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The Unglamorous Secret of Success

A transparent photo of a man over another photo of someone climbing a mountain

This past year has been an interesting one for my career.

I want to share the secret of success as it looks today, but first, let’s back up a little …

I never really thought I had a career. What I had was a business.

Over the years, I measured my success by whether my profits went up or down; whether I was getting regular referrals; and — in recent years — whether my audience was growing.

And all of the above have grown steadily over the years, I’m happy to say.

More recently, I’ve realized that I have a career, too.

I’m now working for Copyblogger Media. A few weeks ago, I was given the responsibility of taking over management of the Copyblogger blog.

It’s one of the most successful marketing blogs in the world. I’m truly honored.

Today, I want to tell you why I’ve had the success I’ve had, both in my business and my career.

It all boils down to one trait — the most important one of all, I’ve found.

The secret of success isn’t glamorous

Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
–Napoleon Hill

I love the quote above. To me, these three traits are the “3 Ps” of business success.

Patience means not expecting exceptional success right out of the gate. It means recognizing you’ll have to put in time if you want to see results.

Persistence means not giving up, even after you’ve been at it for a while, and despite not experiencing immediate results.

Perspiration simply means hard work. It means squeezing every ounce of creative thinking and effort from your day, and pouring it into the projects you’re working on.

Of these, the one that has made the biggest difference to my career is persistence.

The “P” word that changes everything

It’s not glamorous. It’s not fashionable. And it’s not always fun.

But persistence is the single trait that will make the biggest difference in your life.

Persistence is the secret of success in my book.

There have been plenty of times I’ve wanted to give up over the years. Let’s review:

  • When I found myself — shortly after starting my business — moving from the United States to a foreign country where I’d have to run my business in another language and culture.
  • When my biggest client (in terms of invoicing) dropped me suddenly — through no fault of my own — from one day to the next. This has happened twice in the life of my business!
  • When I devoted a full year to establishing a presence on the web, and my new online business wasn’t earning enough to make it my primary focus. (Yup: that really happened.)

I realize that from your vantage point, it may look like I’ve had an easy time.

Like my business and career have been smooth sailing all the way.

And I’m here to tell you that’s just not true.

The one trait that has seen me through

I used to smile and tell people, “Persistence is my middle name.”

It was a joke. But you know what? It’s kind of true.

The twists, turns, challenges, and defeats I’ve experienced? Persistence is the trait that has most helped me get past them.

Once again — persistence is the secret of success.

In some cases, it may have looked more like this:

Persistence … in the face of factual evidence to the contrary. –Garrison Keillor

Because sometimes you have to persist, push, and keep going even when you think, “Life is trying to send me a message.”

Yes, sometimes Life throws a wrench in your plans. But you have a choice about how you interpret every turn of event.

You can see it as a sign to give up.

Or you can see it as a sign to learn, adapt, and forge ahead, maybe along a slightly different path.

Guess which one I tend to choose?

Persistence means seeing challenges as opportunities. –Pamela Wilson

I leave you with the wise words of the Weebles commercial of my youth.

Next time Life throws a wrench in your plans, or you feel like giving up your dreams, remember:

“Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.”

Don’t give up. Keep going. It’s the secret of success.

It’s fine to wobble, but don’t fall down and stay there.

You can do it: I believe in you!

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.


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