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

For Serious Entrepreneurs Only

For Serious Entrepreneurs Only

July 02, 2018

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

Time with family or friends? Setting up the barbecue? A little getaway? Or maybe you’re an overachiever and it’s just another day at the office?

I enjoy the festivities, and have some of that on my mind, too. But there’s something bigger that the upcoming holiday has me thinking about every year: what it takes to achieve freedom and success.

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

I’m not much of a history buff, so bear with me here.

Many business owners start out like a fledgling country. They’re passionate, young and on a mission to make it big. But then comes the continuous downpour of challenges. 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—a struggling business—and those who become one of the most powerful, independent countries in the world—i.e. a thriving business?

There’s one common theme: GRIT.

I like to think of it as exercising your “delayed gratification muscle.” There were obviously a lot of factors that contributed to the success of the USA, just like there are in any company’s success, but I firmly believe that grit played a large role in our country's success, both then and now.

How gritty are you? But more importantly, how gritty are you willing to become?

Make this 4th of July count. (Not just on the post barbecue weigh-in)

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 in the 60s and 70s, Stanford Psychology Professor Walter Mischel sat 4-year-olds at a table with a marshmallow placed in front of them. They were given two choices:

  1. Take the single marshmallow and eat it now.
  2. Wait a few minutes while the researcher left the room, then have two when the researcher returned.

Here’s what happened...Some covered their eyes with their hands or turned around so that they couldn’t see the tray. Others started kicking the desk, tugging on their pigtails, or stroking the marshmallow as if it were a tiny stuffed animal. They did whatever they could 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. Mischel 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 same level 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. Remember getting in your car to rent a movie? Why? Just download it instantly. 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 has pretty much solved that one.

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, or without grit: relationships, health, purpose, and yes, your business.

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

They have, or learned to develop, a mindset of “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. Or to be more exact: Focus on a higher purpose.

If you're the type of person who comes into work every day with new ideas and constantly changing priorities to fit those new ideas, 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’re always interested in the “new idea,” but not following it through. It might be fun and exciting now, but it kills long-term performance. Why? Because it has nothing to do with having focus on the end-goal of your business.

Grit means choosing a direction and sticking with it, even if something new and shiny comes up. Yes, success requires being flexible and making adjustments. Never changing where you’re going, but always working on how you’re going to get there. And even then, changes should be weighed out and consulted on, NOT just acted upon because something else interested you that day.

Great vision needs action. Grit is about persevering to make that vision a reality.

Make this 4th of July count. (Not just on the post-barbecue weigh-in)

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