Join me in this conversation to explore the ONE thing that is most likely to determine your likelihood of success. We explore stories of grit, the difference between grit and courage, and the relationship between grit, purpose and optimism. All things being equal, grit is the determining factor for success in your business and life, and it is a trait that can be developed. Learn how in this episode.

>>> Subscribe to Guts, Grit & Great Business on Apple Podcasts

Check out these highlights

10:12 “It’s not a coincidence that I created a business with the word warrior in it.”

10:32 Entrepreuners are the rare breed that work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40.

16:36 “Some people might come into this world with a little more grit in their personality and DNA. But grit is also something that can be learned.”

21:00 Regardless of how grit is developed. It’s a powerful tool to have in your toolbox.

12:33 “Grit is about working on something that you care about so much that you are willing to stay loyal to it.”

29:55 Why it is important to attach meaning to your work.

30:54 Must read books for grit and purpose.

45:45 The one thing you must do to make it through hard times.

49:57 What if you don’t know your purpose?

50:45 “Callings are developed, purpose is built.” Most people don’t actually start with purpose!

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.”

Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art.”

James Hollis’ “The Middle Passage.”

Angela Duckworth’s “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.”

About Heather Pearce Campbell, founder of Pearce Law, PLLC and The Legal Website Warrior® and host of Guts, Grit & Great Business.

Heather Pearce Campbell is a warrior mama, nature lover, and dedicated attorney and legal coach for world-changing entrepreneurs. Based in Seattle, she is mom to two little, wild munchkins, and founder of Pearce Law PLLC, home to her legal practice, and The Legal Website Warrior®, an online business that provides legal education and support to information entrepreneurs (coaches, consultants, online educators, speakers & authors) around the U.S. and the world.

She hoards information, paper, and books while secretly dreaming of becoming a minimalist, and relishes an occasional rare night with her hubby when the kiddos are miraculously asleep and she can soak up HGTV without guilt. 

Imperfect Show Notes

We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.

GGGB Intro  00:00

Coming up today on Guts, Grit and Great Business.

Heather Pearce Campbell  00:04

I want to talk about the one thing that we can do during hard times that we’ll see us through. Let’s start with the good news for people, especially entrepreneurs that might be in hard places. Turns out that grit predicts success, not intelligence, not talent, not a variety of other characteristics that people have tried to tie to success and to predicting success.

GGGB Intro  00:34

The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit, and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.

Heather Pearce Campbell  01:08

Hi there it’s Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. Welcome to another episode of guts, grit and great business. Today I want to start off with a story. It was August of 1998 and I had decided that instead of returning to Utah State University for my fall quarter of my third year of school there, I would instead go to a small village in Mexico, a village called vo neon about 30 minutes outside of Mazatlan. I went there to teach English and I lived behind the school, which was owned by a woman named El Vita and Vita had a sister named almendra. They live together and including almendra son, Martine. Well, one day they invited me to join them on a little expedition to go cat trap. It was pretty exciting that almendra owned a car most people in the village didn’t own vehicles and Used Buses For public transportation. So we got to climb into elementos vehicle and I can’t remember to this day what type of car it was. But for some reason what comes to mind is like an old Pontiac sunbird the one of the back doors was locked shut, I think it had been damaged and just literally didn’t open, including the window the window didn’t roll down. And the front seat was stuck in like a perma tilt position. And so I had to climb in the backseat crawl across the backseat. And I’m tall compared to compared to both of these women but I’m sitting in the backseat and I’m scrunched up a little bit behind elmen duras driver’s seat, which is permanently tilting back. And Martine climbs in the backseat with me with his little dog, a little tiny Chihuahua called Princessa. So we start off our expedition heading towards the mouth of a river to catch crab. And by way of context, it’s probably 95 degrees and 90% humidity. Very, very warm day and I’m wearing jeans because I’m very allergic to mosquitoes. And so I’m wearing jeans, I’ve got a t shirt on and I’m sitting in the backseat, you know sweating bullets, my my window will not roll down I brought a pair of Umbro shorts that I’d ripped a hole in. And then I was stitching with a needle I was trying to fix them with a needle and thread. And we start making our way towards the river and it’s about a 45 minute or an hour drive. So we’ve got a little ways to drive, which doesn’t sound terrible, except that it was that the heat was significant. I will put it that way. And I’m in jeans and I’m stuck behind this permitted seat. Well, probably five minutes into the drive I start to feel a little uncomfortable. And keep in mind when I crawled across the back of the seat springs are kind of popping out of the seat like stuffing and foam is breaking out of it. The the upholstery of the seat had been ripped open. And so the insides of the seat are basically coming out right. I obviously am trying to be a trooper about all of this because I’m thinking almendra and Alvida are wealthy compared to the other folks in this village. I mean, they’re at a significant advantage that they even have a vehicle so I’m sitting there trying to be very grateful for this vehicle for this experience, and I’m getting increasingly more uncomfortable, and I just feel sweaty and itchy. And I looked down and I noticed that, in addition to the stuffing and the springs coming out of the seats that I’m sitting on this big bench seat in the back.

