Entrepreneurial Talent – Determination

Determination. Do you have it? If not, you might just want to stick with the 9 to 5. (Just sayin’.)

Welcome to the fifth article in the “Hole in Your Boat” series. “Hole in Your Boat” is a euphemism for an Entrepreneurial Blindspot. All business owners have a hole or two or three in their entrepreneurial boat.

Gallup has determined that there are 10 critical Entrepreneurial Talents that every business owner needs to have or account for if they intend to grow and sustain a business. We have already covered Business Focus. Now we come to Determination.

But first, here’s the entire list for you to review:

People who are especially talented in Business Focus talent couple sharp business instincts and a fascination with making money. They have an uncanny ability to look at data from which they can form unique insights. Ultimately, they evaluate decisions thjrough a prism of profitability.
People who are especially talented in the Creative Thinker talent have a curious intellect that helps them constantly imagine new products, services, and solutions. They are quick learners who explore various options and consider novel solutions as they anticipate the future needs of their customers.
People especially talented in the Confidence talent are keenly aware of their abilities. They harness this awareness to take quick and decisive action. They seize opportunities knowing they will succeed and use their talents to persist in the face of uncertainty and failure.
People who are especially talented in the Delegator talent can trust and empower others to help them grow their business. They know what their employees do best and position them to take responsibility for tasks at which they are most likely to excel. They can relinquish control and focus on growing the business.
People who are especially talented in the determination talent pursue their goals with tenacity. They are intensely committed to success and are eager to take quick action. They rely on high motivation to turn adversity into opportunity, and they can see around roadblocks and visualize a better future.
People especially talented in the Independent talent can single-handedly start and operate a business. They rely on high energy and extreme commitment to succeed in the grueling grind of business creation. They firmly believe that their actions decide the fate of their business and are motivated to make things happen.
People who are especially talented in the Knowledge Seeker talent understand that information is a valuable asset. They have a deep desire to acquire knowledge about all aspects of their business. They search for new information to solve problems and succeed in complex business environments.
People who are especially talented in the Promoter talent speak boldly on behalf of their company. They consistently communicate a clear vision of their business to customers and employees. They are great salespeople with an ability to form deep relationships and convince others to follow their well-defined business growth strategy.
People who are especially talented in the Relationship Builder talent have strong interpersonal skills that allow them ti build a robust and diverse personal network. They rely on relationships to access resources and information essential to the success of their business.
People who are especially talented in the Risk-Taker talent embrace challenges with enthusiasm. They have a strong, charismatic, and confident personality. They naturally focus on the rewards of success instead of potential failure. They emotionally connect with customers and exceed their expectations.

This list is backed by 70+ years of Gallup research that consisted of tens of thousands of interviews with business teams, leaders, managers and business owners including coaching sessions with many thousands of these same folks.

From my 30+ years of executive leadership and entrepreneurial experience, I can confidently say this list really hits the mark. When I was introduced to the list and the science behind it, it was like a HUGE lightbulb went on in my head. And it can help you too. Dig in and study this series of articles, you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s how Gallup defines Determination

Determination – People who are especially talented in the determination talent pursue their goals with tenacity. They are intensely committed to success and are eager to take quick action. They rely on high motivation to turn adversity into opportunity, and they can see around roadblocks and visualize a better future.

The Power

For the business owner, it’s Determination that carries one across the finish line… or perhaps gets one to the starting-line in the first place. Words that come to mind when contemplating Determination are accountability, action, stamina and resolve.

As the captain of your own ship, you must be and accept personal accountability for everything that happens on your watch. You must act even when you are afraid, and your stamina and resolve must be unending. These things are required of a confident, successful business owner. Determination will truly be key to your success.

Determination: Is This You?

  • Will you push to succeed?
  • Do you have the work ethic to persevere?
  • Are you confident in your ability to face obstacles head on and overcome them, no matter how difficult?
  • Will you give up when the going gets rough?
    Do you believe in your ability to work harder than the average person to overcome your obstacles?
  • Are you able to withstand extreme adversity?
    Do you see failures as road blocks, or are they simply speed bumps?
  • Do you eagerly make decisions? Do you value action?
  • Can you withstand the stress and strain present in the world of business ownership?

Ask Yourself:

  • How would you describe, in words, your level of Determination?
  • How do you believe your Determination talent helps you, and how has it helped you in the past?
  • When was the last time you used your Determination talent? What was the result


Personal Application

Early on in my career, I was determined to become a millionaire by the age of 30.

This was my first why. I had no idea how I was going to accomplish this. I didn’t have any role models. I didn’t know any millionaires. I had no one to counsel with, but I was determined.

Millionaire was a tall order for a high school drop out. Money is a good “starter-why,” but it typically will not sustain you.

I believe that luck played a big part in my financial success early in life. Now let me give you my definition of LUCK. It may not be what you think.

Luck is where opportunity and preparedness intersect. If you are missing either component, luck will never happen for you. The key here is YOU and your Determination. You have to prepare and you have to seek out opportunity.

And the best way to stay determined, prepared and ready for new opportunity is by clearly understanding what your “why” is. If you have a rock-solid reason why you want to succeed, why you want to build your business, it makes it that much easier to stay determined.

My second why was my determination to provide for my family. I was determined to provide my wife the opportunity to be home with and raise our children if she chose to. She did and eventually home-schooled them (with several interruptions to attend private school.)

This why was the fuel for my determination for many years.

Today my why is to give back. I have invested 30 plus years of my life in executive leadership and entrepreneurship, and I want to share the knowledge I’ve learned along the way. Today I coach and advise others along their journey. My passion is to help leaders reach higher and encourage entrepreneurs in their adventure.

Determination Lacking?

You may need to take serious inventory. Why do you want to be an entrepreneur? Why is it important for you to own the business? Why? You MUST have a rock solid reason. You must, or you will never make it through the storm of adversity which is so common in the life of a business owner.

If your why is not HUGE, you may want to reconsider your chosen endeavor. Is this really for you? If not, no worries, you can still succeed in business without being at the helm. If you’ve made it through the “foothills” on the journey and find yourself flagging as the terrain begins to toughen, it’s ok to step back.

A lack of Determination will surely spell failure for you. Take heart though, success is build on failure. Truly, failure is the only way to achieve real success.

Either way, you must have a big WHY! What is yours?

If You’re Not Dominant in the Talent of Determination:

  • Seek feedback from trusted advisors about your abilities and how you can conquer your business challenges. Be honest about your resolve.
  • Join up with others who can help you identify and solidify your why.
  • Seek out and partner with people who can compliment your talents and abilities. Find someone that “completes” you.
  • Look for reasons to win. Find a HUGE “why” and keep those things in front of you ALWAYS!

Next up… Independent

I hope you are enjoying this series so far. As I said before, I believe that Gallup is so on-target with these 10 Entrepreneurial Talents. I speak about them publicly every time I get an opportunity to get in front of an audience.

Will you please share this series with someone who might benefit from Gallup’s work here? I really appreciate that!