Grit (noun): Courage and resolve. Strength of character.
The journey of starting a business – tech-related or otherwise – is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes Perseverance. Stamina. Resolve. Strength of Character. Determination. And most certainly, Courage.
Grit is one of the most overlooked aspects of entrepreneurship. Can you hang on long enough to make it? Can you make the tough calls along the way? Can you withstand the negativity that will come your way? Can you weather the constant storm of uncertainty and doubt?
Starting a business is not a glamor show. It may seem that from the outside, but its a constant struggle to stay alive. And in the beginning, its far from glamorous.
Early in my entrepreneurship days with my first company, Spunlogic, I had to max out many personal credit cards in order to keep the business afloat. We’re talking upwards of $100,000 in credit card debt. That will cause some sleepless nights, though admittedly it helps to be 23 and fairly unaware of things like “consequences” ;)
The point is, there will almost certainly be very tough times on the road to entrepreneurial success. I’ve expounded on entrepreneurship skills such as the ability to execute, what people look for in great leaders, and the many mistakes I made along the way. But without grit, without that unwavering determination to succeed and deal with anything that comes your way, everything else is just window dressing.
I could make the argument that the most important characteristic the leader of a startup needs to have is grit. That would be my advice to my friends who have recently started businesses – Donovan with Sandbox and Joe with AgencySparks. Stick with it boys. You have all the right skills and attributes to build successful businesses. How long you’re willing to ride it out and hang in there during the tough times will be the biggest determining factor in your success. Likewise, it will be the biggest indicator of whether or not I can make Dragon Army a success. So I’m in it with you!
I ordered all three of us one of these shirts. Let’s do this.