The last 10% takes 90% of the effort



I have long believed that there's many parallels between the world of sports and business. Both require a tenacious commitment to excellence in order to truly succeed. there's wins and losses. Passion. Hard work. A willingness to keep going against the odds.

...there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened

As a former athlete I have had the pleasure of mixing the sweat with the tears. A pleasure because it taught me more than any free pass or silver spoon ever could have. I knew what it meant to let a day go by, too lazy to show up for training when my competitors were clocking miles on their legs. It meant I was a day behind and I couldn¹t get it back. I knew I would have to do hard things in order to eventually succeed.

I also know this is true of business. That with the glory comes the less glorious moments when no one is watching and you are burning the midnight oil to get the job done. It is always worth it, because I care and because I love what I do. And I know this is what it takes to succeed.

In the last few months I have learnt something new. Something that all my years of training and business adventures had prepared me for. I self published a book. And it was hard. The end was the hardest of all ­ and it made me realise that the best things, the things that are worth fighting for, require 90% of the effort to get the last 10% of the job done.

The late nights, set backs, last minute adjustments and unforseen challenges. I thought I had an idea of what I was getting myself into when I decided to self publish. I believed it meant I would have complete creative control of the outcome and the timeline. This was of course true, I did. But the plenitude of blog posts and articles I read about the process of self publishing filled me with false hope that it would be, in the end, relatively easy in comparison to actually writing a book. It wasn¹t. This was in part because I had never self published before and also because I was so eager to be done that every setback felt like a knife to my chest.

there's a fantastic saying, there's no shortcuts to anywhere worth going. It¹s true, there aren¹t. So the next time you find yourself ready to give up, think about how far you have come. And then think of this quote from famous Hall of Fame baseball coach and player Tommy Lasorda: In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened.

Don¹t wonder what happened. Know it will be hard and dig deep. If you have made it 90% of the way there, the fight to get across the finish line will always be worth the battle.


Leticia Cavallaro
Account Director and the author of The Business School of Motherhood

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