There are several qualities that you can name that separate an entrepreneur from an employee. But there is only one quality that entrepreneurs have and employees lack. That quality is grit.
When I say grit, I’m using the definition made by Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. She defines it as “the ability for someone dedicated to learning a skill or chasing a goal to keep at it over the long haul and not give up before realizing its fulfillment.”
An employer doesn’t need to see grit from their employees. An employer wants to see talent. Talent is a natural ability. If you have a talent for something, you pick it up quickly and easily compared to someone who doesn’t have the talent.
Talented people can make money for an employer relatively quickly. They don’t have to train as much or wait as long for a talented employee to grasp the position and get to work. In contrast, if you take too long to learn a position despite your passion and perseverance, your reward is getting fired. You don’t get “good effort” stickers from employers.
Entrepreneurs, however, require grit. The entrepreneurial environment is a great proving ground for developing it. A home-based business owner is only beholden to themselves, their clients, and possibly some investors. They can pour their entire attention to trying different ways to develop their skills and reach their business goals.
Duckworth divides the quality of grit into two components, passion and perseverance. These two are divided into further qualities. Passion comes from having an interest in your subject and feeling that the subject has a purpose, that is, it has worth beyond your casual interest. Perseverance is divided between regular practice of your skill and developing the resilience to overcome obstacles in the path toward our goal instead of submitting to them.
All four of these are necessary to have true grit. In fact, many successful entrepreneurs never feel like they’ll ever catch up to their ambitions. They learn to be satisfied with the journey, which is another way of saying that seeing their growth over time is satisfying enough, even if they will never reach their eventual goal. They learn to be satisfied with the tiniest improvements over the past and do not reflect overly long about past successes and failures except to compare where they are now compared to then.
It’s easy to see why home-based business owners need all four components to be successful and grow. If you’re not interested in your business, you’ll never get started. If you don’t feel it has a greater purpose, you can burn out or lose focus on why you’re doing it in the first place. Constant practice is necessary, else you’ll never earn any money or stay stuck in a rut and not earn what at your full potential. And if we give up the first time we have an angry client or hit a hard project, we won’t progress.
When all four parts are together, skills develop. Additionally, people like seeing others with these qualities. It demonstrates how much you care about your business and their project. Talent may get you part of the way there, but it only takes you part of the way. Talent as limits. Grit does not.
Contemplate on the four components of grit in relation to your home business. Are they all present? How can you cultivate them? If you can build grit into your business plans, you’ll be surprised where it can carry you.
You hold the power to transform your life!