Heather Pearce Campbell  05:22

There are also 1000s of baby spiders pouring up out of the seat. And for anybody who has seen baby spiders in mass, I mean, the closest thing I could relate it to and I grew up in Walla Walla, Eastern Washington, it was pretty dry, you know, hot climate. But if you’ve ever seen Box Elder bugs, when they’re babies, they’re teeny tiny, teeny, teeny, tiny, and they’re red, and they look like baby spiders. And I’d seen clumps of boxelder bugs were these little tiny baby, you know what looked like baby spiders, but red, or, you know, kind of crawling around in hordes. And that’s essentially what it looked like I was sitting in except that the baby spiders were black. And they literally, were just an army of spiders crawling out of this seat and up the back of my behind and up, over into my jeans and up my back in my shirt. I was so uncomfortable. And I am I’ll just say it. I am not a big fan of spiders when they are on me. inside a house or on me. I’d had a spider bite my senior year of high school, that I’m pretty sure was a brown recluse and caused my tire ankle to turn black and some of my skin and flesh to fall off. Anyways, long story short, I was sitting in a nest of spiders, and we had probably 30 or 40 minutes left on this drive. I did not say a word I wanted to scream, I wanted to jump out of the car, I couldn’t open a door I couldn’t even crack a window. And instead, I literally grit my teeth and looked down and just focused singularly on the shorts that I was trying to stitch and fix because they had a hole ripped in them. And I sat there and made that drive for 40 minutes sitting in a nest of spiders. And of course, when we got to the, to the river, the location where we were going to do the crab fishing, I jumped out and probably did a crazy little dance. And you know, but I didn’t. I didn’t say a word about the spiders that I was sitting in. I did not want these women to feel bad about their circumstances. I certainly didn’t want them to feel like they had somehow subjected me to something terrible. So I didn’t say a peep. And we, you know, we spent several hours fishing at that river, which was in and of itself was a very, very interesting event and challenging for a lot of reasons because I got to interact with some local children and one of the little boys had really severe injuries up his back and they were essentially covered with what it looked like to be duct tape. It was really stressful and and yet, the folks that I was with I was extremely aware that they were perceived to be by the locals in a position of affluence, even Martine the way that he was dressed, he had tennis shoes, I think he had white shorts, everything about him. Let the people that lived by that river know that they had money in comparison. And so there were lots of things about that day that were challenging, but one of the most challenging parts was when it came time to go home and having to climb back across that seat and sit down in a nest of 1000s of spiders and repeat that experience driving back to via noon. And and do it on the way back I should say with a stinky little wet dog and the smell of crab in the car.

