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What is True G.R.I.T ?

When it comes to legends few of us can dispute the DUKE! John Wayne set the standard for many Hollywood actors that followed. I  was an impressional 5 years old when John won his Academy award for his leading role in “True Grit.”  By that time, John Wayne’s career had already spanned over 5 decades. He acted in over 140 films which serves as  true testament to his well deserved legacy.

When it comes to you and your business for 2014 you should run a quick True G.R.I.T. scan.

G = Growth Mind-Set – Do you constantly challenge yourself and your team, staff or colleagues operate and strive for the highest standards. John Wayne got his first big breakthrough in 1930 when he landed the starring role in “The Big Trail.” It was a huge personal triumph but unfortunately a colossal commercial failure. This unlucky luck relegated him to small roles in A- films for the better part of 10 years.

During this time John Wayne sought out skilled stuntmen as mentors to teach him horse riding and fighting skills. He practiced and perfected elaborate stunts with horses and staged fisticuffs that suited the ever popular Westerns. Without continuing to strive for excellence and developing his craft during those years he would have never been prepared for his next big break that came in 1939 with “Stagecoach.”

R = Resilience – Everyone who has made it to the top 10% of their profession has had to make it through the tough times. It take a thick skin to weather years and years of mediocrity. In the acting profession it means taking parts and keeping busy with low budget projects that may seem demeaning or beneath your skill level. During the 9 year dry spell for John, he estimated that he acted in nearly 80 horse opera’s (a coined phrase that depicts a very thematic and cliched version of a  Western, much like a soap opera, except for frequent musical sequences whereby the cowboy often sings to his horse)

The lesson here comes from the fact that as an entrepreneur you are often faced with the temptation and external pressure to go back to your day job. Take the good salary, perks and benefits in the now and kiss your business idea goodbye. Or do some tasks that you would rather delegate like cold calling so you can drum up some new clients to keep your business going. The choice is difficult especially if your used to having a team or staff that did these things for you. But the huge rewards, the real rewards are only there if you keep on your journey and make the commitment to your business and entrepreneurial career for better or worse. Sound familiar?

I = Intelligence – I also want to include intensity but I believe the two go hand in hand. Without intelligence you would not know when the time is right to show and display intensity. It’s a measured focus and the great actors are masters at conjuring intensity in their roles when other mediocre actors have trouble “getting into” their roles.

When motivating your customers to buy or your team to go the extra mile it’s amazing how much more support you’ll get if you display your ‘intense feelings’ in public. People love people that can move there emotions and get them ‘fired up’ to make something happen. Everyone loves fighting for a cause that they can get swept up in. It’s your job to make sure you have a reason to succeed and share your thoughts, energy and emotion with your customers, team , friends and family.

T = Tenacity – The ability to be resolute towards what you want to achieve ad what you truly believe is paramount to success. John Wayne was 34 years old when America joined WWII. Because of his age and family status he was classified as 3-A (Family deferment) John desperately wanted to do his duty to his country and enlist so he wrote letter after letter to try to get re-classified to 1-A ( draft eligible) but the studio kept fighting him and the state to keep him from enlisting. They threatened Wayne with a massive lawsuit if he were to walk out of the studio including intervening with the selective service process.

Wayne never got an opportunity to serve in the military but ended up touring US bases and hospitals in the South Pacific for three months and continued to serve his country by exemplifying the role of a “super patriot.”

So there you have it, make sure you run the “True G.R.I.T” test on you and your team to make sure you can stay in it long enough to reach the top 10% of your market, or profession.

Just DUKE it!

written by Dominic Kotarski – author of “The Making” and Founder of “Sales Success Academy”

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Dominic Kotarski

Dominic Kotarski is an author, coach, sales trainer and Founder of Sales Success Academy. He's personally inspired, coached, trained and managed thousands of salespeople and business owners in 11 different countries. You can find him in Vancouver, Canada where he lives, works, runs, ski's and spends most of his free time with his family.

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