Persistance Doesn’t Always Help You Win, Unless You Do This

Perseverance usually comes at the top of the list of entrepreneurial success traits. But there’s a twist that isn’t so obvious that makes perseverance work.

Persistence doesn’t help if you keep doing the wrong things that don’t work.

You need perseverance AND the ability to change and correct your course.

To persist long enough to find what needs to change in your business and your thinking. To prove something wrong and do something about it.

Jeromy Wilson is the founder and CEO of Niche Academy, a profitable and growing software company with 21 employees and 1,700 business customers.

Niche Academy is 10 years old and doing great, but the first few years were brutally hard. There were few customers, little revenue, and meager paychecks.

Jeromy and his cofounder almost gave up several times. They cut their paychecks again and ignored their spouses, who hated this crazy business that wasn’t working.

But they changed a few things and started to gain traction. Then they started to pay themselves a living wage and hire some employees.

They kept going and kept changing by learning what their customers really wanted.

As Jeromy describes it on the Practical Founders Podcast this week, it wasn’t just persistence and grit:

“You could work yourself to death on the wrong problem and not get anywhere. Stick with it and keep learning, What will really make this something that will help these potential customers of mine?

“If you listen to your customers and you’re willing to change— to pivot and to find your way into what will actually make a difference in their lives—you’re going to be successful. Don’t give up, but do it in a smart way. You can’t keep going after the wrong thing and expect something magical to happen just because you’re working hard.

“You’ve got to listen and be willing to make those changes and do those things that will bless your customers’ lives so much that they’ll want to be with you forever.

“Don’t give up, but do change. Do listen, do learn.”

A major part of abnormal success is doing the things that normal people won’t do. Like finding a way to keep going in your crazy startup when it’s really hard. When normal people would give up.

Perseverance is hard, but pivoting and making big changes is often harder for founders.

Be careful what you choose to be stubborn about.

Listen to Jeromy’s practical founder journey here


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