The personal trait “grit” has been getting quite a bit of attention in the entrepreneurial and business worlds. Everyone seems to have their own interpretation or definition of what grit is, but they all share some similarities. And one thing’s for sure; it’s one of the most important traits every business owner should have.
So, what is grit? Is grit something you’re born with? Can you develop personal grit?
What is Grit?
As mentioned earlier, an exact definition is hard to find. But, there is a small list of points everyone seems to touch base on. At the very top of this list is persistence.
We’d love to build a list of new businesses that have been started without a single hiccup, with no obstacles at all. This is incredibly rare. For most, the path of entrepreneurship is a tough one. If you own and run a business, you’ve probably been knocked down more than a couple times. The thing that keeps a business owner a “business owner” and not a “clock puncher” for someone else, is persistence. Without persistence, a would-be business owner is sure to fold quickly and swiftly.
The second aspect of grit is focus. A gritty business owner is hard to distract. Their eye is always on the prize and their sole focus is getting there. We live in a world of multi-tasking, while this can be beneficial for some things, it can be detrimental to others. Start working on your ability to focus on one thing at a time. You’ll become much more efficient at smashing goals without breaking a sweat or getting stressed out and overwhelmed.
The final point of grit to be covered is passion. Genuine passion for your ideas will always help with keeping you going. Passion fans the flames of persistence as well. Look around at the top minds in business today and in the past. Were Bill Gates or Steve Jobs apathetic towards computers? The answer is no, in both cases these people were incredibly passionate about their field and it drove much of technology to how we know it today.
So, to summarize. The top three qualities of grit are persistence, focus, and passion. How do you feel about your current level of grit?
How to Get Gritty
The good news is grit isn’t a trait assigned at birth. Grit is developed through life experiences and you can train yourself to have more grit. Grit is something you’ll nurture continually. So what can we do to practice and develop a stronger ‘grittiness’?
The first step in building grit is to be humble. Realize you don’t always have the answers to everything. If you fail, you made a mistake and that’s ok! We learn from mistakes, never let them defeat you.
Also, look to others for advice. If they challenge you, take it on – don’t shut down. Being open to outside advice will help you expand your knowledge and allow you to approach things from different angles you may not have thought of before.
In the current year, our minds are very used to being all over the places. We try to work on a task while we do all kinds of other things in the background, like checking social media or our email inbox.
Learn to really focus on just one thing. Multi-tasking has its time and place. But, hardcore focus is far from obsolete yet.
A really easy way to start developing a better “focus gland” is to read a little bit in the morning to start your day. Reading an actual book forces you to be holding the thing you’re reading. Reading demands full attention, if you actually want to take anything away from the experience, that is. What’s best is, this exercise in focus will carry through the rest of your day.
Be Persistent and Passionate
Persistence and passion are both qualities I believe are developed and not granted. There are some people who seem to be born with a passion for something specific, but, these people are the exception. For most of us, it takes a little bit of work and practice to become truly passionate about something. Even more work to stay persistent.
To build and hone passion, really dig into your process and your product or service. Become a “nerd” on all things relating to your industry. Learn “why” things work the way they do. This will begin to develop more passion within yourself which directly leads us to persistence.
Persistence is what keeps us going, especially when passion is lacking. Passion is a requirement of grit, but, there are going to be some things you’ll do that aren’t terribly exciting or incredibly difficult. This is where persisting comes in. Realizing that it’s never easy is the first step, trying over and over again is the next.
As a bonus, gritty individuals tend to build tight, strong support networks to help them accomplish their goals. See how LDI can be part of your support team today!