May 31, 2019
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” — Calvin Coolidge, 30th US President
The spirit of Coolidge’s quote has been echoed time and time again by high performers across many domains on my podcast, whether it was Robert Greene, Michael Shermer, Ryan Serhant, or Georges St Pierre; they all say that resilience is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, factor underpinning success.
This is why venture capitalists invest in people first. Veteran Israeli VC Yossi Vardi, who has exited 30 of 86 investments, told CNBC that when he started investing he thought ideas were overrated — now he thinks they’re irrelevant. “It’s about execution and the personality of the people, rather than about the idea”.
In sports, UFC legend Georges St Pierre told me that “confidence plus skill equals success”.