Recently, while re-watching one of my all time favorites, 127 Hours by Danny Boyle, I realized that the lead character, though was an adventurer in the movie….but deep inside was an entrepreneur.
It showed an adventure junkie, Aron Ralston, being trapped under a boulder during one of his trips. He survived 127 hours stuck under that rock and finally got free after cutting his right arm off.
“Eeek….thats really gross!” Some of you might say.
But looking into it, Aron saw a problem, he was stuck without any food or water. He tried every single innovation to survive. If you have seen the movie, you will agree with me….he tried everything. He lived for five days without any form of sustenance. And when he saw no other way out, he took a blade and cut his hand off.
This movie is based on a true story! This actually happened.
And most of us would have given up if we were in Aron’s place. It takes a special form of guts and courage to make that bold a move. Aron knew what the repercussions would be. But he was willing to take a calculated risk. And in the end, he survived.
How You Respond To Problems…
Now, imagine a guy like Ralston. In an office working on an idea. He has problems…lack of funds, low on workforce, competitors blatantly copying his idea…how do think he would react to such problems. Would he sit back cowardly, waiting for the storm to pass….or would he go forth and get things done himself.
For a guy gutsy enough to cut his own arm off, I think the latter!
Grit is something that every entrepreneur needs to have. The “Grit dynamic” comes from several character traits: Intensity, toughness and a never-give-up, scrappy perseverance.
Aron had all of these traits. And not only him…most successful entrepreneurs have these traits. As an entrepreneur, you are always at war. Every day is a battle for survival, because the whole world is against you and the only resources at your disposal is your team and you yourself!
Grit, Every Entrepreneur Has It…
There are so many success stories out there. Most successful entrepreneurs have one trait in common as per my observation. They aren’t scared to get their hands dirty. Since they have to establish a business from scratch, they need to have the grit to pay the price for their dreams. This can lead them to take up odd jobs to make ends meet… make business deals they don’t really want to….fight everyday for survival.
While a normal working class employee usually works from 9 to 5, stays in an office, does as much is required to do and live his life securely, an entrepreneur has passion for his job. He is willing to stretch his hours and work for nights…. he is willing to take the risk of financial insecurity.
Employee’s aren’t concerned if the company makes a profit or a loss. For them its all about the monthly salary they make. And its fine to be that way. Most people lack the perseverance or grit required to survive the immense pressure you feel as a startup founder. Their startup is defined by their performance….profit and loss for a startup founder makes a substantial difference. Intensity and toughness are vital tools in the entrepreneur’s toolshed.
So, Are You An Entrepreneur?…
So before you are swayed by the startup storm that currently our country is going through, first look into yourself and ask…can I survive this.
Can I survive daily rejections?
Do I have what it takes to manage a company, even if I am low on cash?
Am I patient enough to wait for the good things in life?
Is my product/service/concept well planned enough to survive the market’s competition.
All this defines an entrepreneur….more than intelligence and hard work, it is the never say die attitude in times of trouble that defines them.
Every startup CEO of today is an Aron Ralston who was stuck between a rock and a hard place…and had the guts and sheer will power to take the tough decision and live with it!