If you’ve been a working adult long enough, you’ve been managed by great leaders and not-so-great leaders. Most often, the best leaders were approachable, practical, and out-of-the-box thinkers.

And I bet if you really thought about it, you’d consider them gritty.

Whether you are part of a team, in management, or an entrepreneur, having grit is going to set you apart from the herd.

Being able to withstand criticism (super important when you’re in our industry), get creative, and solve problems that others can’t or won’t solve will catapult you to new heights, leaving the others back on the ground to watch in amazement.

No matter how you earn your income, the goal is to rise to the top of your market and command the lead wherever you can. Here’s how having grit matters in your professional life:

Increase ability to work smart, not hard

The grittiest people know that outcomes are not tied to time, they are tied to effort. It isn’t about how much time you put into a project; the key is to work smart. Grit discovers ways to increase productivity, identify key concepts, and discover missing aspects that others overlook. A prime example of this would be Timothy Ferris and his block-busting best-seller The Four Hour Work Week.  I also really like The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber for thinking about working smart and not hard.


Increased know, like, and trust factor

Let’s be honest; people who get stuff done have the respect they are due. Being a dependable leader that can say “yes” to any challenge is going to rise to the top. Fortune favors the bold is a Latin proverb reminding us that the spoils go to the ones who take risks, do more, and stand out. This is definitely a product of grit and especially important for musicians. Club owners won’t hire you, other musicians won’t want to play with you and you won’t develop an audience if you don’t have KLT factor built up.

More promotions and raises

Generally speaking, unless you work for a union with scheduled raises and promotions, getting a salary increase or more responsibility comes from effort. In this competitive market, it takes more to stand out and break free from the crowds. Having grit and being able to do what others can’t or won’t will ensure you are front-and-center when it’s time for raises and promotions. This applies to musicians too. When you have grit you’re more likely to ask for what you really want compensation-wise and stick to your boundaries.

More stamina and problem solving skills

Projects oftentimes require early mornings, late nights, juggling family, and multiple pressures. An entrepreneur breaking from side-hustle to full-time independence is going to have to endure long hours to accomplish their goals and may have to work two jobs at once. Grit develops the stamina it takes to commit to the long term gain while suffering the short-term pain. Taking risks and failing results in learning valuable lessons that create excellent problem-solving skills.

Earning income is a necessary part of life. Making as much money as possible with minimal effort is ideal. Rising to the top of your profession and being seen as a competent leader with an outstanding reputation is a worthy goal. Grit is the secret ingredient to an outstanding career.

Here’s a few books we love about Grit if you’d like to continue your learning.