It Takes TRUE GRIT to Succeed In Business


YOU must have passion to succeed in business, so they say. That’s true, but it is not enough. In fact, successful entrepreneurs will tell you that it’s overrated and oversimplified, because there are real-life challenges that you need to overcome on the road to success – and some insurmountable, after launching a multimillion dollar empire, or quit your job. If you want to succeed in business, you’ll need more than passion.

Are you passionate about your business and the value you bring to the marketplace? Let’s hope so. Passion is useful and plays an important role in creating feelings of enthusiasm and excitement. But passion alone is insufficient. Here are five fundamental reasons why:

  1. Expertise to deliver value

You may be passion drunk, but your first priority in business is to establish an area of expertise or core competency that will enable you to distinguish yourself from your peers and let your reputation permeate the marketplace. To do so, amass and leverage your knowledge, skills and experience to attract clients and help them to effectively solve problems. Without sufficient expertise, it’s difficult if not impossible to deliver value. In a world where substance and the final sum measure success, passion is no substitute for competence.

  1. Grit to continue the pursuit

When times get tough in your business, will you dig deeper and manage the crisis or surrender to circumstances and claim defeat? While passion may have initially ignited the fire in your belly, true grit is what will keep the fire burning. Assistant professor of psychology at University of Pennsylvania Angela Lee Duckworth, considers true grit a highly relevant performance metric, just as critical as IQ. She wrote that grit is “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.” At some point, performing at higher, less comfortable levels for sustained periods will be essential for your long-term success.

  1. Resilience to recover from hardship

Every business encounters some turbulence at one time or another. Without resilience, it’s tough to survive the uncertainty and the downturns of the business cycle. You may not be able to control what happens in the marketplace, or how events affect your business, but you can control your responses. By recognizing that change is inevitable and that a resilient mindset (not passion) is critical to successfully navigating hardship, you can emerge from tough times stronger and even more capable.

  1. Resourcefulness to manage assets

In a competitive marketplace, you need creative ways to achieve results even without having lots of means at your disposal. That’s where being resourceful is critical. Bootstrapping your business, for example, can let you to grow a company without taking investors with strings attached. Your ability to strategically assemble needed resources will help determine your success.

  1. Urgency to make forward progress

Without an internal push to inspire you to take the next, timely step, your company could languish in obscurity. Change expert John P. Kotter referred to having urgency instead of complacency, noting that, “With an attitude of true urgency, you try to accomplish something important every day.” Having a passion without a true sense of urgency might result in your refraining from taking vital action needed to advance your goals.

Peter F. Drucker said, “Whenever you see a successful business, you know that someone once made a courageous decision.” That’s true. Many business owners experienced fear when they reach a certain milestone, but there is another side called courage, to embrace  your purpose again, because it really takes True Grit to succeed in business.


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