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Modern Tradeshow Intelligence

The Importance of Persistence in Business

Posted by Joanna Stasuk on Oct 18, 2012 1:55:20 PM

"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” Calvin Coolidge – 30th president of the United States

“When you are told “No”, go.

Scott Pelley – anchor and managing editor, CBS Evening News

I attended a WCBS Breakfast in New York at which Scott Pelley was interviewed. With roles as CBS Evening News anchor and as a correspondent for 60 Minutes, Mr. Pelley is unusually well informed and insightful. However, it was his response to a question posed by a journalism student that I found particularly compelling.

Mr. Pelley related that as a 15-year old in his native Lubbock, Texas he had decided that he wanted to become a broadcaster. After a number of years broadcast experience under his belt in Texas, he applied for a job with CBS in New York.

He flew to New York for an interview, but was turned down. A year later, he applied again. Another rejection. This occurred again when he applied in the two succeeding years. Year 5: A friend at CBS told him that there were three job openings. Hearing that, Pelley contacted CBS once again. This time he was told, “Forget it”, but he offered to fly to New York at his own expense for yet one more interview. Same result – rejection.

Some time later Pelley and his wife flew to Acapulco for a vacation. When they returned home, he found his answering machine jammed with messages from CBS asking him to get in contact immediately (This was back in the day when answering machines still used tape and could not be accessed remotely). He got the job!

Scott Pelley’s advice to that aspiring journalist and others like her in the room: Don’t take “No” for an answer.

Or as President Coolidge said, “PRESS ON”. That is good advice in every facet of life, certainly in business.

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Topics: Scott Pelley, The Importance of Persistence in Business, WCBS Breakfast in New York