Learn Grit Like a CEO

As an entrepreneur I have had to develop grit, courage and commitment. Frankly, I either suck at it or I have a convoluted image of myself. I can share with you what I’ve learned from experience and educational resources how I developed the little reserve I have in my arsenal.
What little grit I have I gathered not from any specific educational courses but rather from adversity.
Unfortunately there is a direct correlation between suffering and the skillsets needed to endure the suffering.
I’ve found the classes that give me the most grit that I’m able to apply to my business haven’t been from college necessarily, though overloading myself with 20 credits a semester and plowing through my undergrad in two years didn’t exactly make me a sissy, but taking self-defense classes through marine corp martial arts, jiu jitsu and krav maga. Within these classes at Direct Action Tactical, I got the snot kicked out of me on a regular basis. I tore my ACL, was knocked out a few times, pushed my body so hard I vomited. Now, I’m not saying everyone who wants to be an entrepreneur needs to put themselves through this kind of self-inflicted torture but I’m not saying it hurts, either. In my experience I have found the best way to develop grit is to force yourself to endure the painful, to push just past what you think you could otherwise do and then show up the next day even when you know it’s going to be ruthless.
There are countless educational opportunities out there to challenge you. If you’re clumsy like I am, try signing up for something that requires grace like ballet at a local college or university. Know you’re going to be awful at it. Do it anyway and measure your success in tiny increments. You’ll find you have more grit than you realize. When you don’t back down regardless of the obstacles in your way, you’ll develop grit.
Curious how gritty you are? Take Harvard researcher Angela Duckworth’s 12 point Grit Test then try something that isn’t within your wheel house. Take the test again and ask yourself if you’re as gritty as you initially thought. According to my results, I’m gritty but I know from experience that I also struggle in the face of prolonged adversity.
I also know that those who accomplish greatness in life combine their passion for a mission with dedication. They just don’t stop until they reach their goal.
I have learned that I have to develop courage. I think I’m pretty wimpy sometimes though others have said I can be little but mighty. I don’t think I am any more or less courageous than any other person. I have days when I am terrified—like giving a speech to a gigantic audience and my stomach hurts so bad I think I am going to yack, or walking into a conference room to deliver bad news and deciding to tell the truth anyway even when a boss tells you to do otherwise, or being terrified to look your spouse in the face and tell them that even though you love them they pushed you too far and that the past can’t be rectified. My stomach hurts more days than I care to admit, but on those days I think back to what I want my legacy to be. I learned to develop a legacy though Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan.
And through that life plan I have been tested on my values, and that’s where commitment comes into play. Even when it’s tough, I have to live my values not only because they’re going to translate into my business but because that’s how I want people to remember me when I’m gone. Now, I have failed countless times. I have not lived up to the ideal that I have for myself over and over again. And I beat myself up ruthlessly for it. But I stay committed to it because I realize that no one is going to remember me if I can’t remember to do what I say I’m going to do.
If I want to be an enterpriser, I have to think like this and then I have to act in this way. I have to shape my thoughts and not allow the world, circumstances or obstacles shape my future.
I have to learn to develop more grit, more courage and more commitment because if I want to reach my big goals I can’t get there with the same small thoughts, the same small actions, and the same small beliefs that I have held in the past. I have to teach myself something greater and learn grit, commitment and courage.
The best teacher, by far, I have learned is none other than adversity.
About the Author
Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.
Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, the won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.
She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.
She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.
For more information visit her Google + Page.