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Founders' Grit: If You Don't Have It, You Can't Make It Know where to focus and delegate smart, try to find solutions, learn to handle disappointments, and build a strong network

By Devika Majumder

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A few days back, I met a startup founder. After a little chit chat, he told me that he would quit soon as he could not take failures anymore. He was frustrated - his product was not moving in the market, and he was about to exhaust all the money. And the worst part is, his employees started to leave sensing that the company wouldn't survive. Well, this is the situation when quitting seems to be the only option for many. Right?

No, you are wrong. My friends, quitters never make it. To be successful in today world, when 90% startups fail, one needs to have founders' grit.

What is Founders' Grit?

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word "grit' - courage and resolve; strength of character.

And founders' grit is nothing but courage and resolve of a founder to make it happen.

If you look back in the history of successful entrepreneurs of today, be it Jeff Bezos of Amazon or Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, most entrepreneurs had gone through lots of hardship and frustration before they achieved success.

So, founders' grit is the most important characteristic, business owners must have.

How to Develop Founders' Grit

It is not like that one is always born with founders' grit. In fact, you can develop it.

Here are five strategies that can help:

1- Motivate Yourself

Needless to say, passion is the "fire in the belly' that keeps us going. You have founded something because you are passionate about it. Can passion fade? Can day-to-day struggles make one too frustrated to continue?

According to a research published in the Journal Of Management Studies,

"Entrepreneurs' identity centrality does not change over time, whereas intense positive feelings for founding decrease over time."

That being said, you need to motivate yourself time to time to keep the fire burning in your belly. When you are feeling low, think about the reason why you started. Your business is your baby, and you need to nurture it.

Doing meditation and yoga can also help you build inner strength to fight odds.

2- Know Where to Focus and Delegate "smart'

Sometimes, wearing too many hats drains energy and makes us feel burnout, which eventually triggers the feeling of quitting. Indeed, it is your business and you are solely responsible for nurturing it. But it never means that you should spend your time and energy on each and every task in your company.

So you should know where you should focus and learn the art of delegation. This way, you will have more time for growth-driving activities.

3- Brainstorm, then Work on Solutions

What separates successful businessmen from their failed counterparts is the attitude of former ones towards business issues.

All successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common - a strong will to find solutions to their problems. So, relax, brainstorm and look for solutions.

Make it a habit to flex your creative muscles when the going gets tough.

4- Learn to Handle Disappointments

True leaders give the credit of success to their teams and take the ownership of their teams' failures.

If you really want to develop founders' grit, you will have to learn to handle disappointments with positivity and never let the "victim' feeling creep in.

5- Strong Networking

As an entrepreneur, there is nothing more true than when said "Your net worth equals your network".

Connect with people who can add value and give you workable advice on any business roadblocks.


For a founder, If you want to make your startup a success, you should develop founders' grit. Without having it, you can't make it.

You should make motivation a habit, know where to focus and delegate smart, try to find solutions, learn to handle disappointments, and build a strong network. Doing these things will help you keep going in tough times.

As Winston Churchill said,

"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts."

Devika Majumder

Founder and CEO, Youngpreneurs India

A business visionary and a serial entrepreneur with a deep technical background and has a proven talent for identifying core business needs, developing sustainable operating infrastructures, and delivering measurable results.Started her own consulting firm right after graduation and then while on the consulting jobs, founder mobileSPA – the first mobile day spa concept in the US. She has been featured in Wall Street Journal. Presently, she is spearheading ‘Youngpreneurs’ a strategic initiative to introduce entrepreneurial education to high schoolers in India.
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