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10 Inspiring Things Entrepreneurs With Grit Do

10 Inspiring Things Entrepreneurs With Grit Do

Typically, when an entrepreneur has a good idea, there are at least five other people trying to do the same thing. What sets successful entrepreneurs apart from the unsuccessful ones is grit—the ability to continue working toward a goal no matter how hard it gets or how long it takes. Talent, intelligence, and even education does not guarantee success. Of course, talent, perfect skills and qualifications can help your entrepreneurial efforts, but experience tells us that entrepreneurs (and people in general) succeed because they demonstrate extraordinary grit to reach their dreams.

Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, summed it up pretty well when he said:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Here are inspiring things entrepreneurs with grit do day in and day out that propel them to success.

1. They believe in themselves.

Let’s face it, entrepreneurs enter a world where there are vastly more failures than successes. To succeed, they have to believe in themselves. They have to believe that their ideas and businesses will defy the statistics and become success stories. This is not to say that entrepreneurs with grit have all the answers, rather it is to say that they have great self-confidence and belief that they have what it takes to make it.

2. They work tirelessly.

Entrepreneurs with grit work tirelessly day in and day out with an unwavering resolve to finish the task at hand despite the doubters, detractors and distractions. This tenacity to keep going even when the odds are stacked against them is the key to their success. It’s not about striving for perfection, but rather persevering when others quit. Work comes first and the payoff comes later… often much later.

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3. They demonstrate great courage.

Entrepreneurs with grit know that failure is an integral part of success. They, therefore, do not fear failure or shy away from trying new things and taking calculated risk. In fact, they are constantly trying new things, testing new systems, adopting new technology. Sure, they stumble sometimes, but they always get back up again. Risking takes courage. They risk because it is through trying that one learns what works and what doesn’t work. It is through trying that one gains experience and makes progress.

4. They remind themselves of their goals.

Entrepreneurs with grit constantly remind themselves of their purpose and goals lest they forget and lose their way. This constant self reminder of their core objectives is what motivates them to push past the cacophony of distractions and naysayers along the way. Positive self talk empowers them to push past failures, disappointments, fatigue and many other challenges on the way. This is how they manage to never lose sight of their mission, or what brings them true joy and happiness in business and life.

5. They maintain a positive attitude.

Entrepreneurs with grit choose to be positive no matter what. They are always brimming with optimism and see opportunities in challenges. A positive attitude allows them to let go of setbacks encountered along the way and move forward with hope and optimism that all will work out well in the end. Significantly, a positive attitude, bright outlook on life and hopeful enthusiasm is contagious. It is the glue that holds the operation of teams and businesses together when all is not going well.

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6. They single-task.

Sometimes we assume “more is more”—taking on more things produces more results, but it is clearly not true. Studies show that we are not the brilliant multitaskers we think we are. Our brains are simply not capable of handling multiple tasks at once as optimally as we would want, which is why entrepreneurs with grit pick one project at a time and work on it. Prioritizing and staying focused on one thing at a time boosts their efficiency and productivity tenfold. They get more done better this way.

7. They seek the counsel of others.

Entrepreneurs with grit have respect for other people’s opinions and judgments, especially those who have gone before them. They also have the humility and open-mindedness to seek the counsel, advice and help of others when they need it. Former Skype CEO Tony Bates says one of the most exceptional facts about Silicon Valley is that competitors frequently come together to solve problems and seek moral support. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that people should divulge intellectual property, says the UK transplant, entrepreneurs should never be afraid to ask questions of their colleagues.

8. They learn from every experience.

Every failure, every mistake is a learning opportunity for entrepreneurs with grit. They pick lessons from their own experiences and the experiences of others, both good and bad, and use those lessons learnt to inform their actions going forward.

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As Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, emphasizes, “The most important thing you can learn how to do is to learn…”

Unfortunately, people tend to stop learning as they grow older. But not entrepreneurs with grit.  Entrepreneurs with grit never stop learning. They are constantly seeking new information and adding to their reservoir of knowledge for success.

9. They stay the course.

Entrepreneurs with grit toil away quietly, improving their skills, product and service through focused hard work. When others jump from one shiny idea to the next and are derailed from their core goals by fads in their industry, entrepreneurs with grit stick to their course. They don’t abandon ship halfway through the journey; rather they modify systems as necessary and try creative new strategies when one tactic doesn’t work. They make smart plans and follow through to completion.

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10. They distinguish good grit from bad.

Some people sacrifice too much in the name of working hard to improve the future such that their families and colleagues feel abused or neglected. Conscientious entrepreneurs with grit, however, balance things out so that more people benefit and fewer people suffer as the result of their efforts. And they always, always create time in their busy schedule to spend quality time with their family and close friends.

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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