Heather Pearce Campbell  09:40

It was from the smell experience. It was also a singular experience. But I share this because I think stories about grit and endurance and literally moments in our lives where we grit our teeth in order to make Get through, are are important for a variety of reasons. And today, I’ll start off by saying it’s not a coincidence that I created a business that has the word warrior in it. Not a coincidence that I’ve launched a podcast called guts, grit and great business. And it’s also not a coincidence that I love entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a path that requires grit. And there’s a quote, I often use it when I’m speaking to audiences, you may have heard it goes something like this. Entrepreneurs are the rare breed that work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40. And that, that I think that quote is a little bit funny. And it talks about the lengths that we go to as entrepreneurs, not only to create something and to build our businesses, maybe it’s speaking to the fact that sometimes we spend time doing unnecessary things, which I think is also partly true. But I think in large part, it also speaks to the grit that entrepreneurs must have to even choose to go down that path. And grit has shown up in my life in a variety of ways. And so it’s an also combined with current circumstances. The topic of grit is something that I care a great deal about. One of the reasons that I launched this podcast was as a way to help keep, help motivate people and keep entrepreneurs engaged in their path to help them build their endurance because entrepreneurship, especially through tough times, which many people are experiencing right now requires a pretty large dose of grit. And because there are a lot of people experiencing hard times, I want to talk about the one thing that we can do during hard times that we’ll see us through. But before we get to that one thing, let’s start with the good news for people, especially entrepreneurs that might be in hard places. Turns out that grit predicts success, not intelligence, not talent, not a variety of other characteristics that people have tried to tie to success and to predicting success. So what is grit? If you look it up, you’ll find a variety of definitions right grit is defined as courage and resolve. strength of character. Also defined as fortitude and determination. Guts, Moxie backbone gumption, right and fortitude is defined as the strength of mine that enables one to endure adversity with courage. So in the definition of grit, you often see references to courage. In my mind, though, they are strongly related. I mean, you can see it in the title of this podcast, guts and grit, right? In my mind, though, these things are strongly related. Courage is the activation energy required to make a hard choice to jump into something unknown, or face something that brings with it some amount of risk, sometimes great risk. But grit is about continuing in the same direction, seeing something through not giving up grit is about those 80 hour workweeks. Not that that’s always required. But man, a ton of hard work is definitely required on the path to entrepreneurship. The next thing you might be wondering is whether grit is a trait that you’re born with, or whether it is something that can be developed, both as it turns out. So it’s really interesting, because if you rewind a few years back, there was a time when I was actually doing a fair amount of life coaching, in part because people would come to me and ask me for help with all kinds of things, in part because I think naturally, coaching in a variety of ways is a fit for me. But I was doing a fair amount of life coaching for people and I’d actually developed this was the year before Angela Duckworth book came out, which was published in 2016, but was 2015. And I was engaged in this coaching and actually set up a little program and I had created my own quiz for measuring grit. So clearly, it’s a topic that has interested me enough that I wanted to put my own clients through this quiz around grit, and I had a 40 point there was a 40 point measurement and then you could get a rating a statistical rating. And granted, I created this thing myself, I have no background that qualifies me to do this other than a love for the topic of grit and some personal experience with that. But this quiz had a series quite a few questions had a measurement had some standards that, you know, when you rank people across the board, they got placed into categories that told them how much grit they had, and what percentage of the population they were in. And I think a lot of people when you look at grit and look at the topic of grit, it’s really interesting, because just now today is the first time I’m getting ready to do a podcast on the topic of grit.

Heather Pearce Campbell  15:30

I thought I should probably pick up Angela’s book. So I did I read it today. And man, of course, she’s an expert on grit. This is something she’s been studying for a long time. And she has a lot of data to back up. And as I was making my way through her book, I found that she actually has a quiz to measure grit. So I took it. And it turns out, I it’s the same percentage point, as I measured on my own quiz that I developed, which I thought was kind of fascinating. But on her quiz, when I went through and reported on all of my answers, it turns out, I’m in the 99th percentile for grit. And so I think that there’s a reason that this is a topic that I love. My instinct was that grit is something that is both partially born and something that can be developed. And indeed, that’s what Angela says in her book, right both. As it turns out, you can be born with it, and you can develop it. So some people might come into this world with a little more grit built into their personalities or their DNA. But grit is also something that can be learned that can be developed. So that’s the good news. Some of us get a dose of grit heaped upon us by our parents, before you start thinking that that sounds like a wonderful thing or like the easy way through for developing grit. Let me share a few stories with you. So when we were kids, I clearly remember a time when my sister had an arm injury. We used to live on rollerblades and we lived in a house had a big basement with concrete floors, and we’d put on our rollerblades and man, we would just fly around that basement. Well, somehow Ashley had sustained an injury to her arm. And she told my dad about it. And my dad at the time and for many years after really considered Ashley he used to call her The Princess and the Pea, basically contributing her arm pain to the fact that she was really in tune with her body. To the extent that she was a princess when she could fill if there was a pee 10 mattresses down underneath her bed. So she just dealt with it for several weeks, she went along with this arm pain. And after a couple of weeks and mentioning it to my mom, my mom finally took her into a doctor’s office and turns out, she’d fully broken her arm and it had started to heal over the course of the two weeks. So she had to go ahead and get some work done on that and get her little arm casted. So complaining and experiencing pain were not things that were really acknowledged very well in our family. And I think that partly that experience forced us all to develop quite a bit of grit. I think across the board, my siblings are all pretty tough people and like myself included. I remember one time sustaining a toe injury my senior year of high school and we regularly would sleep outside on the trampoline in at nighttime and I had done this one weekend and I was running in like sprinting in the back door the next morning because I had to go the bathroom and I hit the back door at pretty much a full run and so the door swings open and I am flying in the back door before I realized that the floor vent has been pulled up into to off of the floor, the heater vent so it’s sticking up and the lip is up above the floor and so my toe hits that vent pretty much full force and rips my toenail up off my toenail toenail bed.

