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How Persistence Leads to Success

Persistence is a quality that helps you achieve what you desire and persistence leads to success. If you have it – you feel self-confident, while other people perceive you to be a strong personality.

At the same time, being very persistent is easier said than done. In this article, I'm going to share with you a few interesting stories on how persistence leads to success.

At the end, I will summarize exactly how you can strengthen the skill of persistence for yourself.

Let me ask you a question: how would you feel if you succeed once out of 5 attempts you make while trying out to achieve a certain goal?

Most probably, you will feel rather depressed. Then, let me tell you a quite surprising thing. This is the success rate of lion hunting!

How come? Isn't the lion considered to be the King of Beasts?

It just shows that even for the most successful individual, it is important to demonstrate a lot of perseverance. One needs to make A LOT of attempts before he/she can succeed once. This rule is the same in the animal world and in human society.


Persistent Attempts Succeed

Maybe, you have heard that the average millionaire goes bankrupt 3-4 times before he/she gets wealthy permanently. This reminds me of the biography of one of the most successful Russian entrepreneurs, Vladimir Dovgan.

Take a look at the list of the businesses that he established during the course of his life: karate instructor, book author, franchise company that sold pizza and bread, alcohol company, cigarettes, grocery, TV show, computer game, founder of political party, MLM company that sold supplements, charity organization, life coach.

Media called Dovgan, “the Russian Branson”, referring to the famous British entrepreneur Richard Branson. Indeed, the quantity and the variety of businesses started by this successful entrepreneur are astonishing.

And yet, it is even more surprising to know that most of those ventures failed. Some failed rather quickly, just within a few years. Still, a few ventures that finally worked out made Dovgan a multimillionaire, and one of the most well-known business persons in Russia.

As Albert Einstein said,

Failure is success in progress

It is very nice to remind yourself of this Einstein’s phrase when you go through hardships.

Do you know the average conversion rate of online retailers? It's 3.3%. The internet shops invest lots of efforts and money to make their service appealing, to attract new visitors. Then, out of a hundred visitors, only 3 and up making a purchase and 97 just go away.

Learn from Arnold Schwarzenegger

Let's take an example from another industry – from movies. Perhaps you've heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger who gained world recognition for his acting career.

According to IMDb, he took part in 41 different movies in total. If you try to name the movies that you know Schwarzenegger worked in, it is most likely that you would be able to name only the very few.

And it is due to the fact that most of the movies that he took part in were unsuccessful. A few of his movies got moderate success, but the very few selective ones became highly successful and brought him a lot of fame and money.

For instance, the movie ‘Terminator 3’ brought 30 million dollars to Schwarzenegger, making him the highest paid actor in history.

It is just interesting to realize that he became one of the greatest actors in the world in spite of the fact that most of the movies that he took part in were unsuccessful.

How Persistence Leads to Success

I've presented the life stories of Vladimir Dovgan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but of course there are many other similar stories. Some of them became iconic. Maybe you've heard the stories of:

  • Thomas Edison (and his 10000 attempts to create a light bulb),
  • Colonel Sanders (the founder of restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken),
  • Michael Jordan,
  • Sylvester Stallone,

And the list goes on and on…

Although those stories are considered to be motivational, personally I think that they're not that much help for YOU.

Those individuals lived in another historical period or worked in industries different than yours. That’s why it might be difficult for you to associate yourself with those people and to model their success.

At the same time, finding a certain role model is a very good thing. Instead, people usually think about their goals. But the goals do NOT motivate us. The goals are somewhat logical, boring, and tough.

And that is why so many of our New Year resolutions and the goal lists just vanished away through time.

What really drives us is the example of other people.

It’s when you see a person who is very successful, who lives the life that you wish to live, who owns and does things that you wish to do. That motivates you, and you wish to be like that successful guy.


Find a Hero to Motivate You!

Find the person who already achieved the goals that you wish to accomplish. Study his or her biography diligently.

By doing so you will see how many times this person had to try out, and how many times he had to make attempts before he could eventually succeed.

And that is empowering for you. It shows that despite your past or eventual failures, you can end up at the top.

Also, it makes sure you have the right expectations. When you start going towards your goal, from the beginning you know that it's going to take so many attempts. You already have the example of this guy in front of your eyes.

So, when failures knock you down, you won’t blame life for treating you unfairly. You know that it is just the standard, usual process. You may not succeed initially, but you need to be persistent to succeed later.

This is the key takeaway #1:

Find your hero, the one who already achieved the goals that you wish to achieve, and study his or her biography diligently.

There is also another important takeaway.

You might have heard the statistics that out of 10 new business ventures, only one works out. How does it feel to you, seeing statistics like that?

On the one hand, it may seem quite depressing. It may mean that a new attempt is going to fail almost surely.

However, it depends on the way you look at it.

Persistent people find such statistics to be absolutely fabulous! Reason being their chance of success is 100% guaranteed if they make attempts, they know they will certainly make.



  1. Find your hero – the one who already achieved the goals that you wish to achieve, and study his/her biography diligently.
  2. If only 1 out of 10 attempts works out for you, it is great! It means that if you try 10 times, your success is 100% guaranteed.
Igor Smirnov

Igor Smirnov

Psychologist, blogger, chess Grandmaster, Internet entrepreneur. Follow Igor on Facebook

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