- Hard work definitely pays off, but that’s only part of the money/life puzzle.
- Grit helps you get the things you really want out of life—including career satisfaction and wealth on your terms.
- Commit to being a lifelong learner, always focus on the long term and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Angela Duckworth is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. For many years, she observed how students who weren’t very talented but worked hard tended to do better than students who were talented but didn’t work hard. Duckworth wanted to find out exactly how effort related to success. She came up with a profile for studying grit, and one of the first places she tested it was at my alma mater, the United States Military Academy, during Beast Barracks, the difficult time for cadets in their first summer.
She discovered that cadets who had the most grit were the ones who made it through, not necessarily the ones with the highest cognitive ability.
It turns out grit comes in handy for money matters as well. Today, I want to share with you my top 10 principles of financial grit:
- Be honest with yourself about the value you deliver to your employer. Many people feel that they’re worth the salary attached to their job title. Instead, focus on what you really have that’s valuable to the world and you’ll eventually get paid that amount.
- Set aside time to keep learning. Early in your adult life, you enter the school of “hard knocks,” where you have to create your own learning environment and take extra time every week to keep getting better at your craft. Most of that takes place outside a classroom.
- Persist in the face of financial failure. When you’re out there pursuing your career, you’re going to run into financial failure eventually. How quickly can you recover and learn from that experience?
- Accept a lower amount of money for a future payoff. It’s not unusual to take a pay cut to position yourself for a much higher future payoff in your job or profession. Always keep the long-term view in mind.
- Focus on your ultimate purpose. Peter Diamandis calls this your moonshot—what were you put here on Earth to do? That’s where your passion and desire come from.
- Never lose hope. In his book about Holocaust victims, Man’s Search for Meaning, author Victor Frankl found that those who gave up hope while in the terrible prison camps tended to perish, and those who maintained hope generally lived.
- Listen to your inner voice. If you sense deep down that a decision or path you’re on doesn’t seem right, listen to your subconscious. Change course and get yourself pointed in the right direction.
- Ignore the crowd. Follow your gut and pursue what seems right to you—not what seems most popular today.
- Make hard choices even when the wrong ones are so easy to make.
- Don’t be a rugged individual. Strategic coach Dan Sullivan talks about entrepreneurs who are rugged individuals and try to do it all on their own. But, we’re much better when other people help us out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
These principles have been very helpful to me, and I hope you’ll find them useful for building wealth and having a fulfilling life that you live on your terms—not anyone else’s. Grit will get you there.
Until next time, enjoy. Gary