Heather Pearce Campbell  19:22

Well, that was that was painful and that was an injury that I sustained during the middle of volleyball season and so that was unfortunate because my foot hurt me for quite some time after that but I had clipped you know as far back as that toenail got ripped up. I had clipped the toenail back and unfortunately just spending so much time in athletic shoes and working out I had advanced weight training I had volleyball practice every day I worked out on my own outside of that, like I just was constantly in athletic shoes. And so what remained of my toenail was really bothering me and I remember laying On the floor one day and holding my foot up to my dad who was sitting at the table, just mentioning it to him, like I was reading a book, I was not paying attention to what my dad was doing. But I said to him, Dad, my toe is really been bothering me when you take a look at it. Well, that was the last time I made a mistake like that. Because what I didn’t know is that my dad was sitting up there with some tools laid out on the table. And while I was reading my book, and I had plopped my foot on his thigh to let him take a look at that bothersome toe, he’d reached over and grabbed his pliers, and in about one second flat just ripped what remained of that toenail right off.

Heather Pearce Campbell  20:48

So my parents, let me be clear that my parents were loving and kind and firm, they did a lot of things, right. But acknowledging pain, acknowledging any kind of complaining was not something that really happened in our family. So in a sense, that was one more layer one more way that we got to develop grit as kids. And all of us went through experiences like that. So yes, grit can be heaped upon us at times as well. But the reality is that, regardless of why it’s developed, it’s a powerful tool to have in your toolbox. So there have been quite a number of studies done that analyze what traits, what characteristics etc, results in success. Turns out that with everything else being equal, like I mentioned before, grit is the predictor of success. Even Darwin, and this was an interesting mention in Angela’s book. But even Darwin, who obviously was extraordinarily skilled in the power of observation, when it came to nature in the natural world, was a keen observer of humans and human behavior as well. And he held a belief that zeal and hard work are more important than intellectual ability. And so let’s talk for a moment about zeal. I believe that having and demonstrating grit gets a heck of a lot easier if you have determined your purpose. If you have attached your work and your life to purpose, I was happy to see that Angela in her book has a section on interest in purpose, right and interest being I mean, what it is having a personal interest in something and purpose being defined as the intention to contribute to the well being of another. And Angela describes that most people first become attracted to things that they enjoy, and only later appreciate how these personal interests might also benefit others. I think a lot of people have the misconception that for people that achieved great heights, they somehow started off knowing their purpose or had connected had the advantage of connecting with their purpose much earlier on their path than anybody else. And I don’t think that’s true. If you look at and When Angela describes it in her book, it makes a lot of sense when you see it in this order. But the most common sequence is that somebody starts with a relatively self oriented interest. They learn the self disciplined practice. And finally, they integrate that work with an other centered purpose. They relate that work to others, right? I thought about that. And I thought about some examples in my life of people that have become successful doing something fairly unique. So my son who’s seven, has shared with me multiple times a story of a comic book writer that he follows that he learned about who started writing comics when he was a kid. He he suffered from ADHD, he was getting in trouble in school. He began writing comic books as he sat out in the hallways of his school. While he was in trouble as a way to express himself as a way to create and it turns out, his teacher would take these away, you know, it ended up being a thing. But he persisted. He continued creating and writing comics and creating comics storybooks, and turns out now as an adult, he’s famous and he shares his stories around the world and he inspires children to write their stories and to learn comics and my son is one of those children that is being inspired by by this man’s path. And again, he went from right doing something that interested him learning self disciplined practice, he continued to add it even when the comments were taken away. Even when people told him he couldn’t make a living at that, even when, you know, he bumped up against every normal obstacle on that path, he kept at it. And then finally, integrating that work with an other centered purpose, right? publishing books around the world, sharing his story inspiring others, I think of my client, one of my clients as well. Similarly, as a child, developed a system. And again, there’s a common theme here, I think part of it is when I look at the experience of my son, right and look at, you know, how we determine a purpose, how we determine a calling, even how we figure out what that is. It’s not always obvious, but it gets to the quote, the Steve Jobs quote that I love about we, we can’t be sure where we’re headed. This is not the exact words, but basically, we can’t be sure where we were headed, but we can always connect the dots. Looking backwards, right. So one of those things. And similarly, one of my clients, who also had ADHD as a child, developed a system for tracking things developed a system for for journaling, and for writing things down, that could help him achieve some level of success in his schoolwork and in tracking, you know, personal interests and in tracking daily events. And so again, his path if you follow it, is exactly that, right, he first became attracted to something of interest. And there’s different reasons that we might take interest in something. And then through self disciplined practice, began to master that and finally integrated that work with an other centered purpose. That is the foundation of his business today. He’s written a New York Times best selling book on his system, he’s created. I mean, there’s a ton that he’s created through his work, but it is now the foundation of his business, and it has an other centered purpose. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  27:12

