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How to succeed at anything. Really.

persistence means showing upLet me introduce you to my high school principal, Fr. Edwin. Fr. Ed, really. He is a tough, scrappy little guy. 5-foot-nine. Maybe 160 pounds soaking wet. Running a Catholic school in what was once the toughest part of Newark, NJ. It’s still a part of town, sadly, where far too many young people die from violence. But Newark is making a comeback. Slowly. But surely. Crime rates have fallen. And – of all things – hockey has a home there now.

Why?

Because of people like Fr. Ed and the work he does. He – and others like him in the city – work damned hard, every day, to improve the lives of those around them.

His secret?

Show up.

Every day.

We never had snow days in high school. Never. Not once. Why? Because showing up matters.

Woody Allen is credited with the joke, “90% of life is just showing up.” But Fr. Ed was who told me first. And showed me. Every day. So much of life is just showing up.

Last week, we talked about how you can get lucky. And, really, so much of it is just putting in the work.

That doesn’t guarantee success – that’s where the other 10% comes in. But success mostly comes from putting in the time, day after day after day. You want to find smart ways to do it a la Tim Ferriss. But a willingness to work hard and smart will get you where you want to go. Want another example? Look at how Jon Stewart runs the Daily Show.

The key is, it doesn’t matter whether your goal is to grow your business, make people laugh or shape the lives of others, showing up matters.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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