What can salespeople can learn about grit from entrepreneurs?
And what is grit anyway?
Grit is a term that has been made popular by psychologist Angela Duckworth when she explored what made high achieving people successful. But how did they develop the self control and perseverance attributed to grit? How did they continue through multiple failures to find success?
I'll share some of my own experiences that I've learned as an entrepreneur, and as what other psychologists have found in their research.
You Have To Have Discipline
The first thing that I found in developing grit, is that you have to have some kind of discipline for deliberate practice. There is actually a structure to follow to improve on a particular thing.
As salespeople, the next time you get asked, "Who wants to volunteer for a role play?" Or even doing it in a group setting, the ones that raise their hands are the ones that are going to have the most grit, because they're continuously practicing.
You Have To Have Drive
Another thing that I've learned both as an entrepreneur and others that I've seen who have grit is that they all have some kind of a driving purpose. They're doing something for a reason. Not just because of some sort of a superficial thing, but there's a personally meaningful reason behind what they're doing. Their purpose is something that's going to push them through, put their feet on the floor despite the hangups that are going to happen.
See Failures As Learning Opportunities & Have Hope
Expect that there is going to be failure. Plan for it, like taxes. I think that's what Angela Duckworth was talking about when she was talking about hope: Realize that there are going to be failures, but also that those failures are going to be learning opportunity.
As psychologist and professor Carol Dweck said in her book "Growth Mindset," it's those that look at each failure as an opportunity to learn and continue to improve, that actually are displaying these kinds of grit.
As salespeople, everything that we're doing is an iteration. Everything is an experiment. There is a measure of hope in that our experiments will work, and another measure when they fail and we don't give up.
Give Yourself Time
Finally, you've got to realize you've got to give yourself the time to do it because nothing happens overnight. If you go into it with the mindset of "I'm going to learn, yes, I'm going to fail, but there's a bigger reason why I'm doing this," that's what enables you to have grit.
That is something that you can learn and condition yourself for. And as salespeople today, we're going to be required to be more and more entrepreneurial, which means we're going to need to develop this kind of grit to be successful.