Persistence is a trait that every salesperson values, because for every yes there is a bevy of no’s. As a woman in business you have to be particularly persistent in order to be successful. You have to keep going even when the business world makes it difficult. By persisting, you can tear down the walls that stand between you and success.
“Be brave and don’t be afraid of rejections,” says Lisa Hagan, president of Paraview Literary Agency. This is the essence of persistence: the ability to move beyond adversity and become successful at the business you do. As a literary agent, Hagan represents authors who want to sell manuscripts. Her job is to get book publishers to buy them. As with any sales job, it involves a lot of rejections.
Part of persistence is overcoming rejection. Handling rejection is part of business and often requires an examination of your marketing approach. Always be clear as to what your expectations are in terms of your marketing. The idea is to adapt your approach so that it works for you and your clients.
“I run my company and do what I set my mind to,” says Hagan. “I go out there and get it done. The idea is to keep beating the doors down until you succeed.” In the past, Hagan has been very successful promoting new-age and paranormal authors, but lately the market has changed. What now sells are books on business, science, and current affairs.
When asked how she copes with being a woman in business, Hagan replies, “I might not be as tough as some of the male agents, but I’m a whole lot more persistent and personable.” Being from the south, she is naturally friendly and upbeat toward people she meets. She is very aware of the importance of networking, particularly within the publishing industry.
She points to the importance of making contacts for women starting out in their own businesses. Along with networking and persistence, Hagan also uses her intuition in business. When looking at manuscripts she says that 80 percent of the time her intuition guides her choices. What drives her intuition is her ambition to produce a book that makes a difference in the world. This is why she began her business, and she describes it as the passion in what she does.
The passion in what you do often motivates you to persist, and persistence is one of your keys to success. Any venture, no matter how great, has it moments of doubt and hesitation, particularly when people reject your ideas. Because of this, it’s important to keep trying and not give up without giving it your best effort. This is the essence of persistence.
“One of the ways I persist is by staying up with the latest trends,” says Hagan. E-books are touted as the next big thing, though they haven’t quite lived up to their potential yet. When selling a product that is innovative, you have to try that much harder, she says. You have to persist even when the rejection seems overwhelming.