A Word On Giving Up

and what Churchill had to say about it!

In 1948 Winston Churchill was invited to speak at his old School Harrow. At the time he was still a colossal figure on the world stage so everyone and his dog had turned up to listen to the great man.

When he took to the stage he said this: “I want to talk to you about giving up, about recognising the time when you’ve tried everything at your disposal but are still not prevailing, a time to cut your losses and throw the towel in. That time, gentlemen, is never, never, never!”

With that he walked off the stage, speech over! How extraordinary, thought everyone, not realising that this message was so powerful it would be repeated by millions of people worldwide for decades to come.

Running a team of appointment setters affords me a very privileged look at the nature of determination. We have to think differently to most other people every day and giving up isn’t a concept we can entertain ever.

We’ve all heard people who’ll say something like “Oh, I’ve tried everything, nothing seems to work.” What they’re defining as ‘everything’ is most likely to be 2 or 3 attempts to achieve whatever it is. At Newton Fox, I’ve lost count of the amount of appointments we’ve arranged at 17.25hrs after making 250+ calls that day.

Attitude Is Everything

We don’t view this as steely determination, extreme tenacity or even breath-taking commitment, it’s just a day at the office. We’ve shifted our attitude, altered our world view and redefined what we see as ‘extreme.’

If a process takes longer than anticipated we allow for it. If an approach isn’t working we tweak it until it is working. No fuss, no drama, no emotion. Whatever happens, we never, ever, give up.

So now we could be facing a second lockdown. Certain businesses may well be forced to cease trading once again and many more may never recover in their current format through absolutely no fault of their own.

On the face of it, no amount of Churchillian bravado will make an iota of difference to these people; the situation is being taken out of their hands and they are complete victims.

However, there are those who say that it isn’t circumstance that affects our lives and future but rather our reaction to that circumstance. Gordon Ramsey had a very poor upbringing with a dad who was far from ideal. Gordon’s brother grew up to battle alcohol and drug dependency while Gordon is a multi-millionaire.

What’s interesting is that, when questioned about how their lives had turned out, both said the same thing, “What do expect with a dad like mine?”


It could be argued that what we are talking about here is the human spirit. There’s a world of difference between loss and defeat. We may lose some clients, be forced to let some staff go or lose our position within a company. We may be pushed to the ground but we can choose to stay there or get up and move forward.

I know how stuff works; several years ago, within a six-month period, I lost my mum to cancer, lost my recruitment business and had my wife walk out on me with our 2-year-old daughter. I felt like I’d lost everything worth living for and considered ending it all.

Talk is cheap and life is hard. Whatever you’re facing right now, whatever this bloody virus does to you, your livelihood and your family, resolve now to fight on. Make your mind up right now to not allow it to defeat you. You must prevail, you will come out the other side and you will never, ever give up.