Legendary salesman and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar often told the story of how he used to have one of the worst sales records in the cookware company he worked for.
Then one day a supervisor, PC Merrell, told him that if he believed in himself and went to work on a regular schedule, he could do some truly great things. Inspired by these words, Zig began to make sure, rain or shine, that he left the house at the same time every morning, ready to knock on a prospect’s door at exactly 9am.
As a result, he finished the year as the number two salesman in America out of over 7,000 – but here’s the thing – he didn’t once make salesman of the month; BUT – he always made at least one sale every month.
There have been some amazing examples in sport where a champion gets tested by someone who, on paper at least, shouldn’t have even been in the running. Sometimes the challenger wins, leading to lessons being drawn from these events from the underdog’s point of view; things like, ‘believe in yourself’, ‘don’t listen to the nay sayers’, or ‘never give up’.
But here I want to look at things from the champion’s perspective. Most of the time the underdog doesn’t win, because their opponent, even when their back is to the wall and they seem to be pushed to the limits of their ability, somehow find another gear.
So often, whereas good players can beat the average person just through their natural ability and show occasional flashes of brilliance, great players become champions by being consistent; by being able to produce a solid performance match after match. And consistent performance is borne out of consistent practice, dedication and focus.
If you’re struggling with something that other people around you appear to be ‘naturals’ at, take heart in this – hard work and consistent action will beat raw natural talent every time. So stick with it.
It’s been said that an author is only as good as their latest book and an actor, their latest performance. Such a phrase can be applied to pretty much any profession. The best in their profession have become successful by honing their skills, carrying out consistent daily actions that move them towards their goals.
So how about you? How would you describe the state of your mind, financial situation, health, career; or the quality of your relationships or leisure time? Average? Good with occasional flashes of brilliance? Or consistently great?
If you feel there is something lacking in any area of your life, consider setting some clear goals in those areas and take regular consistent action towards them. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve when you do.