It is said that one teaches best what one needs to learn. Then perhaps it is a good thing that I write this blog about PATIENCE.

patience
I need a sign like this over my desk

I am not a patient man. I was not a patient child, baby, teenager or young adult. That is not to say that I can never bear to wait for anything, but rather, as a generalised mean or average, I would rather have things happen sooner than later.

This in itself provokes anxiety, inaccurate expectations and indeed, sloppiness. None of which are things that, as an entrepreneur, you really want in your life. Well in any life, no matter what or who you are to be fair.

Our instant gratification culture plays a huge role in this generalised impatience. We are quick to assume that, just because we have an idea, a plan, a project, things will follow on rapidly.  However, this is most often a false expectation. It really is just not how most things work. From the outside, overnight success stories, one hit wonders and rags to riches stories seem to crowd our horizons. We wonder why we aren’t one of them.

Well the truth is that none of those overnight successes took one night… literally or metaphorically. It’s a point endlessly belaboured in biographies, autobiographies and histories. However, we mostly choose to ignore it. Foolishly. Good, big things take time to grow and develop. Which is good, because we have never thought out every implication, every possible outcome. We need that time to fine tune, adjust and adapt.

patience of job
This guy made a Job of being patient.

Entrepreneurship is not like entering Idols… the judges vote and hey presto… you’re a winner. You have to be patient in developing your ideas, implementing a plan, finding your team, establishing your market, building your presence…. Notice the active aspect of how I have expressed all this… it’s a constant process of doing, of becoming. Not a one shot thing that you fire off over the horizon for a guaranteed result.

All of my previous business ventures stumbled because of my impatience. In my defence, this was aided and abetted by my complete ignorance of what I actually wanted or what was vaguely possible. But that is also half the point… if you don’t really know what you are doing or what you want, don’t be so impatient to make it happen… Because what is IT that you are trying to make happen? Slow down and take the time to observe what is happening as you progress. There will be lessons. Lessons too easy to ignore if you’re travelling at 300 million miles per hour.

Yes, I know this is the 21st century and that we live in a super-connected, super-fast world. That’s one of the biggest reasons why it is worth it to be more patient. Things change in the blip of a screen, faster than a blink of an eye. Do you want to be one of those things? No? Then think more long-term. Differentiate yourself from everyone else by thinking about what will make sure you’re still doing business in 10 year.… don’t be impatient.

Impatience-never-commanded-success.-Edwin-H.-Chapin