Reimagining Collaboration Wins International Book Award.

Phil Simon

Award-Winning AuthorDynamic Keynote Speaker
Workplace-Technology Guru • Advisor Professor

The Persistence Pendulum

Striking a balance between persistent and pushy.
Feb | 2 | 2011


I’m at dinner the other night with a new friend. She’s an actress. I fancy myself a writer these days. The two of us are talking about breaking through in our respective fields. I commented on how there’s a fine line between persistent and pushy.

A few beers later, I’m thinking of the above model.

  • You can’t be passive and expect anything to happen.
  • You can’t be pushy and expect anything to happen–unless, of course, you count irritating people.
  • If you want to be successful, you have to stay in the persistent area.

No matter what you’re doing, fight the urge to be pushy. For example, I follow up with people who have requested review copies of The New Small. Ultimately, I can’t make them do anything. Yet, I can gently remind them after a month that I exist.

Simon Says

An innocuous email with the words “Just making sure that you received the book” reads much better than “Where’s my review, dude?”

Remember that next time you’re following up with a prospect, client, or potential contact.


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  1. Stray__Cat

    Should the Italian Post Service let me have your book I’d be more than happy to review it! That is, they use tethered mini black-holes as delivery vans …

  2. Daria Steigman

    Hi Phil,
    You make a great point about business. I tend to say that you can’t piss off people who won’t help you. But the flip side is you don’t want to burn a potential contact (and your reputation) because they’re slow to respond. It’s a fine–and sometimes frustrating–balance.
    (By the way, I think you’re working it the right way.)

  3. philsimon

    It’s a fine line, but I like to think that I stay on the right side of it.

  4. Marcus Sheridan

    With you Phil. I’m always trying to find the right balance myself. Honestly, I think I need to learn to push a little harder. But hey, this is something that one just continues to develop over time, so hopefully I’m going in the right direction.


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