Pushing yourself just a little harder makes all the difference. Before you end your day, one more phone call. One more cold call. One more networking event. One more sales call. Just one more close. One more is the difference in winning and losing, having and lacking or succeeding and failing. Not giving up to ridicule, doubt or criticism is where success resides.
Let’s take the story of Dr. Judah Folkman. You may or may not have heard of him, but you are certainly familiar with his work. In the early 1970s, Folkman proposed an idea in cancer research that did not fit what scientists just knew to be true: that tumors did not generate new blood vessels to feed themselves and grow. He was convinced otherwise. But colleagues kept telling him, you’re studying dirt, meaning his project was futile science. He was scoffed at, discredited and ridiculed by his colleagues, who in truth, weren’t willing to give an extra one more to find the truth.
Folkman disregarded the criticisms of the research community. For almost two decades, he met with disinterest or hostility as he pursued his work in angiogenesis, the study of the growth of new blood vessels. At one research convention, half his audience walked out on his presentation. “He’s only a surgeon”, he heard someone say, “not a researcher”.
But he always believed that his work might help stop the growth of tumors, and he might help find ways to grow blood vessels where they were needed, like around clogged arteries in the heart. Folkman and his colleagues discovered the first angiogenesis inhibitors in the 1980s. Today more than 100,000 cancer patients are benefiting from the research Dr. Folkman pioneered. His work is now recognized as being on the forefront in the fight to cure cancer. “There is a fine line between persistence and obstinacy”, Folkman says. “I have come to realize the key is to choose a problem that is worth persistent effort”.
Because Dr. Folkman pushed farther than other doctors were willing to give to achieve the extra one more try, hundreds of thousands of people have been saved with possibly millions more to come. The next time you look at an obstacle in your life or business just remember the difference one more time can make to achieve greatness.
“At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train.”—S.L. Parker
Image by Maya picture at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 31 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.