Success and fulfillment are common goals all parents have for their children, and also what all entrepreneurs have as goals for their businesses. This summer my family relocated to Texas, with that move came the excitement of a new adventure, as well as the apprehension that comes along with change, including a new school for our children. It is certainly true that the type and quality of education for school aged children is different from state to state, city to city, and within different school districts. We were very comfortable with the school environment we had been a part of in Florida, and wanted to replicate this experience in Texas. Regardless of the school, there is always one child who is deemed to overachieve, and one who is categorized as not meeting their potential. I ask myself, what is one common factor that has such an important influence on an individual reaching full potential, or a business succeeding?
As the school year started, we became more excited about this fresh start for many reasons, but we were thrilled when we found out our new school is introducing a way to teach kids about grit. Grit is a characteristic I have always firmly believed in to overcome the inevitable life challenges we all face, and thanks to the work of Psychologist Angela Duckworth, how to develop grit in children and apply it to your business is being made available to everyone. In her famous TED talk and now best-selling book, Angela defined grit as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals,” and documented grit is a better indicator of future earnings and happiness than IQ or talent.
I am pleased my children’s school is using this research, not as another school assessment, but rather as a vehicle to build grit in the students. The students are taught a simple way to remember the importance of building grit by using the acronym Growth, Resilience, Integrity and Tenacity. After all, people and businesses generally won’t succeed if they don’t learn how to work hard, remain committed to their goals, persevere through struggles, and do not take short cuts. It is these values we, as parents try to instill in our children, and it is powerful to see it supported in our new school environment.
Throughout my career, I have built several successful multi-million dollar businesses, having also conducted thousands of coaching calls with successful sales people and business owners; I know first-hand these same principals of having grit do hold true in the business world. If it is important to instill these characteristics in your children, isn’t it equally as important to instill them in your business? The question an entrepreneur has to seek the answer to is this; how do they push themselves, making certain they have the optimism to reach their goals, knowing they will face rejection, feel uncomfortable, and receive no indication they are going to meet their desired outcome for months, years, or in some cases decades? How do you, as an adult, become grittier to reach your goals?
The answer is complex, but there are some simple steps to get started. The three key factors I have found people should immediately focus on to build grit are:
- Have a growth mindset – Learning is not finite and your commitment to research and learning about your profession should be a daily exercise. The goals of growth for a business should be large and a belief you can improve is a must to stay on course for the long run ahead.
- Develop a routine of daily success – In order to end right, you have to start right, and that includes what you do when you start your day. Habits determine our behaviors and you want to develop good habits, not bad ones. Developing the commitment to daily exercise will give you a great feeling of improvement and control over your future.
- Visualize success – If you train your brain to see success each day, you will begin to see the path to success in the real world – The old adage “I’ll believe it when I see it” is fine for the naysayers, not for the people who reach the pinnacle of success and fulfillment. Prosperous, thriving people stay motivated each day by visualizing their end outcome, knowing that setbacks are not a permanent state.
To learn more about Angela Duckworth’s work check out her TED talk
To find out where you currently rank you can take the grit assessment test
Best wishes on your success and enjoy the TED talk and grit assessment. I would love to hear your story of success!