Persistence is a trait that entrepreneurs put on a pedestal. And rightfully so.
"I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance." -- Steve Jobs
"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." -- Babe Ruth
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent." -- Calvin Coolidge
"Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit." -- Napoleon Hill
"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." -- Winston Churchill
(Thanks to Inc.com for aggregating these quotes and others like them.)
But...there are times when you should NOT PERSIST.
For example, after many months…
You’re still developing a product that early prospects are not super excited about.
You’re still selling a product or service that prospects don’t need, but a few want.
You’re toiling over a business that has negative, zero, or minimal positive environmental or social benefits.
I can say this with great conviction because in one of my startups, I was persistent to the point of BEING STUPID.
I was certain that original idea that got me out of bed at 2:00am was going to succeed, come hell or high water. The hundreds of hours we had spent on product development were going to pay off. The improvements in environmentally conscious and profit-focused business decision making were going to happen. I was destined to be an Entrepreneur for Impact.
I still don’t know exactly where the line between persistence and stupidity is drawn.
But at least I know the line exists, and it can be crossed. Despite the inspiring comments above.