Falling isn’t the issue.
The problem occurs when you don’t get back up and try one more time! We are in a business climate that requires getting back up—sometimes again and again and again.
It works for me, when in a bind and on the pity pot, to bring to mind people who have inspired in me the importance of persevering.
I think of Drexel Peterson who hired me to do part-time radio announcer/disc jockey work many years ago at KVFD in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was in his fifties and had some type of serious health issue that caused him to spend most of his time in a wheel chair. However, at times he would pull himself up on crutches that were his sole means of support since he had no use of his legs. Drexel exhibited more courage doing that one process several times a day than many of us do in a lifetime.
I think of my mother, Virginia Sheridan, who at age forty-three became the sole support of six children between the ages of six and sixteen when my dad died. There was no life insurance, a failing locker business to run, and a financially grim financial future. Instead of giving up, Mom regained old secretarial skills and went on to become a much respected assistant to the superintendant of the largest high school in the area. We all pitched in with whatever work we could find based on our respective ages, never missed a meal, and look back with pride at how she and we survived.
I think of Johnny Tierney who regularly stopped in the gas station where I worked for my uncle as a teenager. Johnny had been ‘shell shocked’ in WWI and walked downtown several blocks in my hometown of Lawler, Iowa with short choppy steps. His body trembled from head to toe as if he had Parkinson’s disease. Although totally disabled, he never lost his sense of humor and was a delight to be around.
I think of Mike Wertz who was one of my students at St. Edmond High in Fort Dodge, Iowa in the early 1970s. Someone playfully pushed him into a public swimming pool when he was in junior high and the incident freakishly broke something in his spine that paralyzed him for life. Mike never gave up and has gone on to lead a productive wheel chair-bound life for himself and his wife.
And these are just a few of many whom I hold in awe.
I could get on the phone and get stories from every one of you about someone you know who has overcome great adversity. It might be a person who suffered something dramatic or simply overcame a major disappointment in life or love—but managed to successfully rebound and move forward with grace and dignity.
As you consider the people described above, I ask you to think about people whom you personally admire for their bravery and perseverance. Borrow some of their courage to carry on. It is no secret that this has been and will continue to be a challenging time for all of us in business. But make no mistake about it; you can have a major influence on your success by getting back on that proverbial horse when business is down by your can-do attitude and willingness to work even harder than ever before.
It’s time for us to get back up and overcome adversity. It’s your opportunity to shine and excel. You may never know how much your encouragement and sales ideas bolster the confidence of potential customers, but be assured that you will have a positive affect on them if you proceed with courage and enthusiasm.
Bill Sheridan—Sheridan Writes, LLC— www.sheridanwrites.com
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