You may not be as experienced, as well funded, as well connected, or as talented as she other people...but you can always out think, out hustle, and out work everyone else.
Even when everything else seems stacked against you, effort and persistence can still be your competitive advantage -- in many cases, the only advantage you truly need.
That's because success is almost always the result of perseverance. After other people give up, leave, stop trying, or compromise their principles and values... the people left are the people who succeed.
Again: They may be smarter, better connected, more talented, or have more money. But they can't succeed if they aren't around at the end.
Sometimes it makes sense to give up on ideas, projects, and even businesses -- but it never makes sense to give up on yourself.
"Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy."
-- Jimmy Spithill, skipper of America's Cup-winning Oracle Team USA
So when you think you're exhausted, when you think you're fried, when you think you've done all you can, remember: You always find a little more inside you. You are always capable of more than you think. Dig deep. Work a little harder.
So when you're on the downside of advantage and reaching a goal feels impossible... dig deep and work harder.
Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don't wait to be asked; offer. Don't just tell employees what to do -- show them what to do, and work beside them.
Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do -- especially if other people aren't doing that one thing. Sure, it's hard.
But effort is what will make you different.
Effort is what, over time, will make you incredibly successful -- in whatever way you define success.