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Want to know how to succeed? Prepare to fail. Let me explain…

Behind every successful person is a story of persistence and rock-bottom moments. You rarely hear these stories because persistence is quiet. It’s the hum and grind that keeps the wheels turning. Persistence isn’t sexy! 

The word “success” doesn’t even become a whisper until you reach the top of your mountain. Up until that moment you’ve had to climb the entire way with many words being thrown at you. Some are words others say to you, while some are words you say to yourself.  

But even once you get to the top, you wouldn’t dare be the one to admit success because you know all too well that these highs are fleeting and the mountain top is simply a mirage that grows higher with every conquered quest.  

Sound familiar? 

Success is what others see, but it’s passion-fueled persistence that gets us there. That’s what truly defines us.  

Back in 2017 when Dan Ponder, Tina Kozak and I began working together to define Franco’s core values that would set the tone for the agency’s future, persistence was the value that resonated most with me. I’d be nothing without it.  

I grew up the daughter of Italian immigrants who worked tirelessly to build a life that was purpose-driven and rewarding. I knew I’d have to work just as hard if I wanted to succeed. 

Driven by my desire to climb the ladder of success most certainly did not preclude me from failure, and at times, my life felt more like a game of Chutes and Ladders.   

Sure, the highs and lows can take a lot out of you, but when you love what you do and have a true passion to succeed, if you stumble, you get back up and try again. You see, persistence can only exist if there is passion. 

Stand-out moments in my life have truly kept me going, but it is in the times of failure that I have truly learned the most. Only through taking the time to reflect did I ever figure that out.  

When you fail at something, you have to reflect and take a look around you before you can move forward. Otherwise, you’ll fail to course-correct and will never get to where you’re trying to go.  

And on the other side of it, when persistence has gotten you to the moment you’ve dreamt of all along—the top of the mountain—it’s important to take a moment to sit and reflect on all you’ve accomplished before you set your eyes to the next milestone. For those high achievers out there, this can be the most difficult. 

Earlier this year, Tina, Nikki and I announced an ownership transition that resulted in Franco being 100% women-owned. It was a top-of-the-mountain moment for us – a stand-out moment in my life that I will never forget.  

Once all was said and done we sat together, reflected on where we came from and took a moment to soak it in while thinking of where we want to take things next. The passion and persistence to drive this agency forward is in all three of us.   

As we continue to lead Franco down the path of success, we look forward to our future and are committed to never forgetting what got us to where we are today.  

And now, we continue to climb. 

Tina Benvenuti Sullivan is Franco’s President and COO. Connect with her on LinkedIn.