Asian Journal - - WORLD - Ea­monn Percy

Grow­ing a busi­ness can be a tough grind. Like any sig­nif­i­cant project, it’s the start­ing that’s easy but the fin­ish­ing that’s hard. Pick your favourite project: par­ent­ing, health, wealth, ed­u­ca­tion or busi­ness, and it’s the same model of an ea­ger start, slow climb and mov­ing goal posts to the fin­ish. In the end, any­thing worth do­ing is very, very hard, which is why so many peo­ple quit be­fore ac­com­plish­ing true great­ness. They run out of steam and let the ob­sta­cles over­come them, rather than over­com­ing the ob­sta­cles.

While there are a num­ber of fac­tors that go into mak­ing a per­son per­sist un­til they suc­ceed, I be­lieve the most im­por­tant fac­tor is a high de­gree of for­ti­tude or men­tal tough­ness. For­ti­tude is the abil­ity to gen­er­ate men­tal courage or strength, in the face of a dif­fi­cult, dan­ger­ous or ex­treme ad­ver­sity. It’s grit, re­solve or back­bone. It’s the will­ing­ness to go be­yond fear into a state of the un­known, with con­fi­dence. It’s not be­ing reck­less. Rather it’s fac­ing fear with the in­ner con­vic­tion that you will suc­ceed.

To build for­ti­tude in my life, I al­ways start by re­mind­ing my­self of my duty and pur­pose; which is to ful­fil my per­sonal po­ten­tial in or­der to cre­ate abun­dance for those I care most, my fam­ily. By re­mind­ing my­self of why I am pur­su­ing a goal, it cre­ates a higher call­ing that makes my ob­sta­cles seem smaller in com­par­i­son. In ad­di­tion, this ap­proach length­ens my time hori­zon, since my pur­pose is multi-gen­er­a­tional, and re­duces the time­line of the ob­sta­cle. For in­stance, if the goal is to stay healthy to role model be­hav­iour for your fam­ily over a gen­er­a­tion, how dif­fi­cult does it then be­come to work­out for only 45 min­utes ev­ery day. Re­mind your­self of your own pur­pose.

The next thing I do is to con­stantly build re­serves of for­ti­tude when I don’t need them, so they are there when I do need them. I achieve this by test­ing or chal­leng­ing my­self reg­u­larly, par­tic­u­larly if I start to get too com­fort­able or I back-slide.

Fi­nally, I try to per­sist well be­yond the ra­tio­nal or rea­son­able level for a busi­ness project. I do this be­cause I have learned over my ca­reer that truly great busi­nesses and busi­ness lead­ers are not rea­son­able. They can’t be, since the busi­ness world is un­rea­son­able and the changes ir­ra­tional. Th­ese great en­trepreneurs think in ex­po­nen­tial and ac­cel­er­ated terms, and change their world around them, rather than be­ing changed by it. I do this by adopt­ing big goals, as­so­ci­at­ing with ex­cep­tional peo­ple, push­ing for ex­cel­lence when it’s re­quired, and by try­ing to find an un­con­ven­tional way around or through an ob­sta­cle. While it does not al­ways suc­ceed, the ef­fort it­self build for­ti­tude and re­solve.

Don’t try to change your world in one day. Rather fo­cus on build­ing for­ti­tude, or in­ner tough­ness, which will serve you dur­ing dif­fi­cult times, and be an in­spi­ra­tion for those you care for.

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