Netflix co-founder, Marc Randolph, knows something about persistence. Several years ago, when Blockbuster Video dominated the movie rental business, Randolph and a few of his executives visited Blockbuster’s headquarters in Dallas, TX. Their goal was to form a partnership with Blockbuster. Randolph and his team proposed that Netflix would handle the mail order portion of the business while Blockbuster would operate the stores. It seemed like a perfect fit. But the Blockbuster team didn’t see it that way and rejected the proposed merger and the offer to buy Netflix for 50 million dollars.
Today, Netflix is valued at over 200 BILLION dollars!!
And Blockbuster? There is one remaining store in Bend, Oregon down from over 9000 at their peak.
Last weekend, I heard Randolph speak at Influence – the annual convention for the National Speakers Association. He has personified persistence in his businesses over many years and recently wrote this:
Persistence isn’t easy. It means picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and screwing up the courage to head back into battle. But it’s funny; as I reflect on all my start-up experiences, what I remember most vividly are not the big successes. I remember the hard times when things weren’t working. Because what makes persistence so rewarding is that wonderful feeling when you finally – on your hundredth attempt – finally do figure out that way to make it work.
Many of us quit way too soon. It’s easy to do when things aren’t going well. But the rewards can be great for those who continue to persist, for those who figure out how to overcome obstacles, and for those who don’t believe in “no” as a final answer.
How can you be more persistent?
1. Have a “board of advisors” that believe in you and your cause. Ask them for their input, advice, and support.
2. Regularly look for stories, like the Netflix story, to serve as an inspiration for your persistence.
3. Attend conferences that inspire, motivate, and inform you to keep going. like my National Speakers Association Influence meeting.
Stop to consider that no really means Next Option.