Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.A new year, a new chapter in our stories, and an opportunity to evaluate our hearts as we continue moving forward. Most of us take this time of year to get a fresh start, implement new routines and work towards improving different areas of our lives. But, often times we don’t reflect on what the year we left behind offered us and taught us. So I’ll get personal here and bring you into our world a bit, in hopes that it will spark questions or ideas as they relate to your story.

2016 has been a year to remember. My husband Roberto quit his job last year to join me at a higher capacity in pursuing the mission of Grit & Virtue. We relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area to Colorado by way of road tripping through National Parks. We moved into our Grit & Virtue office space in downtown Boulder and we’ve been embraced by an amazing community. We bought a house that we’re currently renovating. And through it all we’ve seen the Father’s hand guiding our steps over and over again. But there’s more! That’s our theme for this year. Yes, God has been so good, but there’s so much more. We’re looking expectantly to see how this year unfolds for our family, our mission, and even more so for you, the Grit & Virtue Community.

As a business yielded by the direction of God we have to constantly check in to ensure we’re on the right path. Doing so requires us to “marry the mission, but date the model” as Craig Groeschel once said. There have been many opportunities to practice that very thing. Holding on tight to a big audacious mission requires us to say no, or not yet, to many things. Building something that matters takes time, but more than time it takes patience, strategy and grit.

Here are 3 pitfalls to avoid on the journey of building something that matters:

Believing Success Happens Overnight

I’ve spoken to many mission-driven women who are at different stages in their venture. Some have just begun, others have been at it for 5 years and many have been at it for eight, nine and ten years. The difference I’ve seen in the spectrum is that the early stage ventures always carry a ton of weight as it relates to their success because they may not see traction right away. While the more mature ventures, 5+ years, have learned that success is a gradual journey, and their outlook is much more healthy and anchored in reality. Some are financially profitable and are making a big impact in their communities, but then there are those who’ve been in the trenches for years and haven’t seen the break of day.

Unfortunately, we live in a world that has made us believe that good things come quick, which is far from the truth. Far too often we cheat ourselves from experiencing the full glory of our visions because we have false expectations of what the journey actually looks like. Don’t fall into that trap! Which leads us to our next pitfall.

Having False Expectations About What it Really Takes

Okay, so you dreamed up a big vision. Great. So now the work begins. Andy Stanley describes what it takes to pursue a vision in his book Visioneering, “even when a vision is clearly birthed in your heart, the vision alone will not provide you with the tools nor the momentum necessary to see it through to completion.”

Often times we stay on cloud nine for too long without realizing the actual work required in order to make our vision a reality. Or we forget that it will also require us to do work that we don’t necessarily like or have experience in; which by the way doesn’t mean we don’t move forward and figure it out. Not fully committing, especially to the areas we dislike, leads to less results and ultimately discouragement because we don’t see progress. The journey will require a ton of grit. If you’re serious you must fully commit, never give up and do whatever it takes, because your vision depends on it.

Not Spending Enough Time on Strategy

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Now, that is such a golden nugget that speaks to the importance of strategy. Clearly identifying your game plan will ensure you’ve thought through all the possibilities. Eliminate as many surprises as you can by researching and educating yourself before you take off.

Invest the time necessary to work on your blueprint, your map, so you can move forward confidently because you know where you’re heading. Think through the details. How will things connect and leverage each other in the future? Doing that work now will give purpose to every task you focus on in the future, no matter how small. Lastly, don’t do it alone. There are people that have been on the journey before you. Speaking with experts and mentors, building alliances, understanding your market and finding your tribe are key components to architecting a well-designed blueprint.

As for Grit & Virtue, we’ve been sharpening our axe. Year one of Grit & Virtue was dedicated to learning as much as possible, serving our community and building brand awareness. And we’ve had some great milestones since then: we’ve gained over 65,000 followers through our social channels, our community hashtag has reached over 150,000 posts on Instagram, and over 10,000 women from around the world receive our weekly dose of advice and inspiration straight to their inbox every Wednesday. It’s responses like this that ignite my passion and fuel our team to keep going:


I’ve recently signed up to receive these emails, and I can’t tell you what a blessing Grit & Virtue has already been in my life. These emails (and the Instagram posts) arrive at just the right moments during the week. Not too often or too sparingly. Absolutely just right in frequency. In this modern culture of inundating advertisements and over-messaging, I’m so grateful for the sweet nuggets of Grit & Virtue messages. Working in an environment of constant inbound and outbound communications, I greatly appreciate the thoughtfulness of timing with your communications.

Along with the timing, your content is hitting me 100% in positive and heart-stinging ways. All needed for sure. So whatever your target audience is – I’m definitely in it! Thank you for the uplifting, challenging, and comforting messages for today’s professional woman. Thank you for the aesthetic of writing and imagery that you consistently use. Thank you for somehow, someway helping me to feel whole in a messy, chaotic stage of life as I navigate work, friendships, dating relationships, and above all, spiritual growth in all arenas.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”


And what we’ve learned in year one has been astonishing! In year two our focus is on lining up the resources to prepare us for a season of execution. Our main goal is to make sure the vision of Grit & Virtue is in lockstep with the Father’s plans, and that its impact and purpose will outlast us. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. Walking in this promise has given me unimaginable peace. Peace that surpasses all the pressures and doubts of following a big audacious vision. Knowing that before the foundations of the world God has already determined the works of our hands offers us the confidence to surrender our work back to Him on a daily basis.

Our heart breaks for our community and we have an unquenching desire to see you relentlessly fight for your relationship with Christ while you passionately and confidently live out your mission here on earth. I am beyond honored to partner with the Father in pursuing the mission and vision of Grit & Virtue. I believe by serving His beloved daughters, the dreamers, go-getters and mission-driven women we’ll experience a multiplying effect. Enabling women to reach their full potential while walking in their true identity will transform families, our cities, our country and ultimately our world.

Lastly, I challenge you in 2017 to grasp the longevity of the journey you’re pursuing, fully commit to the mission and roll up your sleeves to figure out your strategy.

You’ve Got What it Takes!

A dream worth pursuing deserves the time investment to ensure it’s done well and strategy helps you to move forward with clarity and intention. Have you given yourself time to think through strategy? If so, what have you discovered about the process? If you haven’t, what have been some roadblocks that you’ve encountered?

Charlena Ortiz

An accredited life & business coach, writer, and founder of Grit & Virtue. My passion is found in helping you on your journey of becoming who you were created to be, while living out your mission with clarity, conviction and confidence.

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