+44 7393 450837

advice@adamfayed.com

Follow on

What is grit and does it contribute to financial and other forms of success?

One of the questions I get asked over and over again is what contributes the most to success.

In reality, there are countless others, but there can be no doubt that grit is one of the key qualities of successful people.

In this post, I will share some of my content from the Adam Fayed Podcast and Quora, related to success, grit, determination, smart and hard work.

If you want me to answer any questions on Quora or YouTube, or you are looking to invest, don’t hesitate to contact me or use the WhatsApp function below.

What are the 9 things stopping people from success?

In investing, what is the difference between successful and unsuccessful investors:

Why is quick (not rushed) decision making key for successful people?

Why is grit important?

Source: Quora

Firstly, what does grit actually mean? Other words and expressions for it could be:

  • Perseverance
  • A never say die attitude
  • Persistence
  • Courage and resolve; strength of character.
  • Conscientiousness and hard work.
  • Resilience – the ability to bounce back from failure and problems.

What would be some of the opposites of gritty people?

  • Entitlement. “I am smart and got a great degree so deserve this and that”.
  • People that give up at the first signs of resistance
  • People that don’t take calculated risks
  • Those that blame others for their problems – politicians, “the rich”, immigrants or whatever.
  • Laziness
  • Sometimes complacency after success has been achieved previously.

These qualities are all essential to success in almost any domain.

Think about any sport you like. I am sure we can all think about players who failed despite loads of natural talent.

Others have minimal levels of talent but have the right mental abilities.

The same is true in business, investing and life in general. Success isn’t a one-way process.

Most people only see the end result. Few see the work before that which can involve a lot of risks, failures and late nights:

main qimg dd959a5a6c5c2f4f86899e6bf0ba0cbb

Many people give up too early, often just before they will succeed.

I have lost count of the number of people that have told me that they “almost gave up” on something, but now they are considered industry leaders.

Often the difference between success and failure is small. I would say grit, alongside focus, is the most important ingredient of success, if it is applied in a street smart way.

Working hard and smart in a gritty and focused way is perfect, as such a person won’t give up too easily, nor work hard on the wrong things.

Those that lack grit often suffer. We see that all the time with the inherited rich that haven’t had to struggle like the first generation.

They are seldom as good, and often times they lose the money by the third generation.

What mentality prevents most people from becoming successful in business?

Source: Quora

The biggest ones are:

  1. Risk aversion. Being too petrified to take chances
  2. The opposite end of the extreme – not being worried by any risks including “ruin risks”. In other words risks that could bankrupt you.
  3. Thinking it is all about the idea when it is about execution.
  4. Not caring as much about expenditure as revenue. A simple example. If person A generates $200,000 from free techniques, that is superior to somebody who generates $1,000,000 of revenue, spending $900,000 in the process. It might not be as good for your ego, but it is more effective
  5. Not pivoting and diversifying when you have the chance. Most people wait until a crisis to do that. A great example is covid. Those people that went online years ago have benefitted from this year. Those that reacted well have often saved their business, but they were still reactive. Those that didn’t react well or at all have gone out of business in many cases.
  6. Not having private investments because quote “ i can make 30% a year from my own business”. You can until you can’t. Many people said that in countries like Tunisia, Egypt and before covid! Again, people wait, and then react to events. It is better to be ahead of the game and ask yourself the right questions such as “what would happen if there was a revolution in my country?” Could I deal with revenues which are 80% lower? People don’t ask themselves questions if they think it is unlikely to happen
  7. Not being willing to do what others won’t
main qimg 0801e71d466809044cfd269a0759d964

8. Not being willing to take yourself out of your comfort zone.

9. Overcomplicating. Ultimately, if you keep costs relatively low compared to your revenues, then you can have a workable business.

10. Finding reasons not to do things. It is always possible to think negatively or positively.

11. Focusing entirely on competitors and therefore not trying to break some industry norms.

12. Caring too much about what others think and trying to be all things to all people.

13. Not learning how to leverage social media, the internet and taking advice on that.

Why aren’t hard working people rich?

Source: Quora

Think about something here. Who do you think has more chance of making money in 2019?

The person who makes 200 cold calls;

main qimg 3a961d9e7e5d728d6b7c69cb100d5f31

Or the person who uses new technologies, like Facebook Ads, to get access to millions of people a month?

main qimg 466604c81f62551affd7336254e49f81

That is just one simple example. The fact is, working hard, can’t be made into scale.

Sure, we can work more hours, but nobody can work 22 hours a day, forever.

It is illegal in most countries anyway. The point is, working hard can be important.

But so is working smart. Scale. Focusing on what your money to earn you, and not just what it can buy you.

I still think working hard can be important to success, but it is only one component of many, especially in the digital age.

What do you wish more people understood about success, how to achieve it, and how to maintain it?

