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David Simnick: On Grit


David Simnick is the CEO and co-founder of Soapbox, a company whose mission is to empower customers with the ability to change the world through everyday quality purchases. He is an alumnus of the 2015 Young Leaders Conference.

2017 was the hardest year of my professional and personal life.

Soapboxthe company that I had built with my best friendhad declining revenue, our investors were doubtful about the future of the company, and all indicators from the market were telling us that we should fold. We had a terrible offer from a company to acquire us, and its negotiation tactics were beyond Machiavellian. Oh, and we had to lay off half of our staff to preserve cash.

Grit is what got my co-founder and I through these incredibly difficult times. Time and time again, I’ve seen this single quality be the indicator of future success for leaders. Can they bear the short-term fear, uncertainty, and pain to lead their teams towards greatness? Do they have the deep conviction to persevere?

I believe that it's possible to foster Grit. It's not a born quality. Think of a time when you confronted a challenge and bore the burden to overcome it and nurtured that resilience. You don't need to be egotistical to have grit. You just need confidence in your ability to see something through. That confidence is built through experience.

Seek to build your reservoir of grit: The depth of that wellspring will bring you success.

Our company is now 16 times larger than it was in 2017. Grit is what got us hereand grit will continue to propel us forward.