Similarly, if you listened to my friend, Laura Posey, who was on my podcast, actually, two episodes ago, you hear her journey, talking about how she first developed like her one page strategic plan for her business out of necessity, because things were falling apart, she turned it into a Daily Success System that she followed over a time. And then she started using that system to serve others. So that’s the interesting thing to observe about purpose and interest is that we don’t always know something is going to become our purpose until it is. But we can certainly follow our interest, we can certainly pay attention to where we’re more inclined to want to do something than another thing. There’s a section in Angela Duckworth book on grit that I love. It’s a conversation that she shares that she has with actually a young entrepreneur, and she is talking to this person about grit. And she says, Look, grit isn’t just working incredibly hard. That’s only part of it. She says developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time longer than most people imagine. And here’s the really important thing. Grit is about working on something that you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it. When you care about something so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it. The long days become worth it because your efforts are paying dividends to other people. But understand that people don’t always start with purpose. I don’t want people to get that backwards and think that they somehow have to know their purpose if they don’t already, right. People don’t always start with purpose. Even people that end up at the heights of their career, if you ask them how things started. It’s often a kind of a wandering type of route. So So Angela, in her book talks about Julia Child as an example. And Julia, when talking with a friend told her really the more I cook, the more I like to cook. Julia’s desire as a child was to become a novelist. She wanted to write novels. She had no interest in cooking. But once she started, she decided she liked it. And so she kept at it. So just remember that people don’t always start with purpose, but also don’t forget how important it is to attach meaning to your work, so that your work has purpose. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  29:58