Source: Quora

The main ones are:

  1. You only need one big hit. One home run. As a private business owner, you only need to be right at least once in your entire career to do well. Almost like a one hit wonder in music. Of course, you ideally want to be right more than once in a big way.
main qimg 843e52a004a06c1c0f14aaf8924e268a

2.You can get wealth – on a middle-income

3. You can get very wealthy – on a upper-middle or high income, especially if it is scalable, in addition to decent spending and investment habits. In fact, probably at least one person in your network is worth 5m-10m if you live in a developed country. The kind of person who is 555–60, an engineer or manager, and has invested from a young age.

4. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – but breaking industry, cultural and social norms can help you succeed

5. Success is different things for different people – you need to define what you want

6. Simplicity beats complexity – simple moves can be very effective. Simple example. Let’s say you are relatively high income. Changing your residency could save you a fortunate in taxes and sometimes cost of living.

7. Be careful who you surround yourself with – it is much harder to become successful if you get divorced 3–4 times and make the wrong friends.

8. Be open. Number 7 notwithstanding, you still need to be open to others. Don’t be naive and don’t be untrusting. Have a middle ground. Most people are more trustworthy than you might think but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful about who you associate with. You are often influenced by the people you surround yourself with. So if you surround yourself with pessimistic people, you are more likely to become like them

9. Focus. Focus on 2–3 key things

10. Persistence. Beats patience. Sometimes you do need to be impatient for success whilst playing the long game.

Also don’t take yourself too seriously. Today’s scandal is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper.

Unless you are Coca Cola, Warren Buffett or another huge name, you don’t even have a reputation.

When you are 20 you care about what everybody thinks, when you are 40 you stop caring and when you are 60 you realise nobody cares in the first place as goes the expression.

Don’t assume social media has changed that fact.

What are some similarities among the personalities of rich/successful people?

Source: Quora

There are some commonalities, even though everybody is different. Rich and successful people are more likely to:

  1. Say no. By saying no they can achieve success in many domains; financial success. Personal success. Spiritual success. It is harder to achieve success if you are a people pleaser
  2. By the same token, they are open-minded about saying yes. Ask any recruiter, are senior people easier to call than junior people? They will say yes. The reason? Junior people just think about short-term. Senior people see the benefits of collecting information, even if they eventually say no.
  3. They take personal responsibility
  4. They are open-minded
  5. They focus on long-term
  6. They save and invest from a young age
  7. They are ethical as they know that if they want to make money in the long-term, they need to be moral
  8. They aren’t obsessed with fairness. They can shallow their pride
  9. They aren’t complacent
  10. They play the numbers game
  11. They don’t just follow their parents or society blindly
  12. They take calculated risks – whereas most poorer people have `loss aversion`. `Better be safe than sorry`

How can I become financially successful?

Source: Quora

If you want to get good at maths, what’s the first step? Times tables, right?

If you want to get good at a language, what’s the first step? Well, the basic grammar.

If you want to get good at a sport, what do you need? Basics, like pass and move.

The same in finance. A lot of people forget that getting good at the boring, basic things, is essential.

This quote sums it up:

main qimg 2b101c40f417bd2b5080323411ff78e8

In finance you need to get the basics right:

  1. If you are running your own business, make sure your revenues exceed sales
  2. If you have an salary or an income from your own business, make sure your personal expenses are below your personal income
  3. Make sure you are investing your money to make money, and not just sitting in the bank
  4. Keep investing for long-term compounding

You see it all the time. People who have these sophisticated business plans.

Grande plans. That is all well and good, and in fact, I think having very ambitious goals, can be good, as this book pointed out:

main qimg a816907d66440f0630c7062bc7a12b08

For example:

1.Make sure you are spending less than you earn, and then focus on earning more and spending less. Don’t try to focus on making $1m next year, if you are only making 50k now.

2. Want to sell online. Have a website first. A cheap, crap one. And then, once you are getting sales, spend a small percentage of that money, on improving. Not spending first in the hope it will get more.

Production before perfection. Simplicity before complexity. Once something is working well, you can then try to 10x. If something isn’t working at all, you need some results first.

So focusing on getting good at a small percentage of things, that can be monetize, and keeping it simple, can be the keys.

You only need 1 core skill to drive a decent income and 1 core skill (money management) to actually compound that skill.

If you don’t have a revenue-producing skill and a wealth enhancing skill, it is harder.

Some people only have 1, so they make loads of money, but never get wealthy.

Others have money management skills, but find it hard to hold down a job.

What advice would you give to less successful people?Adam Fayed·December 16, 2019Founder of Global Online Financial Advisory Firm 

Firstly, I would define what success is. What do they want? They might not be “less successful”, they might just not be setting the right goals.

Beyond that, I would remember this line: hard choices = easy life and easy choices = hard life.

At least long-term. If you are wiling to do things other people won’t do, you have a huge advantage.

Some examples:

  1. Investing from a young age, and not just focusing on today
  2. In business, doing anything to get ahead, whilst most people would never consider “putting themselves out there” by doing certain things on social media, or cold calling or anything needed to get ahead
  3. Not having that drink after work to celebrate or drawn your sorrows
  4. Do the hard things. Do the extraordinary things. Break industry and social norms. Don’t care if you are popular or unpopular. Just do your thing.

