At ISN we deal with a lot of successful agents. They are all unique but share some very similar characteristics. Perhaps the most overlooked asset that each top rep has is their ability to stick to a task until it is done. Despite setbacks, they keep pushing forward. I just spent an hour on the phone with one of our top reps. Without a doubt he has this trait. We spent an hour discussing a business plan and the one thing I can say about him…despite every set-back you can imagine…he will not give up.
In many ways he reminds me of a story I heard about Bill Gates. Today, many people see Bill Gates as a globetrotting humanitarian. But in the 1980s, he was a headstrong entrepreneur. In Microsoft’s early years, Paul Allen (the company’s co-founder) often joined Gates to visit key customers. As the story goes, on one of their trips to San Francisco, they met with different clients and then planned to rendezvous at the airport to catch their flight home.
Allen arrived at the gate on time, but Gates was running late and didn’t show up for the final boarding call. Allen waited for Gates, figuring they’d get the next flight.
As the jet pulled away from the gate, Allen spotted Gates sprinting toward him. Unwilling to wait for the next flight, Gates ran straight past Allen and bolted onto the jet-way.
At the end of the jet-way, Gates started fiddling with the control panel. The computer whiz figured out how to move the jet-way toward the plane, which was inching away, so that he could somehow get the pilots to stop and let him board.
Standing nearby, Allen was convinced they’d be arrested. He yelled to Gates, “Don’t do that!”
An airline agent hurried down the jet-way. But instead of calling for security guards, the agent said, “Sir, hold on. We’ll get the plane to come back.” And it did.
The point is…if you have a belief, we need to stay true to our belief. Don’t give up at the first sign of struggle. We won’t all end up billionaires like Bill Gates…but we will learn that staying the course can help us reach our goals.
— Adapted from Idea Man, Paul Allen, Portfolio/Penguin.