You need to be very motivated to start a business. Wanting to make money shouldn’t be the main or only motivation; you also need to be psychologically ready to succeed. Both passion and hopelessness can be powerful sources of motivation, with grit as the motor that will allow you to get over the hurdles that your journey brings.
THE MOTOR: A Personality Trait
Sometimes it’s a surprise to see that a shy, reserved classmate from your school days has become the head of a successful company. You never imagined so much ambition could be hidden in that person, so it’s surprising to see what kind of life they’ve decided to lead. In reality, what motivates these people to reach their goals is not visible – it’s an intrinsic quality that is necessary to find success in any area of life. That quality is GRIT.
The term GRIT is defined as the perseverance and passion that are associated with long-term goals by psychologist Angela Duckworth and her colleagues, who have spent a great deal of time studying this particular personality trait. These experts have observed that people with a great deal of tenacity were able to maintain their determination (with continued effort) and their motivation (with continued interest) long-term, in spite of experiencing failure and adversity. They even concluded that a great deal of grit was a better predictor of success than intellectual potential (measured in IQ).
How is this explained? In fact, GRIT is the most important factor that contributes to the endurance necessary to “stay the course” in spite of challenges and setbacks. Unlike other factors, grit has nothing to do with intelligence, which helps explain why some very intelligent people do not maintain a consistent level of performance over time.
Luckily, it seems that I have this capacity to work towards long-term goals. I have often shown perseverance, resilience, ambition and discipline in different areas of my life. These factors have been key to my start in business and have allowed me to pursue my mission in difficult conditions. In fact, I went through many personal challenges in the first years of my entrepreneurial journey – not to mention the financial precarity that lasted for several years.
THE FUEL: Personal Motivation
Beyond the personality traits associated with the pursuit of your dreams, everyone needs to find their own source of motivation that will feed the courage and tenacity in the face of adversity. This intrinsic motivation is often rooted in the events that have marked our lives. I call it the fuel of success, something which allows the entrepreneur to overcome all the obstacles in their path. For me, my motivation is rooted in two specific things: fist off, I didn’t want to be on the job market any more: I didn’t want to report to a boss, after some negative experiences; Secondly, I wanted to avoid returning to the financial insecurity that had marked my youth. In fact, the idea of never again having to return to the job market and having to find myself subordinate to a boss was a huge motivator, particularly when combined with the desire to not limit myself to earning a predetermined salary structure.
I was motivated enough to make financial and personal sacrifices in order to reach my long-term goal: namely, to create my own business, make it profitable, and, finally, enjoy working on my own terms.
What about you? Do you think you have the motor necessary for success and the fuel that you need to make it to the finish line?