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The Power of Persistence

By Travis Carter

“I know what you’re thinking, how the heck does a 52-year-old, over-the-hill, milkshake machine salesman build a fast food empire with 1,600 restaurants and an annual revenue of seven hundred million dollars? One word: persistence. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent won’t; nothing more common today than unsuccessful men with talent. Persistence and determination alone are all powerful.” -Ray Kroc in The Founder. 

Ray Kroc (played by Michael Keaton) speaks directly to the camera in The Founder and talks about how he went from being a low-level salesman to the man who built a multi-million-dollar company. Incredible movie! I wanted to see this film because I knew Kroc did not become successful by selling more McDonald’s cheeseburgers, rather, he became successful by owning the land upon which the burgers were made.

This is a powerful story of persistence. That’s the key ingredient in any successful business, marriage, partnership or relationship. There is no easy or humble way to say this, but I have built a multi-million-dollar net worth by being persistent–in developing new business, pursuing my wife, pursuing my clients, and pursuing my faith. It is not a brag, but a matter of fact. 1 + 1 = 2.

University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban is right when he says, “Don’t worry about winning, just focus on doing your job at the highest level, every single play, and the wins will follow.”

Let me share a funny and relevant story. I called a prospective client a few years ago and the CEO basically told me on the phone to pound sand, and that he was not interested in meeting me or discussing his commercial real estate lease. I am paraphrasing, but it was a dramatic phone call. I got it. He was focused on growing his business—along with a million other things—and the last thing he needed was a broker calling him every week. There was nothing in the world that I was going to say to convince him otherwise, so I vowed to never contact him again.

But I did more research and learned he had a business partner, who did not know who I was, or what our company, Hughes Marino, was all about. I called that gentleman and shortly thereafter, I arranged a brief meeting. We had a phenomenal meeting and he agreed that we needed to be doing business together. He arranged a kickoff meeting with the entire C Level management team, and I finally had the opportunity to meet the infamous CEO who told me to pound sand about nine months earlier.

When I arrived at their office, the CEO was the first person to greet me. He said with a big smile, “I was testing you!” I laughed and gave him a big grizzly bear hug. The CEO said, “if you are going to be persistent to get my business, you are going to be persistent to keep my business.”

My tenant clients want a smart broker, and they want someone they can trust—but they really want someone who is going to go the extra mile to get them that additional concession, find that off-market opportunity, keep hammering that landlord, and follow through so the project is a success. They want somebody who is persistent.

At Hughes Marino, I work with some of the most persistent people in the world and if you think I am kidding, just browse their bios on our website. Ray Kroc didn’t start McDonalds until age 52, so it is never too late to begin to apply this true principle. A famous doctor once said “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Persistence. Apply it to every area of your life… and go knock down the doors in your life!

Travis Carter is a senior vice president of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Contact Travis at 1-844-662-6635 or travis@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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