Aggression: The Most Valuable Trait For Entrepreneurs

by Paul Hudson

One of the strongest driving factors for any person is emotion. Emotion works to both increase the probability of action as well as to increase the intensity or regularity of said action. We often speak about passion. We understand that being passionate about any given subject helps us focus on the subject more vividly as well for longer durations.

Passion itself, however, has different underlying emotions that allow it to motivate and move us the way that it does. A regular man may not be able to move a mountain, but a passionate man will figure out a way to get the job done. Passion drives us the way it does because it itself is fueled by emotions. Passion is purpose; in order to truly believe that you have a purpose, the subject matter must elicit a strong emotional response. Whether it be excitement, sadness or anger, the one tool that will guarantee maximum assertiveness is aggression.

Controlled and collected aggressiveness is the key to successful endeavors. Whether it be in your personal life or in your professional life, without aggression you will not be able to beat out the competition — and there is always competition. Whether or not you wish to acknowledge it, the fact is that we are programmed by nature to compete and to outdo others.

We are created in such a way as to not only do what we must to survive, but also to do what we must to flourish and to win. It is arguable that nature only instills the strong desire for survival within us while social constructs of our own doing have instilled the need to be superior to our neighbors. Either way, it stands that as human beings, we need to survive, we need to compete, we need to fight, and in order for us to be satisfied, we need to win. Without aggression this is impossible.

There are different forms of aggression; the one that I am advocating in particular is not the kind purely driven by emotions. While we are animals, we are not just any animals. We are the most intelligent animals on the planet. We were given the ability to become masters over our emotions — unlike the rest of the living creatures in the world.

We can decide whether or not we wish to act on an emotion and to what extent we wish to pursue a course of action. This is not to say that we are not influenced by emotions — obviously we are. By definition, emotions must influence us. However, the way in which we decide to act upon these elicited emotions, we do have say over. Controlled and methodical aggression is something that no other species is capable of. It is something that is not always easy to control, but when done so properly is a weapon unlike any other.

There are two main advantages that aggressiveness allows for: one, it allows for continuously replenished motivation; two, because it is focused outward those that are exposed to aggression will react to it — a reaction that is often at times predictable as well as self-damaging. Now, when I say that you need to be aggressive when you deal with others, it is not to say that you need to be aggressive toward others.

It is the aggressive pursuit that is key. Let's say for example that you run into a beautiful woman at the coffee shop. You begin to make small talk and flirtation arises. You know that what you want is to take this girl out for dinner. So you ask her if she'd be willing to give you her number — she turns you down.

From her body language, you can tell that she has some interest in you, but you can also tell that this woman in particular is a bit more reserved than most. She may very well be willing to go out to dinner with you if she knew you better. Maybe she just needs a bit more convincing. At this point, you can either accept defeat or pursue her more aggressively.

Women want to understand that they are wanted, that the guy is willing to make an extra effort to spend time with them — that they are not just any other woman. Ask her to sit down for a few moments to chat and drink the coffees you just purchased; tell her that you are sure that you can convince her to go out with you if she just got to know you a little better. If that doesn't work, then you write her off as a lost cause and you move on knowing that you did all that you could.

That's what aggression entails — doing all that you can possibly do before throwing in the towel. It can be as simple as asking a woman to give you a few minutes of her day to talk or it could entail being actively aggressive toward someone you view as your opponent. There are times when aggression toward a particular individual is both beneficial and necessary.

When it comes to your career, outward aggression can be your best friend. Whether direct or passive, as long as the intended recipient gets the relayed message, you have done the job. This is especially beneficial when working on a negotiation. Again, it is important to keep in mind that calm and controlled aggression is what you are looking to employ. You cannot allow your emotions to take the wheel; your emotions should play as little part as possible — preferably not at all.

When directing aggression toward an opponent, what you are looking to do is to either have him cower or have him retaliate over the top; you want him to either be scared of you or to make him overly aggressive to the point where he will slip up and make a mistake. Showing aggression toward someone in business dealings allows you to see how they react under pressure and allows you to use this knowledge to your advantage.

If you notice they have no backbone, then pressing harder will make them too scared to compete. If they are hotheaded, then putting more pressure on them will cause them to boil and make poor decisions. If your opponent is able to keep the same level of cool as you, then at least you know the person that you are dealing with is someone to watch out for.

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