Persistence1If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re told that you must be persistent, that persistence will make you successful and I suppose that the same thing is told to many people in developing their careers. But what do you be persistent about?

Many people seem to think that being persistent means doing the same thing over and over again until somebody pays attention to what you’re doing. That, unfortunately, as I have seen recently, is just wrong headed. (Or in my case, pig headed.)

If battering your head against a closed door is being persistent and that won’t work then what things are you supposed to be persistent about? I’ve been trying to come up with a list of four things that entrepreneurs need to be persistent about and here they are:

  1. Innovating – As an entrepreneur or even as an employee you must be constantly innovating. Being persistent at changing what you’re doing may eventually make you successful.
  2. Networking – Yes, I know I have mentioned that I hate networking but if you want to find your tribe (thanks Seth Godin) you must be persistent about networking.
  3. Listening – Networking isn’t about telling your idea, it’s about listening to their problems. Persistent listening will uncover more that you ever find by telling.
  4. Learning – Finally, if you’re networking and listening then you might learn. It is the persistent learner that then becomes the best innovator and you end up back at the beginning of this list. (Lather, rinse, repeat.)