The 5 Principles of Financial Grit

Key Takeaways

  • When it comes to success in life, research shows grit is even more important than talent or intelligence is.
  • People with financial grit have a clear understanding of the value they deliver to those who pay them.
  • Financially gritty people also commit to lifelong learning, bounce back from money setbacks, always focus on their ultimate purpose and make tough decisions.

Some of you may recognize the name Angela Duckworth. She’s the University of Pennsylvania psychology professor who researched the impact that effort has on success. During a visit to West Point Military Academy during its Beast Barracks for new freshman, she found that those who had “grit” were the ones most likely to be successful. Not necessarily the smartest ones or the most talented ones—but those who had grit.

When it comes to being successful with your money, grit comes into play as well. Today, I want to share with you five principles for financial grit:

  1. Tell yourself the truth about the value you deliver. I call this the “American Idol Syndrome.” If you’ve seen the show, you’ve often seen contestants with terrible voices who are convinced that they’re phenomenal singers and then are shocked when they don’t make the cut. That reminds me of workers who are put into roles with certain pay scales and they’re not really up to the task. You’re being paid to deliver value for your employer (or clients) and you need to be very clear about the value you’re delivering.
  2. Set time aside to learn. There are at least 40 hours a week just for work. Then you start the school of hard knocks in which you must keep current with advances and techniques in your chosen field. If you’re a doctor who is 10 years out of medical school, for instance, 80 percent of what you learned in med school has changed. That’s happening in most fields and you need to keep up.
  3. Persistence in the face of financial failure. You’re going to have small financial failures over time. It’s just part of life, and you have to persist through those setbacks and never give up.
  4. Always focus on your ultimate purpose. Peter Diamandis, the renowned author, engineer and founder of the X Prize Foundation, frequently talks about your “moon shot.” That’s the thing that moves you forward—it’s your true purpose in life. How are you going to set yourself up to pursue your moon shot?
  5. Make the hard choices when the easy choices are so easy. Doing the right thing to get a good long-term result is often the harder route. But if you have grit, you’ll get through the hard periods and be better off in the long run.

Now being successful and attracting the right people, resources and opportunities will make a tremendous difference as you move forward in life. These principles will also help you make smart decisions about your money and build wealth over the long run. Experiment with these principles to see how they work best for you.

Until next time, enjoy.

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