Hamza Asumah, MD
In one of my most recent publications, I explicitly stated the significance of grit to a Doctorpreneur and how to build GRIT. As reassuring as it sounds as a foolproof strategy to increase your odds of success, I’d want to point out that grit may be detrimental in a variety of ways, necessitating a pause and rethink to prevent escalation to commitment to a losing course of action.
You would agree with me that as entrepreneurs, we have many times envisioned and sought to pursue specific concepts with the belief that persistence, or grit in this case, will be our most powerful weapon in achieving success. While most cases pay off, others require you to hit the brakes and reassess your entire strategy. This means you’ll have to cut your losses and control your ego a lot of the time if you want to move on to anything else.
A lot of healthcare entrepreneurship ventures on the African continent have been laced with a lot of disappointment since most doctorpreneurs would not admit that they are entering into an idea that is easily too new and unusual to the region, which might be a reason why it is not getting momentum. When attention is not paid to timing, irritation becomes a key part of your trip.
In other circumstances, we just fail to see that we are not particularly innovative. Whatever innovative concept we assume we are offering to the market is really a tweak of an already existing business strategy that has been reproduced several times in an unattractive industry. Accepting that your business concept is not as brilliant as you expected it to be is a psychological ‘failure’ that we must learn to accept quickly in order to reduce sunk cost.
The only approach to solve this is to THINK AGAIN, as Adam Grant eloquently articulates in his book THINK AGAIN. Adam Grant highlights in this book that thinking again may help you produce new answers to old issues as well as review old solutions to new difficulties. It’s a road that will lead to you learning more from others around you and life with fewer regrets.
“Escalation of commitment is a major factor in preventable failures. Ironically, it can be fueled by one of the most celebrated engines of success: grit. Grit is the combination of passion and perseverance, and research shows that it can play an important role in motivating us to accomplish long-term goals. When it comes to rethinking, though, grit may have a dark side. Experiments show that gritty people are more likely to overplay their hands in roulette and more willing to stay the course in tasks at which they’re failing and success is impossible.”
― Adam M. Grant, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know
Knowing when to let go of some of your most prized tools—and some of your most prized aspects of your identity—is a sign of wisdom. Rethinking is both a talent and a mentality. Many of the mental skills we require are already available to us. We only need to remember to take them out of the shed and clean them up.
We all have gaps in our knowledge and perspectives. The bad news is that they can blind us to our own blindness, giving us false confidence in our judgment and preventing us from reconsidering. You must restrict your vulnerabilities as a Doctorpreneur. One method is to avoid hubris. Arrogance blinds us to our own flaws. Humility acts as a reflected lens, allowing us to see things more clearly. Confident humility acts as a corrective lens, allowing us to overcome our flaws.
Humility is required to examine previous commitments, skepticism to question current decisions, and curiosity to reinvent future goals. What we find along the road has the potential to liberate us from the chains of our familiar surroundings and prior identities.
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