Finish what you started

I recently listened to an interview with Chris Watson, founder of the highly successful online business  He said that prior to launching this business, he developed websites and applications for a range of wealthy entrepreneurs. Some of the sites went on to become very successful and generated significant wealth for their owners.

Chris said that he spent time thinking about what made these people successful and came to this conclusion – they finished what they started. If they had an idea, they would pursue it against all odds and see it through to completion. So, he decided to apply this principle in his life and worked on the idea of an online journal where people logged their fitness activities to reach their goals. Whether it was on the bus, while commuting to work or after work, he spent as much time it took to work on his idea. When completed, it was a runaway success!

I learnt this lesson the hard way. I recall cold-calling Manpower Corporation in 2001 to sell outsourced contractual I.T. staff. Manpower is the third largest staffing services firm in the U.S. with revenues in excess of $20 billion. I didn’t get very far and was blocked by a seasoned gate-keeper. I gave up the idea and moved on to other targets.

A few months later, my colleague Neil broke through the gates, engaged a prospect in Manpower and started generating revenues from the account. When I heard at the general sales meeting about this, I was so angry at myself.  I lost out on a very large account because I did not persist with the idea and regretted it for a while. Since then, I can honestly say that I have learnt this lesson and am far more diligent in completing what I have begun, whether big or a small. And I have enjoyed the success that followed.

You can achieve big things from big ideas if you:

  1. Make the time to reflect and think
  2. Act on the thoughts you deem worthy
  3. Make it a habit to finish what you started

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