So let’s look Look at grit in the context of failure and being in hard places, and discuss its relationship to optimism and purpose. So what I’ve noticed in my work and working with and supporting entrepreneurs and business owners across a wide variety of industries across a variety of stages of business, is that those who are most successful have fundamentally an optimistic attitude and optimistic approach to their circumstances, no matter how challenging, no matter the size of the problem, they are optimistic about things eventually going in their favor. And after years of observation, I see optimism, grit and purpose as highly correlated. And if you don’t trust me on these points, let’s dig into some books that I think will help shed light on these concepts. And this is a heavy one to start with. But I think it’s, I think the entire book is really about grit and purpose. But looking at Victor Frankel’s Man’s Search for Meaning, if you have not read this book, it’s an absolute must read. But there’s a couple quotes I want to share from that book. The first is a man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears towards a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work will never be able to throw away his life. Victor talks about how prior to going into the concentration camps, he’d had a manuscript confiscated. And so he says in this book, certainly my deep desire to write this manuscript a new helped me to survive the rigors of the camps I was in. He also shares the words of nature, he who has a wide to live for, can bear almost any how victor goes on to say, in the Nazi concentration camps, one who could have witnessed that those who knew that there was a task waiting for them to fulfill, were most apt to survive. I find that really powerful and to share a personal experience, not that my experience in any way correlates to Victor’s experience. But it was really interesting on this point, in particular, about having a task, even a task like that that language that he used was just a task to fulfill not even a project but a task. We’re most apt to survive, right? So I have the experience of going through a long, basically seven years of pregnancies and miscarriage and all kinds of trauma to my body on the path to motherhood and bringing my children into the world. But there was one experience and it was right before was after my sixth pregnancy. And before my final pregnancy, which brought me my daughter, but I had decided to go through IVF as a way to get pregnant with my daughter, we had made that selection, because we had the option for very high level chromosomal screening, which the theory was would decrease our risk of having an at risk pregnancy, right. So I’ve gone through all the testing 1000s and 1000s of dollars of genetic testing, gone through all of the, the hormonal, oh my gosh, the long hormonal treatments. I mean, my belly was bruised, I was swollen, my body was so uncomfortable. And I went in for the egg retrieval portion of that process. And this was a clinic here in Seattle that has done literally 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of these procedures over the years. They’re top notch, they’re very skilled. And somehow, when they were doing the procedure, something went wrong, they did not know that something was wrong. And so they finished the procedure. They sent me home, and I was laying on my couch at home and I just really wasn’t feeling well. You know, it was a same day procedure. They release you to go home to recover. I was laying on the couch and I got up to use the restroom. And literally when I’m getting up from the restroom to try to come back into the living room, I ended up passing out hitting the floor and I come to my husband and my son are there and my husband has called the doctor’s office and reported what has happened and the doctor had said oh she’s probably just dehydrated from the procedure from you know, not eating or drinking before the procedure. Just give her some fluids, however, lay back down on the couch to recover so my husband helped me to the couch and I’d laid there for probably about a half hour longer and I really just did not feel well. I was clammy, I was feeling cold. Anytime I would sit up even like an inter to raise my head up, I would start to feel just like something was really wrong, Dizzy, like I was starting to pass out again. And so I looked at my husband and I told him, I said, you need to get me to the hospital right now. And so he did. He ran downstairs and he got our son out of out of his nap. Aiden at the time was four. And he put him in the car and he tried to help me up I kept blocking out so he basically had a crawled partway on the floor, and then he had to carry me to the car. And he put my legs up on the front dashboard and drove like a maniac to the hospital.

