Nature or nurture? Are you born with it or can you learn it?
It turns out the most talented people aren’t always the most successful ones.
In Angela Duckworth’s #1 New York Times Bestseller book, GRIT: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success, she shares research that supports what I’ve always believed.
Namely that if you stick with something you’re passionate about, you have a greater chance of success.
So how does this apply to you as a business owner? And how does this apply specifically to your marketing?
I’ll assume you’re passionate about the work you do in your business but how passionate are you about your marketing?
The other part of her formula is that if you stick with something, by being persistent and consistent, you will see results.
How often do you stick with your marketing plans? How consistent is your marketing?
And this is about consistency over a period of time. This quote from the book says it all, “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”
So how do you become what Duckworth calls a ‘paragon of perseverance’?
Let’s start by finding out where you land on the Grit Scale.
What is Your Grit Score?
First, find out where you are currently on the Grit Scale by taking completing this brief, ten-question assessment.
If you’re happy with your score, it’s still worthwhile to keep reading.
If you’re not thrilled with your score, don’t despair. You can take action to improve it.
Duckworth argues you can improve your level of Grit both internally and externally.
We’ll get to how to do that in a minute. First, it’s important to know how important your effort really is.
Effort Counts Double
According to Duckworth, effort counts twice as much as talent. Twice as much, let that sink in.
Here is a simple equation she uses to explain how to turn the talent you have into achievement.
Talent x effort = SKILL ———> SKILL x effort = achievement
“Talent – how fast we improve in skill – absolutely matters. But effort factors into the calculation twice, not once. Effort builds skill. At the very same time, effort makes skill productive.”
As I mentioned earlier, continual consistency is the key. Staying committed to the reason you started your business in the first place. Your ‘why’ as Simon Sinek calls it and the ‘top-level goal’ as Duckworth sees it.
So how can you have more grit?
Increase Your Own Grit
Duckworth claims that if you want to increase your grit you need to focus on developing four psychological assets.
They are: Interest, Practice, Purpose, and Hope. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
As a business owner, one of the main reasons you probably started your business is because you love what you do.
But, you may not be as interested in marketing. And yet you know that marketing is an integral part of creating a successful business.
So try to see marketing as an interesting experiment, knowing that you can find a way to do it that fits for you.
Challenge yourself to continue to deepen your knowledge about what is working and remain curious about the whole process.
Is practice fun? Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not. And you do it anyway.
And the more you do it, the better you get.
It’s the same with your marketing. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the more effective it becomes.
Commit yourself to continual improvement and consistent practice so that it becomes a habit.
Learn how to make marketing a habit in this post.
For more on the benefit of consistency to your marketing, read this post.
Doing work that has purpose, that matters, is the greatest gift there is.
And in addition to interest (passion) mentioned above, doing work that matters may be another reason you started your business.
You’re doing this work because it is meaningful to you and to the people you serve.
Let your purpose support and inspire you to take action on your marketing in a consistent and authentic way.
If you aren’t visible and sharing your offer then you are not going to be able to serve the people who need your help and for whom your work makes a difference.
Read more about purpose from my blog post, Is Your Marketing Missing This Key Ingredient?
Hope isn’t about wishing things will change.
And hope is also not about getting lucky.
Hope is about believing in yourself and your business enough that you are willing to take action to move forward even after a setback.
You have to believe that by taking action, you will move closer to
“You can teach yourself to hope.” To do this, Duckworth suggests to look at the areas below and ask yourself how you can expand each one. Each one leads to and reinforces, the next one.
Growth Mindset -> Optimistic Self-Talk -> Perseverance Over Adversity
For more on persistence, check out my post: 5 Moments When You Need to Persist in Your Business.
Get Support to Increase Your Grit
Trying to do everything yourself in your business is a recipe for disaster.
In addition to outsourcing things like your accounting and website maintenance, think about how you can create a culture of grit in your business.
Even if you are a business of one, it is valuable to identify the culture, and therefore the values, of your business and be clear about them for yourself and your clients.
Beyond your own company culture, you can get support from friends or a mentor.
And you can also spend time with people in groups that have a culture of grit.
This could be an organization of entrepreneurs who meet in person for events.
And it could also be a mastermind that you organize yourself that meets in person or virtually.
I hope you’re starting to see the exciting message here.
The more grit you have, the higher your chance of success.
And you can increase your level of grit by working on it yourself and by enlisting support from others.
So stay connected to your passion, commit to consistency, get support, and keep going. You will get there.
© Stephanie Ward
Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to create meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ’7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: https://www.fireflycoaching.com.
What’s your take? Share your thoughts and questions below in the comments section. I respond to every single one.
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2.80 for me!
Thank you for sharing, Naomi! You are a serious action taker and a productivity Ninja.
This is such a great application of the main takeaways from this book and how to apply it to marketing in your own business. I’m in the middle of the book right now and it’s already helped me to reflect a great deal on how to improve my level of Grit in my own business. I’m curious to get to the point where she speaks about optimistic self-talk because I have the suspicion that cultivating grit from a place of self-compassion could be a very powerful combination!
Thank you for your feedback, Melissa! It’s an excellent book. Indeed, optimistic self-talk and grit is a fantastic combo.