Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ve tried a thousand ways to succeed, but nothing ever works!” Just think about that for a minute. Maybe they have diligently tried some things to succeed at whatever they desire. However, it’s unlikely it was a thousand ways (unless they are very unique like Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Harlan Sanders or a few other select people).

They probably haven’t even tried hundreds or even dozens of ways to succeed or change things for the better. Many experts say that most people try eight, nine, or ten ways to make a change, and when they don’t get the desired outcome, they give up!

What most people miss is that the key to success is to decide what’s most important to them and then take considerable action, each day, to make it better, even when it doesn’t appear that progress is being made. It took Thomas Edison more than a thousand attempts before he discovered the secret to the incandescent light bulb. At each failure, he found ways that didn’t work, but he looked upon those failures as successes. Now…that’s persistence.

Another example of making persistence pay dividends is Colonel Harlan Sanders. If you don’t remember Colonel Sanders, he was the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

How did Sanders become such an unbelievable success? Was he born into a wealthy family? Did he attend one of the best universities? Was he successful because he started his business when he was very young? The answer to all these questions is no.

The Colonel didn’t begin to fulfill his aspirations of success unto he was 65 years old! He was broke and alone. He got his first Social Security check ($105) and he was very disappointed because it fell well short of providing a sustainable life.

However, instead of blaming society, he started asking himself, “What could I do that would be valuable for other people?” He started thinking about what he had that would be valuable to others.

The Colonel had a unique recipe for fried chicken that he had perfected over several years. He immediately thought, would restaurants pay for the recipe because it might increase their sales. He spent two years traveling across the country, knocking on doors and ‘pitching’ his idea. People laughed in his face, but he didn’t give up even after 1,009 times of being laughed at.

So…he founded KFC and the rest is history. Most people would have given up well before the 1,009 noes but he had belief in his idea and the persistence to make it happen. This is the secret to success.

Think about it…