One of my goals this year is to read a book every month. I used to be a voracious reader, but life intervened and it seems like ages ago that I had time to really hunker down and read. To hold myself to this goal, I’m participating in the book club that’s part of the College of Confidence and for the month of July we read “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth.

This book was well timed for me. As I work to shift careers and grow this blog and related businesses, I’m well served by grit. Here’s a Ted talk Ms Duckworth did on the topic:

The first chapter of her riveting book is appropriately titled “Showing Up.” It’s something I constantly remind myself to do. Throughout her book, Duckworth talks about the importance of doing hard things- of only quitting at an obvious end point, not after a struggle. She maintains it’s OK to quit eventually, but at the end of a season or other breaking point. Your grit matters.

I love what she gets into in chapter three- ‘Effort Counts Twice.” She includes a graph outlining the following idea: Talent x Effort= Skill and Skill x Effort= achievement.” Effort counts twice. She also stresses the following: ” Many of us, it seems, quit what we start far too early and far too often. Even more than the effort a gritty person puts in on a single day, what matters is that they wake up the next day, and the next, ready to get on that treadmill and keep going.”

That line really hit home with me. As I work to grow my Beautycounter business, my partnership with WIN Worldwide and offer consulting services to other entrepreneurs and local businesses, I’m reminded that continuously showing up and making an effort is important and will pay off. I can grow my achievements though continuous effort. My effort and attitude are just as, if not more, important than my initial talent. I can grow and learn and become even better if I continue to make an effort.

I also love the image on page 60 of passion as a compass (as opposed to a firework). The idea that it takes time to build, but will guide you on a winding road to where you ultimately want to be. I’ve often struggled with the idea that we’re supposed to know from a young age exactly what our life work is going to be. I’ve learned over the years that I’m passionate about connecting people. To each other, to themselves, to things that will help them lead fuller, more engaged lives. My time in the ski industry as an instructor and manager ultimately boiled down to that- not to teaching skiing or snowboarding, but rather teaching PEOPLE how to ski or snowboard.

It’s reassuring too that your grit can grow- through interest, practice, purpose and hope (p. 91), in that order, you can grow your grit from the inside out. By showing up and trying to better than you did the day before, your grit will grow. Your engagement in your work will grow. Your success will grow.

Sometimes all you need is someone to get you started on the right road. There’s a great chapter on Parenting for Grit beginning on page 199, followed by a fascinating chapter on the importance of follow through with after school activities and success in the future. Duckworth stresses that the culture you surround yourself with- the people who inspire and push you, increase your grittiness. They help you grow instead of quit. They shape your success. I’d love to be that person for you, or to chat further about this fascinating book- reach out and let’s get this conversation started!

If you’re looking to understand a little more about yourself- to understand what it takes to push yourself and your business to the next level- this is a great read!