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    Making Money after the Summer Solstice

    By Kalinda Rose Stevenson, PhD

    photo of Kalinda Rose Stevenson

    Making money after the summer solstice is a test of persistence. Each season of the year has its gifts and its challenges. The gifts of summer are warmth and light, the essential elements of growth. At the same time, the greatest challenge of summer is persistence. Most people begin new projects with enthusiasm, even though starting a new project can mean a lot of work. The essential money-making characteristic of a money hero is persistence.

    It's hard work to plant a garden, but spring is the time of promise. There is something about a new beginning at the end of a long, hard winter to motivate hard work. Each year it's the same. You repeat the magic ritual of planting seeds and setting out small plants, carefully placing them into the earth with the ardent expectation that they will grow and flourish. You imagine the garden in its fullness even as you dig in the bare ground.

    And then the summer solstice brings the summer season. And with the change in season, you face a different kind of work. You have to tend what you have planted.

    Summer work is tending, weeding, hoeing. And it means working when the sun is hot, or when the sky is so perfectly blue that you want to quit working and go off to play.

    Summer is the time when it is easy to quit. You tell yourself that it is too hot, too buggy, or too humid. Or it is so beautiful that you want to go swim in the lake or go for a picnic in the woods. The famous fable of the ant and the grasshopper catches the temptation to stop working in the summer.

    Summer is the real test of persistence for all of us. Most of us can begin our projects, with hope and hard work. The capacity to persist in the middle of summer divides the beginners from the finishers. Who wants to be out weeding the garden in the hot sun? Yet weeding the garden in summer is an essential step to producing an abundant crop.

    This is the lifecycle of any creative project. Every project has a beginning, a middle, and an end, just as any dramatic story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Middles are always the hardest to sustain because they are not as exciting as beginnings and endings.

    In the classic "hero's journey" story structure, the first act sets the scene, introduces the characters, and sets the hero out on the journey. In the third act, the hero has a final confrontation with the primary antagonist that either ends triumphantly or tragically. In either case, the hero is permanently changed.

    The middle act lasts as long as the first act and the third act put together. In this act, the hero keeps enduring in the face of obstacle after obstacle. The middle act is the hardest to write. The middle act shows the hero slogging along between the bold beginning and the final brave resolution.

    In the seasons of the year, summer is the middle act. It's fun to plant in the spring. It's not much fun to weed and hoe in summer. Yet, the harvest in the fall depends on what happens in the summer. The heroic task of summer is to stick with it, even when you would rather be doing something else.

    The true mark of the hero is the willingness to keep on keeping on. This is also the true mark of any successful person who finishes any creative project, whether it is writing a book or building a business or anything else that requires sustained effort over a long period of time. You keep on keeping on, even when you would rather be doing something else. The word for this is "persistence."

    The famous quotation by Calvin Coolidge expresses the reasons why persistence is such an essential characteristic for success.

    "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

    And so at the beginning of summer, when the days are long and the temptations are great, the question is, "What did you begin in the spring that you need to sustain in the summer to harvest your reward in the fall?" The essential requirement of a money hero for making money is persistence, even in the long, hot days after the summer solstice.

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