5 Inspirational Women on the Power of Grit

At F equals, we are so lucky to interview awesome women every week — women that are kicking ass in their chosen field and pushing boundaries. And one thing they all talk about is the importance of grit, and the determination required in order to succeed despite the many barriers they may face. Here is some of what they had to say about it:

1. Lynn Le, founder of Society Nine

The biggest lesson is that starting a business requires grit and determination. You will make a lot of mistakes but you can’t get bogged down by them. You have to know when to cut your losses and move on — you have to be inventive and problem solving all the time.

Ultimately, you have to remind yourself of what it is you fight for. And when you do, you’ll remember why it’s all worth it.

Read Lynn’s full interview here.

2. Carey Lohrenz, 1st Female US Navy F-14 Fighter Pilot, Author of Fearless Leadship

Having a determined spirit and the courage to go after your dream when you feel doubt, or when others are telling you, “That’s not the way we do things here…” is not easy. It takes tenacity and grit to keep going after your goals when the deck appears to be stacked against you. But that is what being a Fearless Leader is all about. It is being willing to say “Why not me?” and to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Read Carey’s full interview here.

3. Debbie Wosskow, Founder of Love Home Swap; Co-Founder AllBright

This stuff is hard. It requires grit and staying power matters more than the initial enthusiasm that comes with the idea. We have faced so many setbacks, and if I had three pieces of advice to share they would be:

a) Don’t listen to anyone and everyone who tells you it will never work. That’s an easy thing to say. Seek out people who will motivate and support — but also tell you the truth.

b) Develop a thicker skin. Things go wrong every day. Not everyone will like the business and you. Get over it and move on.

c) But be prepared to evolve. The idea you begin with will develop and change. The thing that makes our business really work is our Points system — that allows people to earn points through having people stay in their home and trade this out to go anywhere in the world. It took us 18 months before we realised this is what the site needed and it required a change in business model and product. It was scary but it has made the business what it is today.

Read Debbie’s full interview here.

4. Emily Quinton, Founder Makelight

To do what I’m doing right now takes a huge amount of grit, energy and belief. It’s certainly not easy but it’s not impossible either. If you have an idea that you believe in and the right support around you to make it doable, then go for it but remember to really look after yourself as much as you possibly can. As a female founder and mother I think that bit is even more important. Lots of people need you and you can only give when you’ve taken care of yourself first. I think we can often feel guilty about that kind of thing. Don’t!

Read Emily’s full interview here.

5. Megan Hine, Survival Expert, Celebrity Expedition Leader, Adventure Catalyst, and author of Mind of a Survivor: What the wild has taught me about survival and success

Newnham: Bear Grylls has described you as “ …stronger than 99%of the men I know, she’s incredible.” What does it take to be mentally and physically prepared for the adventures you undertake?

Hine: Bear has always supported me as a valued member of his team and I am flattered that he said this! This may sound a little odd but mentally I don’t think too much about the upcoming adventure. Obviously elements need to be prepared and organised but I try to focus on the logistics, not the emotional side of the adventure.

I find thinking about something too much can give you false expectations and encourage self doubt, not only of yourself, but also of what may or may not happen. In the job I do I have to be so super reactive to keep my team or film crew safe so if I thought too much about what may happen or convinced myself that something will happen, I may then not be open minded enough to react.

I have survived for weeks on end in jungles and deserts with nothing but the clothes I stand up in, a machete or knife, and a medical pack whilst looking after other people. Looking after yourself when you haven’t eaten for weeks is one thing, having the mental grit to look after other people as well takes another level of determination and I cannot afford to question myself in any way or it may not just be my life on the line.

I guess my physical preparedness comes from ‘doing’. As my boyfriend Stani says, “Train as you fight”. I am out there all the time; the outdoors is not just a hobby, it is my life, and my body has adapted over the years to be ready for whatever I throw at it.

Read Meg’s full interview here.

** These interviews are part of F equals weekly series on inspiration women. More can be found here. **