Commitment to Greatness

What do you think it is that separates mediocrity from Greatness?  Or even “ordinary success” from Greatness?  Why do some people reach heights of achievement that boggle the mind, while others simply run with the also-rans in the middle of the pack or consistently fall flat on their butts throughout their entire lives?  Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States, said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

“Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”—quite a statement; and true as “tomorrow the sun will rise in the east and set in the west.”

In Malcolm Gladwell’s wonderful book Outliers, he tells us about the 10,000-Hour Rule, which states it takes 10,000 hours of practice to truly become an expert at one’s craft.  He gives us examples like Bill Gates learning programming while still in high school and the Beatles playing seven days a week in Hamburg, Germany, long before they became famous.  Ten-thousand hours of practice; and the persistence and determination to put in those 10,000 hours of practice.  To stick with it, to keep hammering away, no matter what–that’s what separates mediocrity from Greatness.  It’s what even separates the good ones from the Great ones.

Success in the selling profession is no different.  It takes a rock-hard personal commitment of never-ending persistence and determination to achieve Greatness.  Sure, in selling you can be “successful” right out of the box; but if you want to be a Master, if you want Greatness, the 10,000 Hour Rule applies to you, too.  Just compare the young hotshot with the seasoned old Pro: more than likely, the 10,000 (or more) hours of field time the old Pro has under his belt has hoisted him to an overall plateau of Greatness the young hotshot, for all his achievement, can’t equal—not yet anyway.  Or as my father used to say, “There’s no substitute for experience.”

So how persistent and determined are you to achieve Greatness, to be a Master, to stand with the top-tier Pros?  Are you willing to put in those 10,000 hours, to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes?  To promise yourself and your Creator that nothing on Earth will interfere with your Commitment?  I hope you get there; there’s no feeling quite like it.