It takes grit.

 “Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”- Angela Duckworthy 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were Apple or Ford. It would be easy to assume the road to success for these companies was an easy one, when in fact, they’ve both had their fair share of challenges. Have you ever heard of the AirPower? Pippin? The Ford Edsel? All low-performing, phased-out products—all from multi-million-dollar companies. 

To achieve their top sellers though, these companies have all mastered trial and error. Trial and error in a public arena requires vulnerability and the willingness to accept feedback from your audience. Not a huge feat for the “big guys,” but what about solopreneurs, early-stage businesses, those smaller players with ideas they’ve yet to get off the ground? Harsh critique for fresh entrepreneurs can be discouraging, soul-crushing, vision-crushing. If Henry Ford accepted defeat to General Motors, would we have the F150 pickup, America’s bestselling vehicle? If Steve Jobs let smartphone skeptics influence his vision, would you be reading this blog on your iPhone? 

It’s how entrepreneurs transform harsh feedback that matters. It’s the vision that only an entrepreneur can see that gets the product to market. All it takes is one conversation, one person who believes in what you’re doing, one yes to make your dream a reality. As author Jessica Hagy says, “While the nos may sting, only the yeses matter.” Overcoming the “nos,” the “try agains” the “not quites” takes grit. Grit – at its core – is perhaps the most important characteristic an entrepreneur can harness on their path to mutli-million-dollar success. 

 It’s also important to credit those who believe in the dream and those who support the dreamers. Grit can only go so far for entrepreneurs who are shouting into the void, offering their big ideas to close-minded audiences. The yeses are important. They are what lift innovation and help drive the world forward. Connecting those with big ideas to those who have the desire and resources to turn those big ideas into big businesses – that’s when grit finally pays off. 

The Ontario Innovation Expo is a unique event bringing together those who celebrate entrepreneurs in all stages of business with those very entrepreneurs who’ve put their ideas out into the world. Join us for a one-of-a-kind showcase of innovation across southern Ontario and witness first-hand the amazing things that happen when people with big ideas embrace vulnerability and put themselves out there. 

October 21 is a day for everyone – those who dream, and those who champion the dreamers! 

Register for the Ontario Innovation Expo today, at: 

By: Jordann Hunsperger 

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