Remember Aesop’s fable of The Tortoise and The Hare? Both were in a race, and the hare dashed off to an incredible start. He became complacent, and even arrogant to the point where he took a nap, thinking that he could wake up and still beat the tortoise. When the hare woke up, he dashed as fast as he could to the finish line only to find the tortoise celebrating victory.
As an entrepreneur, you may feel a bit intimated by your competition when they seem to have an explosive start, just like the hare. However, my mentor told me that there is one principle anyone can follow if you want to win anything, including beating your competition who may have more experience and higher skill level than you. That principle is consistency.
There are many entrepreneurs who start off explosively. They seem to taste a lot of success early on and may sometimes brag about their accomplishments, which could frustrate their competitors who may not have had such a strong start. For whatever reason, however, they may lose their intensity and commitment after a while. Meanwhile, the other entrepreneurs, who may not have had a strong start, would start catching up and eventual overtake the guy who had the explosive start, just like how the tortoise overtook the hare. The main discipline they practiced was consistency.
Inconsistency is one major killer of dreams, and it’s perhaps the main reason why many people fail to achieve their goals. They spend a great deal of time planning and executing, but when they lack consistency, things start to fall apart. People show inconsistency when they start slacking off and become complacent when they rest on their laurels. Others perhaps feel burnout or exhaustion because they expended all their energy in the beginning and did not factor in a time period for proper rest.
If you want to succeed and win the game, stay consistent. If you are making 5 prospecting calls a day, don’t stop when one of your calls converts into business. Sure, take a few moments to savor the victory, but don’t celebrate by slacking off and putting off those prospecting calls for a few weeks. It’s hard to get back into your rhythm, and you lose the results those few weeks could have produced. You would have also killed momentum, which would take a lot of time, effort and energy to reproduce.
So don’t worry if your competition starts off ahead, and you start to feel like you’re not accomplishing anything. What matters the most is how you continue. If you stay consistent, just like the tortoise, you will beat out your talented competition (the hare) in the long run.