Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, entrepreneur, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Articles → Persistence is Polite

As teenagers, we painfully learned that if you call someone and they don't call you back, they're just not into you. If you keep calling, you must be a total loser.

But in the business world, it's the opposite: persistence is polite, and if you don't keep calling, you must be a loser.

Imagine this:

At this point, I am sincerely glad that you had the manners to keep trying, because I really did want to talk to you.

Imagine this, instead:

Calling once, and never again like that, is rude and inconsiderate.

In this business, you have to prove that something is important to you by being persistent. If you mail someone a package, and don't follow-up until you reach them, it means you didn't care.

Persistence is polite and considerate, because it shows that you understand how busy people can get. It also shows how much you care.

Persistence is Polite