When Angela Lee Duckworth presented at TED Talks Education last year, she tackled a subject prevalent not just in education, but also in business – Grit. Grit, she explained, is that perfect combination of passion and perseverance. In her research, this teacher turned psychologist could predict everything from which kids would graduate high school or win at the spelling bee to which cadets would make it through West Point United States Military Academy and which sales people would be successful at their jobs.
Of course having that passion and perseverance is also what makes a successful entrepreneur.
Think about the most successful business person you know. I’m sure they’re smart people, but are you measuring that based on IQ or business sense they’ve learned over the years? In Duckworth’s research, she found that people with grit also follow a certain growth mindset – a belief that failure is not a permanent solution.
To me, one particular quote stood out above the rest of Duckworth’s presentation: “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in and day out … and working really hard to make that future a reality.”
So are the best business people those with high IQs? Or those who are willing to work hard every day to fulfill their dreams and overcome failures along the way? I would absolutely say it’s the second group. Being successful in business and as an entrepreneur is not about how smart or talented you are – it’s about how hard you’re willing to work for success. If you’re a budding business owner or entrepreneur, ask yourself, do you have the grit it takes to be successful and reach your long-term goals?
While researching for this blog post, I came across a post on Forbes.com from contributor David K. Williams. David turned Duckworth’s research into an aptly titled Gritometer Quotient. Check out his story to see if you have what it takes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkwilliams/2014/12/01/do-you-have-enough-grit-to-make-it-as-an-entrepreneur.
President of The Growth Coach