Ikeda Sensei

Don’t Quit Before You Reach the Tipping Point

The great Aikido master, Ikeda Sensei, says: “Aikido works. My aikido works. Your aikido may not work.”

His point is simple and profound (and all you have to do is get close enough to him on the dojo mat and you will feel its profundity as you fly through the air, landing on your back). Ikeda Sensei has spent a lifetime on the mat mastering the fundamentals of his art. He has worked to gain a deep understanding of the principles of aikido. Ikeda Sensei’s aikido works because he didn’t quit, he didn’t give up, and he didn’t walk off the mat. He worked on his aikido, and he gave it time (In his case, a lifetime. You don’t need that long for the results you want).

Why “It” Isn’t Working

The reason that whatever you are trying isn’t working is not because it doesn’t work. It’s that you haven’t given it enough time to work. You haven’t stuck with it long enough to begin to get results. It takes time for you to get a feel for things and to gain enough competency in “it” to get results.

The reason what you are trying isn’t working is because you are giving up too soon.

You’ve decided to work with a new approach to making cold calls. You try it for a couple days and find no change in your results. So you quit and quickly fall back into what feels comfortable.

You adopt a new sales process. You go all in and do your best on a couple opportunities, but you can’t tell that it’s making a real difference. You set it aside and go back to doing what you have always done.

Your company has a new offering. You don’t know if the market is right, if your market is ready. You go out and talk to a few customers and a dream client or two. No one seems overjoyed, so you go back to selling what you have always sold.

Anytime you start doing something new, you have to give that new initiative time to reach the tipping point, the point in time when you have done it long enough to start getting results. But most people quit long before they get to that point. They never give themselves time to learn and to gain the competencies they need. They never give the new initiative a fair chance.

Aikido works. But your aikido may not work.


What did you try and give up on before you should have?

Why does it take some time before new things start to produce results?

How much time should give something new before you write it off and go back to what you have always done?

What should you be giving more time to now?

Join my weekly Newsletter or apply for membership in my exclusive Inner Circle Mastermind Group.

Subscribe to my weekly podcast In the Arena.



  • http://inspiretothrive.com/ Lisa Buben

    Yes, I’ve read many things on this subject – whether a small business or a blog, so many quit before they reach success. Look at Thomas Edison, he tried over 1000 times before he invented the light bulb. Where would we be if he quit?
    I loved the book “The Tipping Point” – your title got me over here :)

  • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

    So true! I’ve seen this with clients all the time. They want a magic bullet that will give them results right away (1-2 months), and when they don’t, they want to call it quits.

    In fact, I’m dealing with this very issue right now. The trick is figuring out how long to try something before you give up on it. On the flip side, you certainly don’t want to keep wasting time and money on a failed strategy.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      No easy answer, but when it’s something fundamental, you stick with it.

  • http://socialmediasun.com/ Adam Justice

    Great metaphor. Your Akido is strong Iannarino!

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      My aikido is weak. I need to change that!

  • http://twitter.com/PeterSterlacci Peter Sterlacci

    really great post Anthony and a very important reminder. We often give up just before that tipping point so it is important to have the passion but even more vital to have the tenacity to not give up