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Want Your Startup To Succeed? You Need Grit. These are the hallmarks of a successful entrepreneur. Things won't always go your way, but you need to keep on pushing anyway.

By Miles Kubheka

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You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


At some point in your life and in your business you are going to fail. It's inevitable. If given a choice I would take failing earlier rather than later, but there are pros and cons for both. The biggest advantage of failing early is that you know at the beginning whether you are on the right path. The con, however, is that most people quit on their first failure.

Failing later is more expensive, as you may have invested time and money into the wrong venture. And because you have invested so much time and money, you're likely to throw good money after bad money. There are advantages of failing later though, in that it builds a level of confidence in your abilities early on.

Surviving the pitfalls

If failure is inevitable whether it's early or later, what does one need to survive it? Americans have a word for it: Grit. Grit is the combination of passion and perseverance. Grit will trump skill or talent any day.

Skill and talent without passion and perseverance will only take you so far. Passion is basically energy. It's the energy that pushes you to work harder than anyone else. True passion makes it easier to do what you do simply because you love what you do.

Passion, like energy, can sometimes run low, and this is where perseverance comes in. Perseverance is the ability to keep pushing against all adversity. If passion is energy, perseverance is stamina. It is the staying power.

Steve Jobs once said in an interview that entrepreneurship is so damn hard that it is irrational. He said no sane person would put himself or herself through such hardship. This is why so many businesses fail even when they have the brightest and most talented people at the helm.

The real differentiator

Grit is the differentiator between who makes it and who quits. So if this is a known factor, and failure is inevitable, it stands to reason that you should start a business in an area or sector that you are passionate about.

I've found that not having a plan B helps to maintain motivation and is a great source of perseverance. Another way to have perseverance is the ability to see in your mind's eye the end goal. If you stay focused on the end goal you do not feel the short-term pain. The battle is won in the mind.

Miles Kubheka

Founder & Owner: Vuyo's Brand

Miles Kubheka is a trailblazing public speaker, Vuyopreneur and gastronomist. He is the founder, owner, and believer behind the renowned Vuyo’s brand

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