So you’ve got a goal to build your Internet business to a certain level by a certain time frame. You do have that goal, correct? If not, you might want to stop reading for a moment and make that goal right now before you proceed any further. After all…
“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably
end up somewhere else.” ~Lawrence J. Peter
Now then, you’ve got your goal – so what else do you need to succeed? Perhaps the following story will give you the clue…
On the tough South Side of Chicago back in 1908, there lived a six year old boy and his widowed mother. Money was tight, so this boy (we’ll call him W.) got a job selling newspapers. The problem was all the older kids took over the good corners for selling papers. They yelled louder than W. could, and they threatened W. with a beating if he tried to sell his papers anywhere near them.
But W. had already purchased a stack of papers to resell, and if he didn’t sell them he’d be out his pennies. So what did he do? What would you have done if you were 6 and couldn’t sell your papers where the other boys sold theirs?
You guessed it – he looked for a different location. Not a better corner – those were all taken. Instead, he remembered this restaurant he and him mom often walked past. It was called Hoelle’s Restaurant, and it was always packed. Of course to W. going inside all by himself was frightening, as he’d never been in a fancy restaurant in his life. He was scared and nervous, so before he could talk himself out of it, he hurriedly walked inside and made a lucky sale at the very first table, and then more sales at the second and the third tables. On his way to the fourth table, Mr. Hoelle grabbed W. and roughly shoved him out the front door.
So what do you suppose W. did? He gave up and went someplace else, right? Actually, no. He waited until Mr. Hoelle wasn’t looking and walked right back in. The customer at the fourth table was so pleased with W.’s gumption that he paid for the paper and gave W. and extra dime before Mr. Hoelle pushed W. back out the door again.
Now, most 6 year olds would be satisfied with selling four papers and getting a tip besides. But not W. He walked right back in and resumed selling again. By now nearly the entire restaurant was rooting for him, and when Mr. Hoelle tried to escort him back out one of the customers whispered to let him be, which Mr. Hoelle begrudgingly did. About 5 minutes later, W. had sold all of his papers.
The next evening? W. was back, and Mr. Hoelle was ready to give him the bum’s rush out the front door. But no sooner had Mr. Hoelle pushed W. out the door, than W. popped right back in again. Throwing up his hands Mr. Hoelle said, “What’s the use?” and later the two became great friends.
So who was W.? None other than W. Clement Stone who would go on to turn $100 into millions and be the proponent of “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. He also gave $275 million to charity over the course of his 100 year life.
So what is it that you need to succeed? Certainly you need a goal, and you also need the same persistence and perseverance that W. Clement Stone displayed as a frightened but determined 6 year old boy.
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with
problems longer.” ~Albert Einstein
“He conquers who endures.” ~Persius
And that’s not all we can learn from 6 year old W. His motivation was high because he and his mother needed the money. He’d already invested his pennies in buying the newspapers, and there was no refund for unsold papers.
W. was afraid to enter the restaurant but he pushed right through that fear before it could get the best of him. He knew he might get embarrassed by going back into the restaurant after being thrown out, but he did it anyway because he was determined to sell those papers. W. knew that achieving the goal was more important than the risk of being laughed at.
And he learned what to say by listening to the older boys. Young W. couldn’t even read the papers he was selling, but by repeating what the other boys said in a softer voice, he quickly learned the technique for selling papers in restaurants.
He had the motivation, the determination, the skills and persistence. Coupled with his goal, it was almost impossible for him to fail.
Just think – if that 6 year old boy could do all that on his first day of selling newspapers – what can you do today?