Heather Pearce Campbell  36:01

I was blacked out, I was intermittently unconscious. By the time I got to the hospital. I remember waking up very briefly getting pulled out of the car and into into a wheelchair. And but then I immediately blacked out again. And then I woke up inside of the hospital briefly in the waiting room, my husband was yelling, nurse, a nurse came out of the back of the hospital or like through the doors and took my blood pressure, which was 50 over 30. And then she was yelling and then suddenly I was being wheeled back into the hospital. So turns out after everything was said and done, I they had nicked a vein or an artery and I was bleeding out into my abdomen. So I had lost a huge amount of blood into my peritoneal cavity. So all of my like my intestines, my reproductive organs, like everything was just surrounded and blood that belonged inside of my, inside of my vascular system. And it the interesting thing, relating back to this story though, relating back to what I’m talking about, even with Viktor Frankl, saying those who knew that there was a task waiting for them to fulfill were most apt to survive. When I was blacking out repeatedly when I realized something was really badly wrong. I remember thinking, Oh, hell no, I am not going anywhere. Something is very wrong. But this was literally one of the last thoughts I had before leaving my house for the hospital. So I’m not going anywhere. I’ve got to be at Dan Kennedy’s marketing training and two weekends, I’d signed up for a training with Dan Kennedy and I was flying to Columbus, Ohio in two weeks. And so heading off to the hospital. I remember just having the thought, oh, no, I’m not going anywhere. I’ve got to be at the Dan Kennedy training and I and also that was then followed by the thought I’ve got more people to serve. In addition to my family and taking care of my children. I’ve got things to do in the world. I am not going anywhere. So I got to the hospital, right, they get things figured out. They’re watching my hematocrit levels dropped from, I don’t know, 3938 37, right, all the way down to 2423. That’s transfusion time. And my hematocrit stabilized somewhere around 23. So they didn’t transfuse. But they left me I ended up staying in the ICU overnight, just so that they made sure that my hematocrit levels had stabilized. I didn’t continue to bleed. But they did not do anything about all that blood in my abdomen. And the next day, basically, I got sent home. My hematocrit levels were 23. When I was released, I was white. As a ghost. I was terrified that something would rupture that the bleed would continue. I had no idea what had happened. But I knew that I felt very, very fragile and they released me home and I spent the next 10 days in excruciating pain. Literally just focusing like moment to moment on my breath. If you’ve ever had an internal bleed where your organs are surrounded by blood, your bloods not supposed to be in your peritoneal cavity. It’s not where it’s designed to go. It’s really really uncomfortable. And then I had doctors talking To me about adhesion and how sometimes when you get blood in the wrong places, your organs can fuse to get like all this crazy stuff. And I literally just had to focus on breathing. I remember several nights being so painful, like I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t move, moving my body, I had the most intense pain shooting up into my shoulders and up was just excruciating to breathe, to move to take a step up the stairs, but especially in my abdomen, and up around my lungs, and above my lungs, I can’t even describe how it felt i It was really surprising how much pain there was. But what got me through was knowing I had more work to do. I have more work to do in the world, not only with my children and my family, but I was hell bent on getting to that Dan Kennedy, marketing class in Columbus, Ohio. And sure enough, two weeks later, I went and I’m quite sure that I was not supposed to be getting on a plane and traveling across the country. And, you know, I was still in major major recovery mode. I mean, basically, what my doctors told me is that they were treating this like I’d had a catastrophic injury and a third world country where they don’t give you a transfusion, because of the future potential for your body to reject a follow up pregnancy. Right. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  41:30

And that was the whole point was that my goal was to have a successful pregnancy. But it also meant that it would take some time for my body to reabsorb the iron and the nutrients that were in the blood that leaked out into my abdomen. So that was an intense period. But I made it to that Dan Kennedy seminar, and it was one of my most enjoyable trips when it comes to business and education and learning. So that’s just a personal anecdote about the power of having a task that you look forward to right having a task that you know, is waiting for you and that’s waiting for you to fulfill back to Viktor Frankl he shares in the book he shares the details of a conversation that he was having with others in the camp one evening, where they were acknowledging how severely the odds were stacked against them. But Frankl was still trying to share words that might keep other people going. He shares that he had estimated his own chance of survival to be about one in 2008. When I read that now, and I’ve read this book several times when I read that now, I mean, to put it in terms of current perspectives, right, the current death rate of COVID in the US right now is about 5%, about one in 20. This is what Frankel estimated to be his chance of survival. Yet still, he told others that in spite of this, I had no intention of losing hope and giving up. This is the power of having a level of commitment to something that is attached to purpose to meaning. And another book, if you look at and this is another popular one in the entrepreneurial space, but look at Steven Pressfield, The War of Art. This is really a book about purpose and grit, although these words are not used. So Steven has a section in that book that’s all about the the topic of turning pro. There’s a quote that he uses that says it is one thing to study war and another to live the Warriors life. It’s one thing to, to read about it or to know about something, it’s totally an entirely different thing to do it. There’s another quote that says the amateur does not love the game enough if he did, he would not pursue it as a sideline distinct from his real vocation. The professional loves it so much he dedicates his life to it, he commits full time in another section. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  44:11

