I have always considered passion to be the main driver for my work and my mission to pioneer a personal branding culture shift in Japan.
We always hear it is our passion that enables us to ride the roller coaster called “entrepreneurship.” But is it only passion that pushes us forward, or is there something else at play? We can be passionate, but also casually sit back and hope things will change. Our passion might get us out of bed in the morning, but is it what keeps us going throughout the day?
So I decided to look around for some insight on what it is that keeps us going and all signs seem to point to one word: Tenacity! Without tenacity all the passion, intelligence, motivation, and desire to kick serious butt will just be lip service. Here is what others have said about tenacity.
1. Leonard Brody – “Pure unadulterated tenacity”
This clip by Leonard Brody at World Entrepreneurship Day sums it up is perfectly. There still needs to be a true passion within you to lead your own charge. But this needs to be matched with what he calls “pure unadulterated tenacity”. I love what he says about being willing to take 10 punches to the stomach and get up ready to take the 11th!
2. Garr Reynolds – “Anything of real worth will take much struggle and perseverance”
In Japanese there is the saying “Fall down seven times, get up eight”. It is a proverb that demonstrates Japanese resilience and tenacity – you continue to get right back up no matter how many times you get knocked down.
Garr Reynolds wrote about this in his Presentation Zen blog last year after the huge earthquake and tsunami devasted the Tohoku region of northern Japan. Garr reminds us that
“there are no quick fixes in life and anything of real worth will necessarily take much struggle and perseverance. Success does not have to be fast – what’s more important is that one simply does their absolute best and remain persistent.”
3. Steve Ballmer – “Don’t have passion, have tenacity”
A recent Forbes article by Brian Solomon offers billionaires’ tips for new graduates from the likes of Oprah, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and others. The one that jumped out for me was what Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, had to say:
“Passion is the ability to get excited about something. Irrepressibility and tenacity is about the ability to stay with it. You get some success. You run into some walls. You try a formula for a new idea, a new innovation, it doesn’t work. And it’s how tenacious you are, how irrepressible, how ultimately optimistic and tenacious you are about it that will determine your success.”
4. Steve Jobs – “Stay hungry. Stay foolish”
Steve Jobs’ reference to this message in his infamous 2005 Stanford University commencement speech capsulizes tenacity in my mind. By staying hungry we push ourselves to achieve great things, and by staying foolish we throw caution to the wind to take the calculated risks needed to continue on our path.
Be Tenacious and Leave Your Mark
Tap into your passions to believe and become your personal brand, but more importantly have the tenacity to leave your mark and be your brand in everything you do. Even in the face of criticism be ready for that 11th punch in the gut, get up 8 times after falling down 7, be irrepressible, and always stay hungry, stay foolish!