Good habits are the key to all success.
“In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law I will obey, which precedeth all others is–I will form good habits and become their slave.” Og Mandino, “The Greatest Salesman”, Scroll I
Importance of the habit of persistence
Og Mandino devoted an entire scroll in “The Greatest Salesman” to this one habit. Why? Because persistence leads to success. “I will persist until I succeed”.
One individual whose life was defined by persistence was a salesman named Bill Porter. He was introduced to the nation on ABC News-20/20 in the late 1990’s.
In 1995, Tom Hallman, Jr of the Portland Oregonian learned about Bill and decided to write an article about him. The original article (later reprinted in Readers Digest) appears here:
A Time magazine article appeared in 2002 about Bill
Here is the 20/20 segment
Bill Porter’s habit of persistence
This is a kind of a trailer for the cable movie done about Bill Porter, “Door-to-Door”, Bill and his habit shines through:
There is no doubt that Bill Porter believed in the habit of persistence, but how did he perfect his habit?
Four Steps to the Persistence Habit
In MKMMA we have learned that there are 4 elements that need to be in place to succeed in developing the habit of persistence.
- A Definite Major Purpose, backed by a burning desire
- A Positive Mental Attitude
- A Plan expressed in continuous action
- A mastermind alliance
Bill Porter’s Definite Major Purpose
At first, when Bill graduated high school and had dad told him he had to get a job, his purpose was survival. Later, when his mother got sick, he was driven to persist because he needed to take care of her health needs.
Later in life when Shelly Brady encouraged him to share his experiences with others, he saw that he could touch others lives and many benefited from his examples. Ever humble, Bill wrote the following as part of his contribution to Shelly Brady’s book, “Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter”
“My message to everyone who reads this book is that your life is important, too. Think about each person you meet each day of your life and what effect you might have upon them, for good or ill. It isn’t always the big decisions that make a difference in our lives; more often, it’s the little ones. The extra smile or wave; calling a friend who is ill; going out of your way to help someone whether they ask or not. Each of you has the same opportunity to inspire others as I do, simply by living your life as best you can.”
Bill Porter and a Positive Mental Attitude
Bill Porter learned a clever sense of humor from his Mother, Irene. He believed in giving first in his relationships with people, and staying positive in the face of his many obstacles was something he never thought twice about.
Shelly Brady quotes Bill in her book in the chapter “Live Your Values”
“I knew there was something I could do. I felt it deep inside. My mother told me I could do anything I set out to do and I believed her. I set out to work and nothing could make me take my eyes off that goal. When I was let go from the jobs the unemployment office set me up with, I was frustrated and discouraged, but I wouldn’t let those feelings fester. I pushed them aside and kept going back. Eventually, I knew the right job would come my way. You must have faith in yourself and work hard. I learned that from my mother, my father, and God.”
Bill Porter’s Plan (expressed in continuing action)
Bill had a plan when he was searching for the job he knew was out there for him and once he got it his daily habit of continuing action was unstoppable. Besides his devotion to always making his door-to-door contacts in his territory, Bill devoted himself to knowing everything there was to know about the products he represented as well as really knowing what his customers wanted. Again from Shelly Brady’s “Live Your Values” chapter:
“He (Bill) memorized the shopping habits and the likes and dislikes of more than five hundred clients. He is able to recite the names of clients who use vanilla when they bake and which ones insist on biodegradable soaps. Knowledge is power to Bill, and he never stops learning.”
Bill Porter’s Master Mind Alliance
Early on, Bill Porter masterminded with his parents. Later on Shelly Brady and her family was the mastermind that Bill came to depend on.
Again, quoting from Bill’s contribution to Shelly’s book, “Ten Thinks I Learned from Bill Porter”
“Shelly deserves my thanks for all the help she has given me over the years, and especially for helping me tell my story. I appreciate the Brady family’s generosity in sharing her with me and for being my ‘family,’ too.”
I would encourage anyone to get familiar with Bill Porter and his story. Thank you Mark and Davene for bringing Bill Porter into my and my family’s life.
A few more words from Bill Porter from Shelly’s book
“People tell me that I have touched thousands of lives, but what I think is that hundreds and thousands of people have helped me. Thank you, each of you, and every time you ask yourself if you can make a difference, remember this answer: You bet you can.”
Door-to-Door, the movie: