410.235.7070 Join Our E-Letter
businessGPS Taking You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Go.

This July 4th can make it or break it for your business...

This July 4th can make it or break it for your business...

July 03, 2017

It’s almost the 4th of July. What’s on your mind?

Time with family or friends? Good food? A little get-away? Shopping? Maybe just another day of work?

I have much of that on my mind too, but there’s something bigger that the upcoming holiday has gotten me thinking about: what it takes to achieve freedom and success.

It’s easy to forget what July 4th is really about with all of the retail noise and vacation atmosphere. But July 4th is about our country celebrating its long journey to freedom.

I’m not much of a history buff, but bear with me here. Many business owners start out like a fledgling aspiring country. They’re passionate, young and on a mission to make it big. But then challenges get in the way. They’re faced with resistance and sometimes even war. They get older and downtrodden. We both know that it’s not easy to run a company.

So what’s the difference between those who remain a colony, or a struggling business, and those who become one of the most powerful, independent countries in the world, or a thriving business?

Today, I’ll boil it down to one word: grit. I like to think of it as working your “delayed gratification muscle.”

Now there were a lot of factors that contributed to the success of the USA, but I'd like to propose that grit played a large role in our country's success both then and now.

Here's my question to you: How gritty are you? But more importantly, how gritty are you willing to become?

[Make this 4th of July count. (Not just on the scale.)

Learn my Top 4 Grit Insights and start working your instant gratification muscle to get the freedom and success you crave.]

In a famous study, Stanford Psychology Professor Walter Mischel sat 4-year-olds at a table with a marshmallow placed in front of them. They were told that they could eat the marshmallow right away or if they were willing to wait a few minutes while a researcher left the room they could have a second one when the researcher returned.

Watch what happened...

Some cover their eyes with their hands or turn around so that they can't see the tray. Others start kicking the desk, or tug on their pigtails, or stroke the marshmallow as if it were a tiny stuffed animal. They do whatever they can to resist the urge to pounce on the marshmallow!

How many do you think ate the marshmallow before the researcher returned? 25%? 50%? About 70% of them ate the treat in less than 3 minutes!

Only about 30% of them were able to delay gratification and persevere their way through the ordeal.

The study got really interesting about 20 years later. Mishcel found that out of the 650 children that he tested, the 30% who delayed gratification had higher SAT scores, did better in school and were generally more successful than the children who didn't have the samelevel of self-control. Wait, read that again. Those who delayed gratification did better in life.

In today’s world, instant gratification is part of nearly every aspects of our lives. Forget going to Blockbuster (what’s that?) and renting a movie. Instant download. 5-7 business days to ship? Amazon got us hooked on 2 days- max. Remember when you had to go to a library (gasp!) and look up an unfamiliar topic in an encyclopedia? Google’s pretty much solved that one.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking modern technology. These advances are great and have largely changed the world for the better.

BUT, you have to understand how this is affecting us and our perception of what it takes to achieve freedom and overall success.

Nothing that is truly great or meaningful in life comes without investment: relationships, health, purpose, and yes, your business.

The companies who we’ve worked with who have been the most successful at creating a true Freedom Team and System, had the patience and perseverance to work through the hard stuff and make it happen.

“A setback is just a setup for a comeback.”

There’s a common misconception that grit is just about hard work. But we all know hard workers who haven’t gotten very far. There’s one more step which is often ignored.

Ready? It’s called focus.

If you're the type of person who comes into work every day with new ideas and you're constantly changing priorities, you're like the 4-year-old who eats his marshmallow as soon as he's left alone.

Most people have ADHD symptoms or as I like to call it, the Magical ADHD Dragon. They are always interested in the 'new idea'. It's great and exciting, but it kills long term performance.

Grit means choosing a direction and sticking with it, even if something new and shiny comes up. Yes, you can make adjustments, but only change if you absolutely have to, NOT because something else interested you that day.

If you keep shifting priorities, everyone around you, from your managers to your employees to your partners and customers, will get frustrated. If your interest keeps changing, people will lose faith and confidence. Ideas need action. Grit is about persevering to make those ideas a reality.

[Make this 4th of July count. (Not just on the scale.)

Learn my Top 4 Grit Insights and start working your instant gratification muscle to get the freedom and success you crave.]

Taking you from where you are to where you could be,

Jon