Starting a Business: Luck or Grit?


We’ve all heard the stories of the businesses that started and became an overnight success, right?

Wrong?

I encourage you to look up “overnight successes in business” on the internet and here is what you’ll find: Nothing!

Starting a company takes more time, more money, and more effort than you ever thought it would. It takes GRIT!

What is grit? Grit is the passion and perseverance in service of a long term goal. It’s the marathon, not the sprint. If you have grit, you attain your success through hard work, resilience, patience, and a never-give-up attitude. You persist. You are patient. You are gritty!!


Here are some famous examples of grit:

Bill Gates’ first business, Traf-o-Data, was a miserable failure! However, what he and his business partner learned from that experience went on to prepare them for launching Microsoft a few years later.

Colonel Sanders was fired from multiple jobs and at the age of 40, he started cooking chicken at a gas station in Kentucky. After perfecting his secret recipe, he shopped his chicken around for franchise partners while sleeping in his car. Now, we enjoy his KFC chicken restaurants worldwide.

Steven Spielberg was rejected three times at the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television. He attended California State Long Beach and dropped out to pursue directing without a degree.

Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star newspaper because his cartoons were not creative enough.

Oprah Winfrey overcame tragic circumstances in her childhood. She didn’t give up, and with the assistance of scholarships, went to college for journalism. With much determination and hard work, she now has a media empire worth $2.9 billion dollars.


All of these successful people had big dreams and lofty goals. They also had extreme perseverance to overcome the challenges that met them on the journey to reaching those goals.

Throughout my career as a business leader and mentor, I have come across countless stories of entrepreneurs that faced extreme difficulties as they began their businesses. One common denominator with all of the successes, they never gave up!  Luck might have played a small role in their achievements, but most of the time it was pure grit!

Remember that the challenges you might be facing now in your business and life are a test – How hard are you willing to work for it? How much do you want it? Will you give up when it gets tough?

Use these examples to be inspired!

Be patient! Be resilient! Be gritty!


For assistance on leading with vision and managing with wisdom in your company, connect with us!  We’d love to assist you in your leadership journey.


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