Persistent. Unshakeable. Tough. Devoted. Steadfast. Resolute. Determined. Driven.
There are a lot of words to describe those whose passion and perseverance help them stand strong, even when the tides change and the winds are strong. The ones with the Indomitable Spirit. At The Growth Coach, when we’re talking about entrepreneurs and business owners, we call that trait Grit.
Somewhere in the universe is an entrepreneur who hasn’t heard no, who hasn’t faced disappointment, who hasn’t had to pivot… but since we haven’t met that person yet, we believe that grit is what separates mediocre business owners from amazing entrepreneurs. It’s that little something that keeps those entrepreneurs from giving up. It’s the trait that keeps them going to funders even after hearing “no” a dozen times. It’s the characteristic that encourages them to focus on innovation to keep their business growing, even when times are tough.
We all know people who are naturally gritty, but it’s also a trait you can learn or grow. There are countless articles and books available on how to grow your grit, but there are three things we’d like to focus on in this post:
Passion: The first – and most obvious – thing to help you have grit is to pursue something you’re passionate about. Sometimes this is as simple as having a product or service you really believe in – something that you feel so strongly about that a hearing “no” a hundred times won’t shake your foundation. The second thing is to think about the passion of the outcome of your business. But what if your business is something more straight forward… like plumbing? Owning a plumbing company might not be the sexiest business venture, but it creates jobs, meets a need in your community, allows you to give back, gives your family the live you want for them… Fueling your drive will keep you passionate and help you to be more gritty.
Practice: This one also has two meanings – you can practice having grit and you can practice to have grit. If you are practicing to have grit, it starts with forcing yourself to learn to get back up when you fall off the horse. You can’t wallow in self-pity when something doesn’t go your way. Practice finding ways to help you accept feedback in a way that keeps you pushing forward. Secondly, when we say practice to have grit, we literally mean to practice. Learn your trade. Practice your speech. Have as many answers as possible ready before you walk into the presentation. Being truly prepared – and not defensive – will help.
People: While this is the most simple item on our list, it’s also tough… Surround yourself with people who are driven, passionate and determined. Hanging out with the “right crowd” will help you learn to have more grit. So why is this hard? Being an entrepreneur is a lonely life sometimes, so making friends can be hard. Try finding fellow entrepreneurs through your Chamber of Commerce, join a BNI group or asking a mentor for help.