The Success Formula is based on just three very simple concepts: 1) learn The System; 2) apply that knowledge immediately; and 3) be persistent in its application.

This is where the rubber meets the road...this one last Principle, without which no success of significant measure can ever be attained--persistence.


Don't Stop Just Inches From Paydirt!

The Sages tell us that "the righteous [in this case, successful] person falls down seven times, but gets up eight." Since that was written many thousands of moons ago, we can assume that top achievers have been going through this "down and back up again" process pretty much since the beginning of time.

Indeed, there are so many sayings along this line it would seem to be a concept taken for granted. Yet how often do you hear of people quitting before they ever give themselves time to build the proper momentum? Or worse, those who persist for a time--then quit just moments before the momentum they've worked so hard to build is about to manifest as a strong and profitable business.

Russell H. Conwell, in his classic work Acres of Diamonds, taught a timeless lesson about the riches that await just inches past where we stop digging. It's a principle of human nature to which we all are susceptible.

Of course, some people will always point to "luck" as the reason that other person is successful while he or she is not. Achievers know that luck has very little to do with it--and this is perhaps more visible in the network marketing profession than anywhere else.

If you talk with those superstars in network marketing who have made it to the top levels of their companies and earn tremendous incomes, ask them why they are where they are. They'll tell you it's because they learned The System (Principle #1) and then applied that information immediately (Principle #2).

You might then ask, "Well, sure...but a lot of people have done that. Why are you such a huge producer and not them? What is the determining factor?" Here's what they'll tell you--not just sometimes but every time:

"Those of us who've made it to the top have simply presented our products, services, or opportunity to more people than those who are not yet here. We've been told 'no' more times--and thus we've gotten more 'yes's.'"

"Ahh, Grasshopper...," notice the second part of that explanation. They've heard more "no's" (and some of those have been "NO!!'s")--but like the Eveready® Bunny, they just kept on going...and going...and going...!


Your Touchstone

Yes, sometimes the "no's" are so many and so consistent they remind us of that famous song: "No no no, no no nononono, no, nono, nono, no no, no, no, nononono...." It's easy to get discouraged and quit when that happens; in fact, it's about the most natural thing for a human being to do. After all, avoiding pain (and "no" can be a very big pain) is a strong motivator.

What's the solution? Your touchstone: your bedrock...that desire to which you can return every time you get discouraged and want to quit. A desire bigger than any "no" could ever possibly be...a desire so huge, you can always count on it to re-fuel your level of persistence, to make you ten feet tall and bulletproof.

What is your particular touchstone? Is it a belief in your product or service...knowing that it helps so many people that you must stay with it until you can positively affect x number of lives?

Is your touchstone financial freedom for you and your family? The ability to live where you want, in a huge, beautiful home? The choice to contribute lots of money to the religious and charitable causes in which you believe? To travel to wonderful, fascinating places, and always First Class? To be able to send your child to the school of your choice?

I don't know what your touchstone is--but you must. I do know in order to stay persistent, most of us need something bigger than ourselves--a desire, a goal, a belief, a cause, that ineffable, compelling something that will pull us back up that eighth time after we've been knocked down for the seventh.

What is your touchstone? Invest as much time as you need to determine what that is.

My friend and client, Dave Brandt, Regional Vice President of G.E. Financial Assurance, often walks the beaches of southern California in the early morning and studies the waves. Dave says that what fascinates him the most is their persistence.

"They've been coming for thousands and thousands of years the exact same way--and they keep coming, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, century after century and millennium after millennium. That is the consistency a person needs in order to be successful--to just keep coming, continually, no matter what."

With a big enough "why"--your ever-present and always-motivating touchstone--you too can manifest the persistence and tenacity of the ocean.

In his famous poem, "Persistence," Calvin Coolidge declared that talent, education and genius are not enough to succeed. "Persistence," said Coolidge, "has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race."


This article is adapted from Bob Burg's forthcoming book, The Success Formula.



is author of Endless Referrals and Winning Without Intimidation, and a free weekly e-zine on networking (