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Persistence is important — never give up

Last Saturday morning I told my wife, Lynnda, “I’m going to Kroger, do you want to come?”

She asked if I wanted her to drive.

I responded, “No, I’m driving ,but you are welcome to come.”

With the exception of a few laps around a parking lot, I haven’t driven a car since the day of my injury on Oct. 27. Lynnda has been understandingly hesitant about me driving since both my legs were involved.

I think she knew on Saturday I was serious. I had a meeting coming up with one of our foreign prospects in Richmond, Virginia, and knew that was too far for Lynnda to drive with her knee. We would have to at least split the driving.

To prepare I needed to get some driving in before the Richmond trip. Last Saturday, I drove and Lynnda decided to go with me. It was an uneventful trip. We both knew I was back. I did all the driving to Richmond since Lynnda’s knee was bothering her.

Since the injury, being able to drive again has been a priority. Driving is essential for me to do what I need to do.

My doctor and physical therapist know this. I have been persistent about telling them and pushing to get back behind the wheel.

In physical therapy one of our focuses has been on exercises that would prepare me for driving. My therapist has done a good job in helping to prepare me.

The other task I needed to accomplish was getting upstairs in my home. I had not been upstairs since the injury.

In Richmond, we also had other formal meetings. I needed my suit and dress clothes from the closet in my upstairs bedroom. I didn’t want Lynnda to have to haul down everything I needed.

What is normally a simple task was a little more challenging with my knees. I have been pushing my therapist to get me prepared. I have been stepping on and off of an 8-inch wooden block at least 30 times a session.

My therapist was still hesitant. I figured going up a flight of steps was just repeating the block exercise for each step. With my wife’s support and encouragement, another barrier fell. I went upstairs and down with no issues. I got to wear my business suit for the first time in months.

As you work on your 2020 goals, know that preparation and persistence are essential. Whether we are running a half-marathon, making a sales call or going up a flight of steps for the first time in three months, we need to prepare.

When I don’t get the results I want, I analyze what went wrong. Usually I find a lack of proper preparation was the problem. That has also been true for me as a coach or a player in athletics. Persistence means first not to give up when we have a failure.

When I started in sales as part of my engineering job after college it was six months before I made my first sale. Things took off after that.

It also means persistence in preparation. Running 11 miles to prepare for a half-marathon or stepping on and off an 8-inch block hundreds of times to prepare for walking up a flight of steps isn’t fun, but it is essential for success.

At Shale Crescent USA, we have been reaching out to our Chinese prospects and leads for months with no response. It was frustrating. We kept making the calls and sending emails regularly with items of value we felt would help them.

In the last month that changed. We not only got responses, we now have a dialogue with several companies.

Sometimes persistence means not listening to the dream stealers. They can talk us out of doing the preparation we know is essential or convince us our dream is unattainable.

Some of these people are truly concerned about us and don’t want us to be hurt physically or emotionally. In my case, when I knew I was physically capable, the time came when I had to do what I felt was best for me.

In my experience, I find the most successful teams and people aren’t those with the greatest talents.

We all probably know people with great talent that failed to succeed. Success goes to those who prepared properly and were persistent. When things got tough or they suffered a setback they didn’t give up.

My meeting in Richmond this week with our foreign prospect went well. Together we are planning for their visit to our region in March.

You can have your dreams, too. I believe in you!

Do the work to prepare and don’t give up. Make 2020 your year.

Thoughts to ponder.

Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a master’s in environmental engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. He is the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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