[blockquote cite=”” name=”” align=”left” reverse=“off“]It’s 10 pm and I walked into my daughter’s room to find her completely frustrated by her Algebra homework. “I keep getting the wrong answer, Dad.” Although she really wanted a high grade on the following Friday’s quiz, she was ready to give up. So, I sat down with her and we started over – from scratch. She stuck with it, and the next thing we knew, the light bulb switched on, and it was easy. She will always remember FOIL.[/blockquote]

On my way to bed that night, I thought about the hard lessons that I have learned in my career, and wondered: if everything came easily to me, what would my business look like today? Trials, hardships and the struggle to deliver day-in and day-out in our business lives can be the grit that polishes us.  True Grit business lessons may be hard learned, but they are invaluable.

Dr. Angela Duckworth from the University of Pennsylvania has been studying the concept of Grit. She defines Grit as “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.” As a Business Advisor, my mission is to help my clients stay accountable to their long-term business goals.

Here are some gritty lessons that I have learned over the years as a business coach:
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1. Do your homework first
Doing the right amount of analysis upfront (quickly, mind you) allows you to focus on a smaller set of Hot Opportunity Prospects, iterate faster to a proven sales process, and yield more closed business and more revenue than taking the shotgun approach. You also end up with a more scalable way to generate predictable revenue going forward.

2. Approach it like you are going fishing.
Think of the all the decisions you make before you ever pick up a rod and reel. Here is the biggest and most important: You must decide to go for only one kind of fish. Business owners intellectually understand that they should focus on one segment, but they don’t want to leave any potential prospects out. And they end up wasting time and money trying to appeal to everyone.
3. View your business through your customer’s eyes
When you immerse yourself in what the customer needs, rather than what you do, and frame your promise in that “buy-side” language, you make a deep connection and the result is closed business… and ultimately, a successful company.

4. Once you have big business goals, write them down, and share them with others.
Even if you’re a sole proprietor, you need to write down your goals and share them with others so that they can follow you on your journey, and help you with accountability. Make BIG goals. Small goals, the kind that is just a layup, don’t inspire. The challenge of the big goals is where grit comes from, the power to persevere.

5. Get a coach.
Sometimes the lack adherence to long-term goals is simply due to a lack of time to focus on them. Business owners and successful entrepreneurs frequently invest so much working in their businesses that working on their businesses can slip through the cracks. Working with a business coach can have the benefit of allowing you to focus on your business and attain your goals at the same time.

Curious as to how your True Grit business lessons stack up? Take the 10 point quiz.

Those who score on the lower end of the scale may especially benefit from the stability, accountability and advice of a growth planning and accountability coaching system.

Check out our blog Five Keys to Mastering Small Business Growth.