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Home » Random

Do you have “grit”?

This is a guest post from Yolanda Facio at Red Hot Momentum.  When you’ve finished reading this post please tweet, “like” and share your thoughts in the comments below.

As a small business owner you need to have “grit”.

What is “grit”?

It’s that laid-back John Wayne “things will work out ‘cause I have a rifle” kind of attitude.

It is not the harried, hurry up and find the next great bullet kind of attitude.

Everything takes time and effort.  More importantly, everything takes practice and repetition.

“Grit” is the kind of thing that comes from practice, repetition and patience.  It comes from knowing that maybe this time will generate a small response but next time it’ll be a little bigger.

“Grit” is acquired.  You aren’t born with it.

So how do you acquire the skills that keep you in the saddle long after everyone else has given up?

Repetition.

This is important.

If you do something once and give up you’ll be in a vicious cycle of doing a lot of things once and never mastering any of them.  Doing the hard stuff is where we grow and get better.  It’s where we begin to master the skills and tactics we’ll need to replicate generating the right responses.

For any A-list blogger or business superstar, what they do now is second nature.  Seth Godin doesn’t have to worry much about putting out content every day, neither does Chris Brogan.  It comes from having done it (practicing) day in and day out, slowly and methodically building their audiences and their mastery of creating content.

“Grit” is all about mastery because it is all about sticking it out day after day and keeping at it even when you think no one is listening.

So how do you keep at it when you feel alone?

Here are some simple strategies, the ones I use every day:

1.  Be Grateful for One

I am grateful for the one comment, the one sale, the one email with feedback.

Sure I have more than one subscriber to my newsletter but it only takes one person to stop what they are doing during the day, read my newsletter and then send me an email telling me it was just what they needed to hear.  That’s all it takes to get me primed to write it again the next week.

Sell one ebook this week or even this month.  I love it.  Just one sale tells me that I’m working in the right direction with my sales letter, my message.  It primes me to tweak it a little bit more, get a little more traffic, to keep at it.

2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

I don’t stew on the one person who unsubscribes.  It could be that they need to regroup because they have too much content coming at them, maybe they are no longer building a business, whatever the reason it’s okay; even if it’s my message they don’t like.  I’m not interested in speaking to the wrong people.

If I launch and no one buys, no sweat.  Review my sales page, make sure I’m being loud enough and try again.

If a customer is a jerk, no sweat, I ask them to move on and find another person to do business with.

Why worry and fret over that one person?  It is not worth it, spend your sweat on the great prospects and customers who don’t give you grief and who want to hear what you have to say.

3. Regroup Often

At least once a week I stop and regroup.  Sometimes it is a physical act like reorganizing my desk and sometimes it’s a cerebral one where I redo my marketing strategy, create a mind map for my business “why” and compare it to the last one,  confirm I’m enjoying what I’m doing, check for holes is my processes, etc.

It is at these times where I can best confirm that I’m doing what I should be doing, that I can stop and be grateful for the small wins and that I can evaluate to make sure I’m working with the people I want to work with.

I can make adjustments that allow me to gauge their effectiveness, rather than dump an entire idea tried once for a new one.

There are bumps along the way, anyone who has ever sat on a saddle for the first time knows the soreness then comes after.  That soreness is your body telling you it’s getting ready for the next time.  The guy who decides from the soreness that sitting in the saddle is not for him will try something else.  The problem is sitting on a bike saddle the first time hurts too, so does running, so does hiking, so does… well everything.

If you can’t handle the pain of the first round, you’ll never experience the lack of pain during the second.

Staying in the saddle, working through the pain, toughing it out… now that builds grit.

Yolanda A. Facio of Red.Hot.Momentum helps small businesses find clarity and the momentum to start, grow and manage their companies. Sign up for the free Red.Hot.Motivator e-Newsletter and get Red.Hot!

8 Comments »

  • Mary C. Weaver, CSCS said:

    I appreciate these points, especially No. 3, about the importance of regrouping—analyzing what’s happened and adjusting our strategy as needed.

    One other thought about grit and getting through pain or difficulty: It helps to focus on the times we’ve succeeded in getting through a difficult situation, not the times we’ve failed. Recalling past successes builds confidence and self-efficacy, the belief that we are capable of accomplishing a given task. There’s a ton of research indicating that the higher one’s self-efficacy, the great the likelihood of meeting a goal.

  • Yolanda said:

    Small wins are critical to success. And yes self-efficacy is core to getting in the saddle in the first place.

    It’s once we are there that the grind can begin to wear us down!

  • Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana said:

    Ah yes, and I heard about a recent study saying grit is a personality trait that leads to success. Apparently there is a grit scale :). I do know grit is required to be a small business owner but I’m not sure how much I have according to the study… the researchers said they could see the trait in children! At any rate, the qualities you list are concrete qualities to work on and I like this.

  • Yolanda said:

    And like Mary states, self-efficacy is key in determining success at task. So if you believe you can do it, you’ll be way more successful they the person who lacks that belief. Having said that, research has shown that what appears in children often disappears and isn’t necessarily and indication of whether or not they will be successful as they reach adulthood.

    Your ability to do two things raise your success factor: 1) deliberate and directed practice and 2)motivation or the fire that get’s you cranking in the first place.

    I suspect you know them both well!

  • Jimmy said:

    Hi Yolanda,

    That grateful attitude to even the smallest successes is so touching. These small successes are the little steps to your eventual success. I also get the thrill when one more comment comes in, one more subscribers subscribed or one more guest post offered. Having the right mindset for these simple success is the way forward to receiving more.

    Thanks

  • Linda Mattacks said:

    When it comes to something like blogging I always reckon it’s good to start off posting on forums and such like and seeing if you can usefully and helpfully guest post on other sites.

    Why do I say that?

    Because unless you write as part of your ‘day job’ and enjoy doing that part of it, or you’re always writing about what goes on in your life, you’re maybe not going to know whether this blogging lark will be a joy or a right royal pain in the you-know-where until you try it. Bit of a shame if you’ve already committed to writing your own blog by then… and the grit will irritate more an more… 🙁

    But then maybe you could switch to video blogging 🙂

  • Sarah Arrow said:

    Love this Yolanda! I need grit and I need to learn how not to sweat the small stuff. I love Suzanne’s idea of a “Grit Scale” where we could measure our progress.

  • Christine Miller said:

    This is spot on Yolanda, focus, persistence, the ability to learn from what doesn’t work as well as we might wish – all key factors in starting and sustaining a business that rewards us on all levels.

    And being grateful for the ‘one’ is such great advice,
    Excellent post, thank you.