Patience in Business is a Virtue
That’s hackneyed, but it’s true.
One problem I’ve had and that I’ve seen a lot of others have in starting or building a business is a lack of patience. We get our hands on a tremendous opportunity and wonder why it isn’t a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory, raining success down on our heads in a matter of hours or (gasp!) days.
The fact is that it will take many months and more likely several years before we find ourselves with a business that will continue to grow and produce even if we back off the throttle a bit.
To help me keep my head on straight during the lean times of building out the business, I’ve collected a few quotes about patience in business and its rewards. Maybe a few of them will help you keep on keeping on, when you’re not making Rock Star money after your first 6 months.
Time Discipline and Patience
“Successful Investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
Even a genius like Buffet has to wait for businesses to grow and for investments to play out. Stick to your plan. Keep plugging away and learning and improving. Sometimes you’ll grow and sometimes you’ll stall. Like Dory said, “Just keep swimming.”
“There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.”
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish
I look at this as a reminder to not place all of my eggs in one marketing basket. I’m an advocate for Attraction Marketing and casting a net that will bring partners and customers to you. I am, at the same time, an advocate for reaching out to people when they share a problem or a pain point that could be solved with my business or products. Do a little of both every week and you’ll leave fewer stones unturned.
“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
The plan is to build a Four Year Career, not a Four Month Career. Geometric progression works, but it does take a measure of time. Don’t lose faith because you aren’t making 7 figures after your first year.
“Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.”
― Saint Francis de Sales
“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.”
These two are related in that I remind myself that I don’t have all the marketing skills or knowledge I might like to have. I’m not Ryan Deiss or Yanik Silver. I don’t have my 10,000 hours in yet. I’ll screw up, write clumsy copy and blow money on ads that don’t pull. I’ll stumble over my tongue on a call or when talking to a prospect in person. Stuff happens. But I have to keep trying new things or I won’t learn them. I need to be OK with feeling uncomfortable or looking foolish (a really tough one for me) so that I can be in the place where learning happens.
How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?
― Paul Sweeney
I grew up on all these things. And Lord help me, I still like frozen dinners. This quote helps ground me in remembering that patience doesn’t come naturally to me and sometimes not to those that I’m coaching. It helps me foster a little compassion for myself and for others when I/we get impatient.
“Patience can’t be acquired overnight. It is just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it.”
― Eknath Easwaran
Ah, the need to have patience while I develop patience. I want patience NOW, darn it! This one, like the last, reminds me that I have to grow a little while I’m making forward progress in my business and work to build both it and me. Patience in business, like life, takes practice.
Which brings me to
“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”
― Buddhist Proverb
Building a business is hard. Exercising patience in business is hard. There are times when I want to quit and chuck the whole thing. Times when everything I touch turns to muck. These last two help me to keep on walking, keep on plugging away through the muck. I know that, just like anything else I’ve accomplished in life, some things just don’t work out the first or third or seventh try. But I know I’m walking in the right direction.
So I’ll keep walking.
And sooner or later, the effort, the learning, the trial and error, will land me where my vison is leading.
I hope these help you get to where your vision is leading you.
Did this help you? If so, I’d appreciate it if you’d post a comment below and share it on Facebook.
Steve Norris’ blog