In order for a book or any project or enterprise to hold our attention for the length of time it takes to unfold itself. It has to plug into some internal perplexity or passion that is of paramount importance to us. The professional has learned that success like happiness comes as a byproduct of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come whatever they like. And that section on turning pro he has a list of things that make us pro right but the first five he says we are pros in our jobs. We show up every day. We show up no matter what. We stay on the job all day. We are committed over the long haul. The stakes for us are high and real. I think so many entrepreneurs can relate to what that looks like in their business showing up every day showing up no matter what, staying on the job staying committed over the long haul. What he’s talking about is grit. What he’s talking about is having purpose so that we have the energy we have the focus, we have the commitment to keep showing up. To clarify a point about professionalism. He also says, the professional though he accepts money does his work out of love, he has to love it. Otherwise, he wouldn’t devote his life to it of his own free will. So the one thing if you haven’t gathered it yet, the one thing that you must do to make it through hard times is connect to your purpose. James Hollis, so I’m going to end with one of my very favorite books. If you have not read this book, I highly recommend that you pick it up. But this is from James Hollis, in his book called The middle passage from misery to meaning and midlife. I first read this book in my 20s I lost my mom in law school, life moved on and several other things happened, including getting married shortly after getting divorced. And then not too long after that, losing my sister in a tragic car accident. So I’ve read this book, the Middle Passage, numerous times in my life, and if you have not read it yet, absolutely. Go pick up a copy of it right now. It is a gem. It’s a short book. But it’s a very, very deep book. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  46:46

Anyways, James Hollis speaks on the importance of passion or purpose in this book. He talks about it in relationship to life and to essentially obtaining redirection going through midlife, having crisis having despair, having grief suffering any number of events or experiences that really shift our perspective around life itself. But I want to read a couple of sentences for you. He talks about Joseph Campbell, says Joseph Campbell, when asked how one should live was fond of saying follow your bliss. I understand him to be referring to the souls journey including all the suffering and sacrifice this involves. Personally I am more inclined to say follow your passion. Passion is what fuels us and like vocation is less a choice than a summons. This is sometimes what we call a calling. When people talk about having a calling experiencing their calling, recognizing their calling. This is what they’re talking about less a choice than it is a summons. Anyone who has attempted to be genuinely creative knows what hard work it is how suffering is unavoidable and yet how satisfying can be the sense of process and completion. We only get to completion with grit. And the process of entrepreneurship is the process of creating. So again, anyone who has attempted to be genuinely creative knows what hard work it is, how suffering is unavoidable and yet how satisfying can be the sense of process and completion. It is an imperative to find that which draws us so deeply into life and our own nature that it hurts, for that experience transforms us. He then goes on to list out a list of axioms. Life without passion is life without depth, passion, which I think also is purpose, while dangerous to order, predictability and sometimes sanctity is the expression of the life force. So passion or purpose is the expression of life force. One cannot draw near the gods the archetypal depths without risking the largeness of life which they demand and passion provides. Finding and following one’s passion serves one’s individuation. Anyways, then he ends this section by saying living passionately is the only way to love life. And I would say, bringing that passion to our work is the only way to love our work. There has to be some meaning we have to whether we recognize it, whether we find it whether we create it, we have to understand the relationship of meaning in our work so that we can dig deep and we can experience and demonstrate grit, which is the only way that we get to success. Now what if you don’t know your purpose? What if you haven’t discovered your calling? And the words of Angela Duckworth? I really like her description of this. A calling is not something fully formed that you find. It’s much more dynamic. Whatever you do, whether you’re a janitor or the CEO, you can continually look at what you do and ask how it connects to other people how it connects to the bigger picture, how it can be an expression of your deepest values. In other words, a bricklayer who one day says I am laying bricks, might at some point become the bricklayer who recognizes I am building the house of God.

Heather Pearce Campbell  50:33

And my thoughts on calling on discovering your calling are very similar, it doesn’t just bonk you on the head. While it may look that way, from the outside looking in on other people’s lives, callings are developed, purpose is built. These are not things that are generally discovered. They start perhaps by paying attention to our interest and taking one step at a time, even if we don’t know where we are headed. But essentially, you find something you can commit to something that interests you, and you do the work, do the work, do the work Steven Pressfield style, you show up and do the work purpose will find you or you will eventually find it and when you have purpose, you will very likely have more grit. And with more grit, you have taken one of the most important steps you can take towards success. And you just keep taking that step day after day after day. Thank you so much for joining me today. I love this topic. It’s a big topic, but I hope that you find a few of these points helpful. I hope that you are able to connect them to your own path. And I hope that you are able to keep moving forward, taking step after step after step. I’ll see you on the next episode.

GGGB Outro  52:00

Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit and Great Business podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more see the show notes which can be found at Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us to keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.