“Grit is not just simple elbow-grease term for rugged persistence. It is an often invisible display of endurance that lets you stay in an uncomfortable place, work hard to improve upon a given interest and do it again and again.”

Sarah Lewis

What’s the one thing that every successful entrepreneur shares? No, it’s not money, it’s grit. 

Grit is what helps you get through the tough times, and there are no shortage of difficult periods in entrepreneurship. 

Are you born with it, or is it something you can learn? Are you tough enough to be an entrepreneur? 

Here’s the thing. An often misunderstood thing grit is about grit is it’s not just being tough. Grit is’t just grinning and bearing it, pushing through no matter what. If you’re just trying to be tough and get through it, you’ll lose motivation and end up burnt out quickly. 

So how do you learn to be tough and cultivate grit? 

There’s a mindset shift I utilize that can help you cultivate grit: keeping in mind the long game, your why, your end goal. 

See, when you’re in the trough of despair, if you can’t envision the path out of that trough or what life will be like on the other side, giving up or procrastinating feels like the best option. After all, if it’s going to be like this forever, why bother? 

However, keeping your vision of the path forward and remembering the long game helps you to cultivate the fortitude to keep moving forward. When you know what’s on the other side and have a plan, success can go from “how will I ever get there” to “only a matter of time”. 

That shift helps you realize that moving forward has value instead of being futile, and that can be the tailwind you need. 

It also helps to look back and take stock of how much you’ve accomplished. It might not yet be “enough”, but it can help you quantify the value of the time you’ve spent already and that can help keep all that effort from feeling worthless. 

Putting it into action 

So if you’re in the trough of despair right now and haven’t done this already, here’s how to put this into action. 

Take out a piece of paper or open a blank note on your computer and write out what success means. What’s your why? What does your life look like when you’re successful? Write out your definition of success and deeply describe what your day looks like when you achieve it. 

Next write out your plan to get there. This part doesn’t have to be super detailed. In fact, the more high-level it is, the easier it will be to grasp the full path forward. What milestones do you have to hit? How will you get there? What are the major way-points to success? 

Then put this somewhere where you can see it every day. Start every day reading it. 

Equally important is celebrating the wins, no matter how small. At the end of every day, week, and month, take stock of what you’ve accomplished, no matter how tiny it is.

This will help you cultivate that mindset that leads to grit, and that will keep you going forward. You’ll find eventually you will eventually start doing this automatically. That’s when you’ll know you’ve got grit. 

Now go forth and carve your path, my friends.

“To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight.”

Angela Lee Duckworth

Charles Forster
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