Business Success: Why Those Who Believe "Winners Never Quit" Rarely Win
We've heard the saying most of our lives. Winners never quit and Quitter never win.
Or is it the other way around? It keeps us motivated when times get tough.
And if there is one phrase that is sacred among Smart and Driven Entrepreneurs like you and me, it's this phrase.
But what does this actually mean? Can we take it literally? Is it a rule never to be broken? Determination and drive are definitely to be admired and they do get things done. But are we doing more harm than good if we truly believe that "winners never quit."
A 20 Year Study on "what determines success" published in Psychology Today actually stumbled upon a truth that we may not want to face. What did they find?
In summary, that the most successful in their test groups actually "quit" a lot more than the less successful individuals. And this was likely why they were so successful.
But before you throw in the towel, let's examine this a little more closely.
The Study (it's a story)
The study intended to find the key to professional success. They recruited 40 scientist with similar IQs, backgrounds, etc. to participate. During the 20 years, they were regularly interviewed and observed regarding their work habits and beliefs.
Within 20 years, among the participants were 3 Nobel Prize Winners, several other Nobel candidates, among other highly successful careers.
Others had more average careers.
The researchers compiled the 20 years of data and determined that there was no link among the successful scientists.
What?! That can't be how the story ends.
About 10 years later a 2nd group of researchers very curious about the findings, and feeling the study to be incomplete, set out to find the connection that the first group failed to make.
These researchers re-connected with the original participants and they asked a new set of questions among the scientists to determine their work habits and belief systems.
These researchers did find several links among the more successful.
Among these links, they found an underlying philosophy among the successful scientists.
The scientists tended not to stick with one project if it just wasn't working. They would apply many creative approaches, stick with it to see if an answer could be found. But they didn't believe in working endless hours on something that wasn't working. They were not afraid to move on. They didn't allow themselves to get stuck in a dead end. They didn't see quitting as a personal failure. They instead shifted their focus to somewhere they could be successful. And they gave it all they had.
Which one are you?
Are you a scientist who never gives up on something even after you've given it your all and tried endless solutions. Or are you a scientist who knows when to let go and look for opportunities to be successful and productive, giving back to your community and making a life for yourself.
Some of the most successful business people have gone bankrupt. They've lost big on investments. But the reason they were successful is because they didn't let "quitting" define them. They understood that sometimes it's what you have to do when you've exhausted your options, so that you can get past it and move on to more productive things.
They didn't give up on the one thing that was most important. They never gave up on themselves.
What do you think about this study?
When, if ever, is it okay to let yourself quit?
Do you have a success after a failure story, you'd like to share below?