When I say I’ve worked my whole life that’s a little exaggeration. I actually didn’t get my first paying job until I was 5 years old. 

We lived very near the fairgrounds of the Minnesota State Fair. My older brother, who was 7, lined up some work for us painting tractor tires in an area of the fair known as Machinery Hill. We were paid 5 cents for each large rear tire we painted. 

I wasn’t very good at it, in fact I don’t think I actually finished even one tire, but I did succeed in covering myself almost head to toe in cheap whitewash. At the end of the day the guy who hired us paid me a full 25 cents. I don’t recall why but I’m sure it must have had something to do with the superior effort I put forth even if my results were somewhat lacking. 

Anyway, I had a quarter and I was euphoric. 

My euphoria didn’t last very long because my big brother “forgot” to tell our mom where we were going all day. Since the fair was starting in a few days and my brothers had “disappeared” there in previous years she had a good idea where we were so she wasn’t terribly concerned. (Remember those days when that kinda thing was still safe?)

But she also made clear that the fairgrounds were no place for a 5 year old and my painting career was finished. 

I liked the quarter but what I  really liked was getting more money than my brother even though he painted more tires than me. Maybe that’s why I, to this day, try to give a superior effort. It’s something I can control. 

You can control it as well. You have complete control over the amount of effort you put forth in accomplishing anything. You may not have all the skills someone else has. They may have better tools, better training and more experience. You can’t control any of that. That however should never be an excuse for not controlling what you can. Your level of effort is completely within your control. 

You may not get a whole quarter for your effort but if you consistently give 100% effort you will eventually reap the rewards. You will be recognized. You will be rewarded. But only if you keep putting forth that effort whether the rewards and recognition happen overnight or not.

People who are persistent earn success. People who are consistently persistent keep it.