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P’s & Q’s — The Power of Persistence


No matter where the phrase “Mind your P’s and Q’s” comes from, it has occurred to me that, in business, there are many useful words and concepts that start with these two letters.  From pace [of production] to pyx [special container for test samples of coins and from qintar [a money table] to quotient [such as profit margin]  There is a plethora of words to explore and apply to business.  There are important ones like profit, people, product and process; indispensable ones like quality, quarterly [results], qualifications and quantity; legal ones like quorum, purity and punitive [damages].  In line with the title of this entry, let’s remember the famous words of Winston Churchill during World War II slightly modified for my purposes, “Never, Never, Never, Quit!”

In sales, it used to take an average of 5 contacts with a customer before a sale was made.  So many sales people quit after just 2 or 3 calls and never end up making the sale.  If 5 is the average, some sales will take 7, 8 or more calls.  Recently, someone kept track of phone messages, e-mails, web site clicks and more to determine that it could now be 13 interactions with a customer to make that all important sale.  PERSISTENCE.

Woody Allen is reported to have said, 80% of success is showing up.”  PERSISTENCE

Thomas Edison is credited with saying, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration” and “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  PERSISTENCE

My wife and I attended a local meeting of entrepreneurs that talked about their “hard knock” experiences.  Almost all talked about keeping focused, continuing on when others are naysayers, working through the toughest of times.  PERSISTENCE

In the book, Great by Choice, a sequel to Good to Great, the authors talk about the regular “20 mile march” philosophy of great companies that consistently execute to their plan.  PERSISTENCE

It takes passion inside an individual, a team or a company to be able to persist and achieve success.