Dear Entrepreneur/Founder, It’s the beginning of a new year! Congratulations and welcome to 2023.
For many business leaders a new year means Forecasting! Budgeting! Goal-Setting! Vision Boards! Performance Appraisals! Financial Audit and all the other shenanigans that make January such a roller coaster.
Everyone expects you to come into the new year with so much purpose, power and passion. Enough to motivate your team and drive positive engagement within your organization. Sadly, business leaders sometimes come into the new year exhausted, beat up from the disappointments of the previous year and some trepidation fueled by dire economic outlook from statisticians and economists who make headlines on all global media this time of year. In the case of Nigerian Business Leaders you may add; cost-of-doing business crisis, rising inflationary pressure and the anticipated slowdown and business disruption that typically precedes each election cycle; making it super difficult to drown the noise and hold a positive outlook for the new year.
To navigate this season, you need – Grit! Grit is a combination of Purpose, Conviction, Commitment and Perseverance. Believe me, you need a healthy dose of each to thrive as a Founder or an entrepreneur in this season.
(1) Be Definite about your Purpose
As you navigate each layer of growth and each business cycle, let purpose be your guiding light. I like to define purpose as the “deeper why”. As a Founder, I am sure you established your “deeper why” before starting your business. The definiteness of purpose is necessary to fuel your passion in difficult times. It also makes it easy to submit to the lowliness and humility that some business seasons will demand of you.
(2) Conviction will keep you firmly rooted in the face of adversity
Conviction is the anchor that will keep you firmly rooted in the face of adversity; those times when you feel up and against the headwinds of life and business. Conviction will help you navigate negative predictions, naysayers, failures and temporary setbacks with wisdom and tact. As I like to say, when conviction is loud it drowns the voice of opposition.
(3) Commitment will give you staying power to attain depth
Have you ever heard the saying: “Without commitment, you cannot have depth in anything”? Commitment is staying power which is driven by purpose and conviction and the determination to give our absolute best to get the desired outcome. Commitment will demand that you continue to learn, re-learn and un-learn, and that you remain humble enough to listen to divergent perspectives whilst acknowledging superior thinking and beliefs irrespective of its source.
(4) Persevere against all Odds
Every Founder needs perseverance shots dispensed in single large doses every now and then. Without the capacity to self-motivate and to believe against all odds despite the realities of our actual circumstances, it is impossible to build anything viable or sustainable.
Life as a founder or entrepreneur is hardly the easiest path to tow. Having chosen the path, you must accept with equanimity; the curve balls that life and business will throw your way and enjoy the process of navigating and overcoming the daily obstacles that come with the package. Grit, teaches us to stay positive whilst embracing the power of creativity and innovation in anchoring our focus on problem solving.
In a recent article I read, it was no surprise to find that psychologists have postulated now that Grit is a more accurate test for determining long term capacity to succeed in life, leadership and business – it is found to be more accurate than any of the highly regarded IQ (intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient) or SQ (Social Quotient).
As we advance into the new year, remain committed to keeping your GQ (Grit Quotient) on 100% remembering that GQ must be abundant in any Entrepreneur’s DNA.
Yours’ in Entrepreneurship.
Ajose is an award-winning commercial lawyer, she is a Founding Partner at DealHQ Partners – a leading transactional advisory firm in Nigeria. A serial entrepreneur and astute public speaker and writer; Tosin is passionate about supporting Early-Stage Businesses and Venture Building Generally. When she is not wearing her lawyer hat Tosin will likely be found in the Classroom – She is an Adjunct Lecturer with the Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, Nigeria and a Resident Faculty with LearnHub Executive Education.