Dog is Good is built on 3 solid pillars for growth: wholesale sales to retailers all over the world, online commerce direct to consumers, and licensing. Although just about every retailer who discovers Dog is Good loves the brand, they do not always jump on board immediately. After three and a half years of persistent follow up, I have found myself on the brink of closing two major deals. Consistent follow up is key. Most people would give up after hearing the prospect say that timing, product mix, or pricing is just not right. But I know that you can’t waiver when you encounter an obstacle. When you really want something, you persist until you get it. I find that most people waiver upon encountering their first obstacle. I choose to take cues from my dogs, some of the most persistent creatures I know.
While living in Florida many years ago, we adopted Sasha, a hound pointer mix, . Sasha’s instinctive drive to hunt earned her the reputation as the most persistent of our all our dogs.
One of my most vivid memories occurred one weekend on our morning run. Almost every Saturday, the entire family would head out for a six-mile run around the Navy Base. The dogs would trot alongside of us as we ran and pushed our 4 year old in the baby jogger. Except for the rare appearance of the security vehicles, no cars traveled on this particular road, so it was quite safe to let the dogs run off leash. While Zoe raced the motorcycles on the other side of the fence, Sasha paid no attention and kept moving forward with us toward the base entrance where a man-made pond was home to three resident ducks.
On this particular day, one of the ducks was walking close to the road. Yeah, you know where I’m going with this. The moment my hound/pointer/spaniel mix noted the close proximity of this duck, instinctive drive took over and she bolted toward it. The poor duck immediately ran to the pond, jumped in, and started to swim away. With the duck now out of reach, I expected Sasha to rejoin us on the run. I was mistaken.
Sasha was locked onto the duck and was pacing back and forth along the water’s edge. The next thing I heard was the splash of water as she jumped into the pond to continue the chase. This duck decided to have some fun with her and started swimming along. Although I could not see them, I was imagining its little feet paddling frantically in the water. This duck stayed just far enough in front of Sasha, but the moment she started getting too close, the duck would just flap its wings and put an additional 2-3 feet between them. Invariably, the duck would reach the end of the pond, prompting it to turn around, fly just above Sasha’s head, and land a foot behind her. Undeterred, Sasha would just turn around and resume doggy paddling. This went on for quite a while – the duck going back and forth and Sasha maintaining persistence.
Initially, we were amused and impressed with her tenacity, but then our patience began to give way. No matter how many times I called to her, she just would not stop. I started to notice she was getting tired and wondered how long she could keep up her pursuit. It became clear she would continue as long as the duck kept the apparent game in play. This dog was not going to give up. She remained persistent despite her fatigue and was prepared to swim back and forth as many times as it took to get that duck.
At this point, nothing was going to stop her but me. The only way I was going to get her was to take off my running shoes and swim out to grab her, which I did. She responded with a startled surprise, as though I had just shaken her out of a trance. Sasha seemed hypnotized by the entire experience. In fact, during the time I was swimming toward her in the water, she never once noticed me. Quite frankly, I was startled by the action, too. I’m not much for swimming, especially in murky water.
“You aren’t going to find anybody that’s going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance.” ~ Lou Holtz
According to the dictionary, persistence is defined as “persisting, especially in spite of opposition, obstacles, discouragement.” The ability to maintain persistence can be distilled down to discipline and habits. Persistence begins with good habits and continues to grow through your ability to stay disciplined, All of this boils down to the “WHY” behind your decision to go after anything. When your reasons for pursuing any goal are strong enough, you do whatever it takes to get there.
I have come across a lot of people who start something only to stop as soon as life gets in the way. Obstacles are inevitable. We all encounter them, but for some, they stop the game cold and for others they are game changers. I see this every January at the gym with the influx of “New Year’s Resolution” members. By March, most have already given up on their weight loss and fitness goals. In this example, losing weight and improving health was apparently just not that important to them. There are a gazillion excuses people come up with to give up on their weight loss program, stop working out, quit looking for a new job, never launch a business, finish their education, etc.
People publicly announce their goals to ask for a promotion, get back into a pair of jeans, run a marathon, start a business, or go back to school. Initially the drive to go after any of these things is really strong. You do all the right things, follow the right steps, and begin to see some initial traction toward your goal. Inevitably, a challenge arises. Someone says something to break your confidence; your friends insist you have that piece of cake to celebrate; it’s raining outside so you blow off your training run, or you stay busy doing everything BUT the tasks that will take you closer to accomplishing your business goals. You set yourself up for success, and then you just stop.
Why do you stop? The real reasons you don’t persist are simply that your WHY is not strong enough and you never developed disciplined habits. The pain of where you are now (health, fitness, business, mindset) is not great enough to push you to do whatever it takes to get what you want.
So, take a moment to observe your dog(s). Note their persistence as they go after what they want. Decide right now to persevere no matter how long something takes. If you want it- go get it!