Entrepreneurs Need Grit

Last week I heard about the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance in the context of raising kids. After hearing the person describe the idea, I immediately thought that it’s also applicable to entrepreneurs. In fact, every successful entrepreneur I know has grit.

From the Englewood Review of Books:

Divided into three parts, the book takes an in depth look at grit and why it is essential to success (Part I, a significantly beefed up version of Duckworth’s TED talk), looks at the virtues that converge to foster grit — interest, practice, purpose, hope — (Part II) and concludes with an exploration of how teachers, parents and other can nurture grit “from the outside in” (Part III).

Here’s the author’s TED Talk on Grit:

Finally, here’s the generic definition of grit from Wikipedia:

Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.

Terms like passion and perseverance have always been in my vocabulary when describing entrepreneurs. Now, I’m adding the word grit as well.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the idea that entrepreneurs have grit?

4 thoughts on “Entrepreneurs Need Grit

  1. I think this idea is incredibly important in entrepreneurship – or really any endeavor in which success is important. If you think about Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory with respect to becoming an expert, about 9,500 of those hours aren’t all that fun. Business throws you lots of off-ramps, and many look enticing. That’s where you find out if you’re *really* committed to the idea, the venture, the business. I wonder if this is coming to the fore now because we sense we as a society may be losing that grit. In a society where we have participation trophies, rewards for the most modest accomplishments, and the fear that the next generation has an entitlement mentality (but doesn’t every generation think the one behind has that?), grit may be missing because the widely held view of modern parenting is not to help children overcome obstacles, but to remove them altogether.

  2. I’ve been seeing the words “mental toughness” and “entrepreneurial mindset” bandied about quite a bit, in reference to achieving success in self employment. A cliche that always resonated with me is “The thin-skinned need not apply.” I believe that that concept applies to achieving success in any aspect of one’s life. If you “know your outcome” (a Tony Robbins mantra) and continually refocus on it, then, in my opinion, it’s easier to access your capacity for mental toughness, resilience, and resourcefulness. “Be the ball!”

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