There’s an old adage that says, “The best things come to those who wait.” But how does this apply to being an entrepreneur in our fast-paced world where we are constantly being told to go out and “crush it” or that perfectionism must sometimes take a backseat to production because real artists ship? The truth is that patience is not some outdated idea; if you really want to be successful as an entrepreneur, then this is one virtue you need to master.
3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Need to Be Patient to Be Successful
We are living in an instant generation. We want to cash in on our passions, and we want it now. While many see this as a negative, there is a positive side to this. We are able to get out there and just do it, to reach for success even in the face of the fears that try to hold us back.
But there is also a real downside. If you get impatient too quickly and move on to the next project without following through to the end, then you will never be a success at anything. If truly you want to build a sustainable business, then you need to know when to wait- to sit back and just let things happen. Here are three areas where mastering patience can make a big difference as an entrepreneur:
- You can embrace setbacks. Set backs will happen; your strength and your ability to succeed is in how you handle them. When things don’t go the way you planned, what do you do? Do you crumble, get angry and defensive, or run away? On the other hand, do you tend to brush off mistakes and go on as if nothing happened?
Neither approach is good.
Realize that as an entrepreneur you are going to make mistakes along the way. No one is perfect; it’s a part of being human. Greatness in business (and in life) means making the effort to understand what went wrong, then taking a deep breath, picking yourself up, and moving on. When you walk away from your mistakes too soon, you lose a precious opportunity to learn and grow from these experiences. Take that learning away, and then all you are left with is failure.
- Building a business is a process. You need to develop your product and service, refine your business model, raise money, build a customer base, collect feedback and adjust your offering to match customer preferences. If you are doing your homework, making an effort to take the right steps, and are open to learning as you go, then you have to give these processes time and space to happen.
When you are too eager for things to just instantly come through, that’s when you start making stupid, short-term decisions at the expensive of the future. An example of this would be setting your prices too low in order to cover instant costs at the expense of healthy, long-term revenue.
Keep in mind that as an entrepreneur, Murphy’s law will be in full force. Many of your goals and milestones will take much longer than expected. The more frustrated you get about the small delays and roadblocks along the way- especially the ones that are out of your control- the less energy you will have to spend on the things that matter. You need to have faith in your idea and remain focused on your long-term goals even when you’re not seeing instant results and success.
- You won’t be “blinded” by passion. The early stages of starting a new business are a fun and exciting. Developing the business model and plan, naming the business, on-boarding investors, and selling to those first few customers are all part of the thrill of start-up. But as your business starts to mature, that thrill can easily give way to the less exciting challenges of day-to-day management. Many aspiring entrepreneurs walk away from a promising new venture simply because they feel that the passion is gone.
In reality, patience and hard work is what ultimately leads to success, as Mark Cuban once said:
‘Follow Your Passion’ is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get… When you work hard at something you become good at it… When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more… When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it… When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.
So if you to be successful as an entrepreneur, make the effort to slow down, take a deep breath, and master the art of patience. In the end, good things are bound to happen.