Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, 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 contact someone and they don’t contact you back, they’re just not into you. If you keep trying, you must be a total loser.

But in the business world, it’s the opposite. Persistence is polite. If you don’t keep trying, you must be a loser.

For example, imagine you are trying to contact me.

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

Imagine this, instead:

Trying once, and never again, is rude and inconsiderate.

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

Persistence is polite because it shows that you understand that everyone is busy, and it’s nothing against you.