If you have not read our blog on Work Ethic, please do. Today I want to talk about something known throughout the ages as the Last Ditch Effort. According to Grammar Monster (www.grammar-monster.com), “A last ditch attempt is a last-minute attempt or an attempt to do something at the final opportunity to do so. This term has its origins in a speech by King William III of England in the late 17th Century. He called upon all Englishmen to “fight and die in the last ditch” to defend England.”
Everyone who is reading this has failed at something. Trust me, I have failed quite a few times in my life and though I’m not so proud of some of them, others were great learning experiences. However, I never let these instances get me down and some of my best accomplishments came after trying just one last time. These accomplishments include closing large sales contracts, solving huge problems, finally talking to the right person, and achieving great results on a project.
I believe I learned this attitude for myself by watching my beloved Saint Louis Cardinals baseball team. One rule I have when attending or watching a game is this: never, ever, leave early. You wouldn’t leave your kids game early if they were trailing so why should you leave your team? I can’t tell you how many games I’ve been to where we were losing by a mile yet time and time again, sometimes in the 9th or even into extra innings, my team pulled through. I have a ticket on my bulletin board at work I look at if I ever get frustrated from a Cardinals Vs. Cubs game on Sunday, July 28th 2002. In the 8th inning, we were down 9-4. The majority of the spectators were leaving the stadium in a sea of red. My best girlfriend and I ordered another beer and enjoyed seeing our team bring six players to home plate with a final score of 10 to 9!
On another occasion, we were planning an annual conference for our clients and one company I truly wanted as sponsor “shot me down”. This was after we had built a beautiful case that fully explained the value of participating and I was not ready to walk away so easily. So instead of giving up, I made one last ditch effort and called every single one of my contacts at that company and explained why I wanted their help and how it could help them. They graciously retracted their refusal and both of our companies, along with our clients, truly benefited from their speaker’s session.
Of course there are times to walk away and fold when something is clearly not working. But, did you know that opportunity can truly be lost if you give up to soon? Think about it. In business or personal life; Can you envision something you may have had if you gave it one last try? If something is important to you, do not give up until you’ve exhausted all options. Your last ditch effort can make all the difference!