Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Persistence Trumps Talent

The strongest force in the universe is not nuclear power, electromagnetics, or even gravity. It’s compound interest.

Don’t think so? Take it up with Einstein, the claim’s originator. Supposedly.

So what is compound interest?

Let’s explain using the story of June Gregg. May she rest in peace.

Back in 2011, June celebrated her 98th year as a customer of a local bank. Her father opened her account in secret, when she was just two years old.

And deposited $6,11.

The bank never said how large her six dollars grew. So let’s do the math ourselves.

If the bank gave her an interest rate of 2%, June would have had enough to buy herself a decent three-course meal. About $42,55.

Supposing she got 6%, she could have treated herself to a trip to Europe. Around $1,845.

Bummer, right?

Let’s pretend daddy June bought six bucks worth of stocks that averaged 10% a year. June would have been racking in major cash. Enough to buy a brand new Tesla Model S—close to $70,000.

What if dad was almost as good an investor as Warren Buffet who averaged over 20%? June could have bought herself a fleet of 18 F-16s—over $350 million.

Compound interest grows pocket change into riches.

Persistence works similarly.

A bit increases your performance to mediocre, a lot boosts your performance to master.

Talent is important too, but is often overrated by those who have it.

Over and over do you see the persistent shoot ahead of the talented. And only because the gifted bet on their natural skills and refuse to put in the time.

Eventually the gifted realize their gamble isn’t working out and reach a tipping point.

Some quit because they aren’t getting the results they crave. Others persist because they love doing it.

The more dedicated you are, the more likely you are to persist.

The more you persist, the more likely you are to succeed.

P.S. If you liked today’s post, check out Daniel Pink’s Adventures of Johnny Bunko. A graphic novel for teens that gives out way better career advice than I. 

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach