11 Signs You Have the Grit You Need To Succeed



There are a ton of qualities that can help you succeed, and the more carefully a quality has been studied, the more you know it’s worth your time and energy.

Angela Lee Duckworth was teaching seventh grade when she noticed that the material wasn’t too advanced for any of her students. They all had the ability to grasp the material if they put in the time and effort. Her highest performing students weren’t those who had the most natural talent; they were the students who had that extra something that motivated them to work harder than everyone else.

Angela grew fascinated by this “extra something” in her students and, since she had a fair amount of it herself, she quit her teaching job so that she could study the concept while obtaining a graduate degree in psychology at UPenn.

Her study, which is ongoing, has already yielded some interesting findings. She’s analyzed a bevy of people to whom success is important: students, military personnel, salespeople, and spelling bee contestants, to name a few. Over time, she has come to the conclusion that the majority of successful people all share one critical thing–grit.

Grit is that “extra something” that separates the most successful people from the rest. It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel in order to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.

Developing grit is all about habitually doing the things that no one else is willing to do. There are quite a few signs that you have grit, and if you aren’t doing the following on a regular basis, you should be.

You have to make mistakes, look like an idiot, and try again, without even flinching. In a recent study at the College of William and Mary, they interviewed over 800 entrepreneurs and found that the most successful among them tend to have two critical things in common: They’re terrible at imagining failure and they tend not to care what other people think of them. In other words, the most successful entrepreneurs put no time or energy into stressing about their failures as they see failure as a small and necessary step in the process of reaching their goals.

You have to fight when you already feel defeated. A reporter once asked Muhammad Ali how many sit-ups he does every day. He responded, “I don’t count my sit-ups, I only start counting when it starts hurting, when I feel pain, cause that’s when it really matters.” The same applies to success in the workplace. You always have two choices when things begin to get tough: you can either overcome an obstacle and grow in the process or let it beat you. Humans are creatures of habit. If you quit when things get tough, it gets that much easier to quit the next time. On the other hand, if you force yourself to push through it, the grit begins to grow in you.

You have to make the calls you’re afraid to make. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do because we know they’re for the best in the long-run: fire someone, cold call a stranger, pull an all-nighter to get the company server back up, or scrap a project and start over. It’s easy to let the looming challenge paralyze you, but the most successful people know that in these moments, the best thing they can do is to get started right away. Every moment spent dreading the task subtracts time and energy from actually getting it done. People that learn to habitually make the tough calls stand out like flamingos in a flock of seagulls.

You have to keep your emotions in check. Negative emotions will challenge your grit every step of the way. While it’s impossible not to feel your emotions, it’s completely under your power to manage them effectively and to keep yourself in a position of control. When you let your emotions overtake your ability to think clearly, it’s easy to lose your resolve. A bad mood can make you lash out or stray from your chosen direction just as easily as a good mood can make you overconfident and impulsive.

You have to trust your gut. There’s a fine line between trusting your gut and being impulsive. Trusting your gut is a matter of looking at decisions from every possible angle, and when the facts don’t present a clear alternative, you believe in your ability to choose; you go with what looks and feels right.

You have to give more than you get in return. There’s a famous Stanford experiment where an administrator leaves a child in a room with a marshmallow for 15 minutes, telling the child that she’s welcome to eat the marshmallow, but if she can wait until the experimenter gets back without eating it, she will get a second marshmallow. The children that were able to wait until the experimenter returned experienced better outcomes in life, including higher SAT scores, greater career success, and even lower body mass indexes. The point being that delay of gratification and patience are essential to success. People with grit know that real results only materialize when you put in the time and forego instant gratification.

You have to lead when no one else follows. It’s easy to set a direction and believe in yourself when you have support, but the true test of grit is how well you maintain your resolve when nobody else believes in what you’re doing. People with grit believe in themselves no matter what and they stay the course until they win people over to their way of thinking.

You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that exceed expectations. Successful people find a way to say yes and still honor their existing commitments. They know the best way to stand out from everyone else is to outwork them. For this reason, they have a tendency to over-deliver, even when they over promise.

You have to focus on the details even when it makes your mind numb.Nothing tests your grit like mind-numbing details, especially when you’re tired. The more people with grit are challenged, the more they dig in and welcome that challenge, and numbers and details are no exception to this.

You have to be kind to people who have been rude to you. When people treat you poorly, it’s tempting to stoop to their level and return the favor. People with grit don’t allow others to walk all over them, but that doesn’t mean they’re rude to them, either. Instead, they treat rude and cruel people with the same kindness they extend to anyone else, because they won’t allow another person’s negativity to bring them down.

You have to be accountable for your actions, no matter what.
People are far more likely to remember how you dealt with a problem than they are how you created it in the first place. By holding yourself accountable, even when making excuses is an option, you show that you care about results more than your image or ego.

Bringing It All Together

Grit is as rare as it is important. The good news is any of us can get grittier with a little extra focus and effort.


Thanks to Dr. Travis Bradberry for Post!

Author of #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and president of TalentSmart, world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence.


The Sweet Auburn Experience Announces 24-Hour Party for Peace on Historic Auburn Avenue

Today, to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s lifelong commitment to nonviolence, The Sweet Auburn Experience Announces their 24-Hour Party for Peace, in association with the International Core DJsHoodrich DJs, Sirius/XM – Hip Hop Nation, Dead End Hip Hop and more at the Historic Royal Peacock on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta GA. This event will be held during Black History Month –  February 27-February 28th 2014 with a full schedule of entertainment aimed at bringing unity within the fight against violence in the African-American community and promoting the prevention of homicides against young African American males in this country.

The Sweet Auburn Experience to Launch with Human Rights Event

We are Proud to Announce the 1st Event of the Sweet Auburn Experience!


Less than a month ago, a young dynamic group of professionals launched a social media campaign to present a series of events during Black History Month aimed at saving Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue. On February 1, 2014, the Sweet Auburn Experience launches with “Justice for Girls:  A Sweet Auburn Journey to Prevent Child Sex Trafficking”, an exciting 1-day adventure bringing awareness to this very serious social emergency and providing life changing opportunities for young girls.

A team of concerned community groups including the Sweet Auburn ExperienceSCLC’s Justice for Girls initiative, Mamie Till Mobley Foundation and the Apex Museum among others will unite to present girls, ages 10 – 17 and from diverse demographic and geographic backgrounds, to a vast array of historic, cultural, ethnic and social themes as an avenue to help tackle current problems that expose our young girls to child sex trafficking.

Child sex trafficking and exploitation is a major human rights violation affecting more than 100,000 Americans under the age of 18 in the United States. The average teen is lured, coerced, or forced into this billion-dollar sex trade between 12 – 14 years of age.  Many victims are runaway girls who have been sexually abused or vulnerable to self-defeating behaviors and environments.  Atlanta, Georgia, along with other metropolitan cities, has been identified as a major hub for this underground world, which is responsible for the exploitation, demoralization, and theft of innocence of our young girls.

Components of the Justice for Girls: Sweet Auburn Journey event include walking and guided tours of significant historic locations on Auburn Avenue and surrounding areas, informative discussion sessions, and an engaging lunch session among many other planned activities.

Victoria Pannell, a 15-year-old Emmett Till Ambassador and staunch youth advocate against human trafficking, who is also participating in this event, states, “Trafficking is so lucrative because you can sell a girl over and over again but drugs you can only sell once.”  Watch Victoria’s PSA for FairGirls.org

In the coming days, the Sweet Auburn Experience will announce several more events in the areas of Civil and Human Rights, Technology, Business, Education and more and are urging the community to get involved and join in these efforts as they strive to make a difference through their various initiatives.

For more information, to join the Sweet Auburn Experience, and/or to become a sponsor of this event, Please Visitwww.sweetauburnexperience.com  or Email: info@sweetauburnexperience.com 


10 Day Campaign Countdown: Why It’s Not EASY Giving Back and “Doing Good”


10 Day Countdown: The Good, Bad & Ugly

So, yes I had planned to write to you everyday from the beginning of the Sweet Auburn Experience (SAX) campaign which launched right before Christmas (bad idea)…but there was no time and very little to talk about, almost from the very beginning I found  that giving back and “Doing Good” isn’t quite as easy as it sounds.

The GOOD, BAD & UGLY of SAX with 10 Days to Go in the Campaign:


Well let me start by saying it’s always a GOOD thing to give back no matter the outcome! And many good things have come from launching this campaign. We’ve found ways to incorporate many causes and initiatives within the Sweet Auburn Experience – things that will change and affect the lives of many people and a whole community throughout this campaign and beyond.

I’ve been immensely uplifted by the words of encouragement of my friends and family, people in the community, the many business associates I’ve worked with throughout the years and definitely from everyone on the SAX Team.

What is also GOOD is that I’ve found that ultimately most people enjoy giving back and supporting the thousands of great causes out there – which can be very overwhelming in itself – so we’ve gotten a lot of “We Applaud Your Efforts” – which is nice, but ultimately people simply ACT on causes, ideas and initiatives that MOVE them.


Unfortunately, what moves me to action may not be what moves YOU. I have to admit it is difficult when others don’t share your passion for your cause – and I know, it’s not like people don’t care – they do, but maybe just not enough to be moved to action!

With no action….No matter how much GOOD you want to do the BAD thing is….you will have a big problem! After all, it can be expensive and very time-consuming to do GOOD!

I mean, who pays for the website so people can see the full vision of your passion, who designs your logo and promotional outreach for the folks who don’t know about your website, who pays the many people on your team who share your passion but can’t afford to work for free? For that matter….how do you pay yourself when all of your time is devoted to making something GOOD happen with no guarantee on a return.

It’s also BAD when you work in the entertainment industry and see entertainers (who you know) spend $5,000 on a bottle  at a club and shirk when you ask them to spend $200 to help save a community.

(If you’re reading this said  “entertainer”… I’m still waiting on the call back!)

I’m gonna leave this alone for now…. it may be worthy of it’s own blog post!


Trying to make GOOD things happen can sometimes be UGLY.

I’ve lost a friend or two trying to put together the Sweet Auburn Experience Campaign – often times you are at the mercy of those working for your cause since they are working for free or working because they are your friend…and this situation can cause a lot of loud talking, long texts in all caps, and many unanswered phone calls that have yet to be returned to this day!

Misunderstandings and hard decisions about the direction of the campaign were the very first obstacles of launching SAX. But sometimes you must weigh appeasing a friend with fighting a cause…this meant a few sleepless nights for me but ultimately you have to let it go for GOOD of the campaign and hope that your friend(s) will understand.

(Hey”friends”! If you’re out there….I miss you!) 

Did I mention sleepless nights – Well, since funding is an issue, staffing is an issue… so much of the work falls on a very few. With 10 days left, I can tell you that we’re NOT SLEEPING – if you were to see me right now…..as I’m writing this…UGLY!!

But I will end this on a GOOD Note: We’d like to welcome and thank our many new partners, friends and associates who have joined the campaign and are helping to make the Sweet Auburn Experience happen despite our obstacles!

Please visit Sweet Auburn Experience to find out what we are doing and if you find yourself “moved” in the next 10 days…Join Us….your small contribution will go a long way towards the many causes we are supporting.

Tomorrow I will tell you guys about a few of our events! Stay Tuned!

[Sad Note: As I’m writing this blog post, I just learned of the passing of my dear friend, business colleague and fellow publicist – Dee Dee Cocheta. I thought about not posting today about the campaign out of respect for Dee Dee, but then I could hear her saying, “Are You Crazy – I taught you better than that!” She was there for me when I moved to Atlanta and launched my youth program but knew no one in the city, she believed in me and she helped me even though she was struggling herself. She never stopped believing in the good of all people and never stopped inspiring people even in the last few weeks of her battle with cancer…..even when it seemed there was no more hope – she remained positive and continued to fight, and today…SHE WON! She is now resting in eternal peace! Thank You Dee Dee I’m so proud to have called you my friend. Keep Shining Mama…I hope one day my light will shine as bright as yours! RIP]

Campaign Launched!

Yesterday, myself along with several other super professionals in various industries launched the SWEET AUBURN EXPERIENCE campaign!


Setting Up the Campaign – It actually took almost a year to decide to actually move forward with this campaign (my first major campaign that is not client-related) – but not because it wasn’t needed but because of everything involved in launching a global campaign……..the required daily motivation, the necessary research, the enormous amount of organizing, the humbling task of asking for contributions and support, the trials and tribulations of building the right team, the fear of failure, the fear of success, the lack of sleep, the positive attitude your supposed to always have, the unfortunate lack of a social life and then the ACTUAL work involved for success!

So basically….super exciting and emotionally draining at the same damn time!

But I read an article about the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in the Country and right there on the list was Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue –  the place many people consider to be the home of the civil rights movement, it’s also the birth and resting place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the community was once known as the center of African-American leadership and so much more!

As a publicist, my first inclination, after reading the article, was to spread the word and TELL everyone about Auburn Ave’s situation – but as a young African-American woman who has benefitted enormously from the struggle and sacrifices of those who fought during the civil rights/human rights movement and as a female business owner in this community….I simply felt something should be DONE!

So here we are!

And I’ve decided to share my journey with all of you….the ups, the downs, the successes and yes, the failures (hope that will be the shortest paragraph!) – but anyway, check out the campaign!!!

I’m open to your thoughts and ideas on how to make the Experience Sweeter!

You Can Go Directly to the Campaign and/or any of our social media sites in the document below!

And if you’re able to support the campaign in any way….I’m sincerely thanking you RIGHT NOW!

Thank you!