter was way too long. The headline was too negative. I was beating around the bush with my message. It lacked emotional content.

It needed a lot more work.

I read the "Persistence" quote again. It was then, I realized there was one important thing I needed in addition to persistence and determination to accelerate climbing this ladder of success...

and that's competence.

Competence is a measure of your persistence and determination.

Here's what I mean.

You have to put yourself "out there in the field". You have to put yourself out where you can be judged, criticized, applauded, supported, and commented on. This judgment or feedback is the measure of your persistence and determination---your level of competence that you have attained so far.

(note: I'm referring to constructive, positive judgment, criticism, and feedback. The negative, non-productive kind of judgment, criticism and feedback can be laughed at because it's showing how incompetent the judger is at constructive criticism.)

In my case, my sales letter was way off the mark. My competence (success level) for this particular sales letter was in the gutter. Not good at all.

Now that I knew what my competence level was, I became more persistent and determined to make it better--rise up to a higher success level; a new competence level. I had some great feedback and comments to work from. I found some more things wrong while improving the sales letter. I fixed the letter as best as I could for the level of competence I was at. The letter is now 8-pages long and a lot stronger.

You see this dynamic success formula at work all around you. When you see a child first learn to write, ride a bike, tie their shoes, when you make your first omelet, learn something new for the first time, learning a new job skill, for guys--meeting the right lady, for gals--choosing the right guy, driving a stick-shift, parking parallel. Just about anything you think and do is affected by persistence, determination and competence.

Maybe you already know someone who has their own stories and examples of how they became successful---how their competence levels grew from persistence and determination. And every time you meet up with them you notice their new competence level has "grown astronomically" since the previous meeting just a few months earlier! I'll tell you more of how this "astronomical growth" happens latter.

For now, here's an observation of what happens when you don't put yourself "out there". I used to teach English here in Japan. The majority of the students really want to learn English. They'll study hard. They'll study everyday. And that's it! Nothing more. They will never leave the comfort of the classroom, or their home, or computer to put themselves "out there". Unfortunately, a large part of this behavior is cultural...Japanese students don't want to make mistakes and if you are good at something you don't want to standout. In addition, the majority of them are shy. When it comes to being competent in English this whole country is a classic case of seeing how one can be persistent and determined and not be successful.

Of course there are exceptions. My best students, and I can count them with my fingers, were the ones who spoke English out side of the classroom to each other. They didn't have the opportunity to meet foreigners, so they talked to each other---discussing, debating, and discovering with each other how to express themselves. Their competence soared way above all the other students.

I've been to China and other Asian countries and their English level is so much higher for just one simple reason---they put themselves out there--they are not afraid to talk. This really drives home the point of how important it is to start putting a value on "being competent".

Fear is your biggest block to success. You can be persistent and determined, but if you have a fear of being judged, criticized, being a failure or a fear of not being good enough---you're short changing your growth in competence for what you want to do. You're stuck on the lower rungs of your success ladder.

Why not focus on this idea: "The better I become, the more success I get to become better." I don't know about you, but that not only gives me an easier way to climb my success ladder, I can also see a rainbow with a pot of gold waiting for me at the top.

Now here's how the "astronomical growth" of competence works. With each new "step-up" in your competence level, you get a LARGER awareness of new "potentials" that you never saw before. The higher the level of competence--the LARGER the awareness of new potential ways to accelerate your competence.

Makes sense right. Just like climbing a mountain, taking off on a plane, climbing a tree, your horizons expand with each new height you climb to. You see things that you could not see at lower levels.

A real life example.

I'm a
Japanese-Western-style-ceremonial-wedding-Sheppard. Which means I do Western style ceremonial weddings for Japanese. I won't go into the details. What's important is this. When I first started I was nervous and challenged because I had to memorize a 15-page script that was 99% Japanese. This wasn't your everyday Japanese. This was very special Japanese used only in very formal occasions--weddings being one of them. It was like learning a new language within a language.

It took me about 10 weddings before I felt a new level of competence. With every mistake I made I would go back and rehearse that line and practice it all through the day. I kept practicing the script from start to finish every morning and evening and anytime I was waiting in a line or riding on the train.

When I reached my first level of real competence, I could do the whole ceremony without the manual in front of me. At that level of competence, I got a larger awareness for ways that I could improve the ceremony.

In less than a year, I've been the only person to be requested to do weddings. Whenever a hotel is going to shoot a promotional VIDEO, I'm the first to be called. All this happened because with each new level of competence came a larger awareness of the potentials which allowed me to become better. And I capitalized on them.

Another reason for "astronomical growth" in competence is each new success level gets easier and easier to reach. That is why "Success breeds success". Most everything we start off on is difficult. But with each higher success level our challenges become easier.

So I hope from today, Coolidge's "Persistence" quote inspires you to capitalize on each new increase of awareness for each step-up in competence on the success ladder you are climbing. If you make this a habit, you'll be flying up every success ladder you climb and reap the pot of gold for that particular success ladder faster and easier than you have ever done before.
About the Author
Kenneth Delor Taylor author of Your Inner Fortune newsletter, shows you the success thinking habits you need to get more success in ALL areas of your life. Just click the above link for this great opportunity.
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