That applies to financial success, or any form of success. One of the best books I read was this one:

main qimg 1f8a9b04f649b819413007ff3859cdac

The book was written by a nurse, who worked at a nursing home.

One of the biggest regrets of the dying was caring about what others think.

So define your own success and do whatever you need to do, to get that success.

Don’t care about how society defines success, or your friends or family.

What advice would you give to less successful people?

Source: Quora

Firstly, I would define what success is. What do they want? They might not be “less successful”, they might just not be setting the right goals.

Beyond that, I would remember this line: hard choices = easy life and easy choices = hard life.

At least long-term. If you are wiling to do things other people won’t do, you have a huge advantage.

Some examples:

  1. Investing from a young age, and not just focusing on today
  2. In business, doing anything to get ahead, whilst most people would never consider “putting themselves out there” by doing certain things on social media, or cold calling or anything needed to get ahead
  3. Not having that drink after work to celebrate or drawn your sorrows
  4. Do the hard things. Do the extraordinary things. Break industry and social norms. Don’t care if you are popular or unpopular. Just do your thing.

That applies to financial success, or any form of success. One of the best books I read was this one:

main qimg 1f8a9b04f649b819413007ff3859cdac

The book was written by a nurse, who worked at a nursing home.

One of the biggest regrets of the dying was caring about what others think.

So define your own success and do whatever you need to do, to get that success.

Don’t care about how society defines success, or your friends or family.

If you are focused on just financial success, long-term focus and gratification is key.

What are some little known or counterintuitive tips for success?

Source: Quora

  1. You don’t need to be super smart to succeed – it does help. There is a connection between IQ, earnings and wealth. That makes people feel uncomfortable, but it is the truth. However , it is only one part of the equation.
  2. You need to be popular to succeed – disagreeable people actually do better, that doesn’t mean that you should be an asshole. But being nice and being respected aren’t always the same thing
  3. Success isn’t just about income or social status – it is about quality of life, the balance between time and money and so on.
  4. You need to work hard to succeed – having a good work ethnic doesn’t harm at all. It is a good thing but you also need to work smart.
  5. You need a big network to succeed – again it doesn’t harm you but a lot of people confuse meeting people with networking. 99% of networking isn’t that useful. 1% is incredibly useful. Remember also there are tones of people out there who don’t have a high salary, a good network or connections who just work average hours. They have good spending habits, they are patience, and they become wealthy over time –
  6. You need a high income to be wealthy – you don’t and many wealthy people are middle and upper-middle income.
  7. You don’t need to be wealthy to be successful – even though wealth is more key than income as it allows you to do more things, again you may not need to be as wealthy as you think to he financially free. Is the person who has $700,000-$1m at age 40, who can travel the world on passive, really less successful than the person worth $5M at the same age who is working 120 hours a week? Sometimes life is about a balance.

Why do people believe successful people had a privileged path?

Source: Quora

In fairness, it is partly about society. The media and general society often assumes that people who are successful are always lucky or have had a silver spoon.

There are countless reasons for this. For one thing, if you don’t know any successful people, you are more likely to assume it is incredibly difficult.

If you have been working 70 hours a week, for 30 years, and have barely earned any money, then of course you are more likely to assume all successful people had a privileged path.

Another issue is taking personal responsibility. If you come to realize that most successful people have made sacrifices, and haven’t done anything special per say, you have no excuses left.

I will give you a simple example. I have mentioned on countless occasions online, about how most wealthy people are just middle or upper-middle income earners.

Similar to most people on Quora. They have merely saved and invested wisely, for decades.

However, you will find so many people will have a reaction to this like some of the comments on the bottom of this article – Why the wealthy spend less on luxury: the 70/30 rule in finance

The reactions tend to be:

  • Either to assume the stats can’t be right (maybe only 10%-20% of people)
  • Or assume that the stats are right, but the people getting wealthy in this way are all being overly frugal. Living on rice every day or something like that
  • Or they assume the people aren’t overly frugal, but nevertheless, what’s the point in investing 20%+ of your income? You could die tomorrow after all.

So a lot of people want success, but they aren’t wiling to put in the effort. They aren’t wiling to work very very hard, in many cases.

Even if they are presently with an example of how it is possible to get rich slowly by working 9–5, they aren’t willing to put in the `sacrifice` of having a balanced life, between spending and investing.

It is almost like many people assume there is this perfect world, where loads of people can gain success without putting in the effort or making sacrifices.

SUBSCRIBE TO ADAM FAYED JOIN COUNTLESS HIGH NET WORTH SUBSCRIBERS

SUBSCRIBE TO ADAM FAYED JOIN COUNTLESS HIGH NET WORTH SUBSCRIBERS

Gain free access to Adam’s two expat books.

Gain free access to Adam’s two expat books.

Get more strategies every week on how to be more productive with your finances.