Every entrepreneur will tell you that entrepreneurship is a journey.
Entrepreneurship is not like a game where you get to level 10 and it’s over. It is a life game, the number of levels is infinite. And like any great game, you need to destroy the boss before moving to the next level.
You usually begin from scratch with something that you are passionate about but does not exist, and patiently build it up piece by piece.
But the construction never ends. There is always a new piece to add.
To make it more complicated, you have somewhat of a plan in mind, but there are no proper guidelines to execute your plan. So, you have to figure out which piece is going where, how to place it by when as you walk the journey.
It is a slow process, full of uncertainty.
Sometimes, you must destroy part of the construction and re-build. Sometimes, you must entirely give up and do something else.
That is why being an entrepreneur is so addictive and difficult at the same time.
So how can you make it?
One of the best pieces of advice I heard was to start from a place of humility. Assume you know nothing, you have no clue. Start with the main criteria of your journey that everything possible will go wrong.
Therefore, the first thing you need to sort out is your fortitude. You have to make sure that your mind is in a place where you’re ready.
In other words, you need to grow grit.
The thing is entrepreneurship takes resilience, it takes dedication, it takes the ability to get exhausted, fail, and get back up again. You have to be able to hear the word no, you have to be able to fall and still get back at it.
That is what grit is about.
Individuals with grit demonstrate passion and perseverance toward a goal despite being confronted by significant obstacles and distractions.
Passion, perseverance, obstacles, and distractions? Doesn’t it sound like the job of being an entrepreneur?
Talent = Effort x 2
Angela Duckworth is a professor of psychology and studies grit and self-control.
In her research, she has found that “where talent counts once, effort counts twice.”
She explains the finding with this formula:
TALENT x EFFORT = SKILL
SKILL x EFFORT = ACHIEVEMENT
Basically, when you apply effort to talent, you get a skill. And when you apply effort to that skill, you get achievement.
Without effort, your talent is just untapped potential because you cannot develop skills.
And without effort, your skill is just something you could’ve done, but never did because you are not able to achieve anything.
So, no matter what long-term goals you are trying to achieve, you need grit to get there.
That is why grist is such an important factor.
Although life is unfair and some people are naturally born with more grit than others, grit is definitely something that you can develop over time.
And I’d like to share 5 practical methods on how to grow grit.
Find your purpose. The best entrepreneurs I know follow their purpose. Japanese talk about Ikigai. I have had many guests on my podcast Interviews Cracking The Entrepreneurship Code talking about the importance of purpose. It is about understanding how what you do contributes to the well-being of others.
Practice, practice, practice. Hard work leads to competence, and we are much more likely to stick with things we are good at. The most gritty people always want to improve, no matter what it takes or how good they already are. So, put in the work to get a little bit better every day.
Cultivate hope. If you want to reach your goals, you first need to believe it is possible. Having limiting beliefs about your abilities affects your grit negatively And they are also plain wrong. Research has shown that you have the possibility to change your brain and learn new skills throughout your life, regardless of your age. So, go after your goals with the belief that you can improve if you work hard at it. Because you can.
Surround Yourself With Gritty People. The people around you have a huge influence on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When you spend enough time with a particular group of people the way they do things becomes the way you do things. Their norms and values will rub off on you and become your new standard. So, one of the most efficient ways to grow your grit is a kind of positive peer pressure. Surround yourself with gritty people, like mentors, and it is only a matter of time before you are just as gritty yourself.
Build strong habits and stop depending on motivation. Grit is not about getting an incredible dose of inspiration or courage. It is about building the daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and overcome challenges and distractions over and over and over again. Mentally tough people do not have to be more courageous, more talented, or more intelligent — just more consistent. Grit also comes down to your habits. It is about doing the things you know you are supposed to do on a more consistent basis. It is about your dedication to daily practice and your ability to stick to a schedule, even though you may not feel motivated on that particular day.
You will know you have grit when no matter what happens, you can pick yourself up, move forward, and still be successful. You will know you have grit when if something or someone tries to stop you, maybe it will put you down for a while, but after that, you will not see any other way but to move on.