Patience is still a virtue
Most business owners hear this platitude and simply ignore it. They think that patience is only for fools or people who don’t mind being left behind.
It’s not surprising that patience is not practiced often. There is so much media hype around getting "rich quick." The recent sale of Instagram to Facebook for $1 billion is the latest outlier to fuel this fire.
Instagram’s founders, Mike Systrom and Mike Krieger, went from having a great idea to selling their company for a billion dollars within 18 months without reporting any revenues. Unfortunately, the sale of Instagram is the exception to the business building rule.
Historically, most "overnight successes" in business take at least seven to 10 years to be truly successful. Most entrepreneurs who sell their company have been building toward that sale for a decade or more.
Being patient is tough. By their very nature, entrepreneurs are not very patient people. With instant gratification and 24/7 calls to action, it has become increasingly difficult to take a longer-term view of your company’s success. Experienced entrepreneurs understand this. In fact, most successful business owners start more than one venture before achieving financial success.
Being impatient can actually be a company killer. It tempts business owners to constantly change direction and stray from a chosen path. This gives everyone in the company’s wake (including employees) whiplash!
How can patience increase your success?
1. Start with a healthy dose of ambition. Ambition is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s necessary to establish goals. You don’t have to be patient when it comes to executing your ideas in a timely manner.
2. Take interim steps. Business success is a series of small achievements. Only daredevils make risky jumps. No matter what you do, some steps you take will be right and others dead wrong. What matters most is constantly evaluating these business outcomes in order to keep moving toward your specific goal.
3. Don’t get stuck. Decide to take action, but don’t expect only one result. Figure out what counts as a success or failure after taking each step. Then, decide what to do next. Patience means taking a long-term view on reaching a business goal. Remember, the path to success is rarely a straight line.
4. Build a foundation. The best business relationships are built with people who know, like and trust us. But building trust, especially in a business or professional relationship,takes time and can never be rushed. Social media is great but doesn’t help you create trusting, long-term relationships. Be patient by providing real value to people in your network before asking them for anything in return.
How has being patient helped you succeed?
His first book, You Need to Be A Little Crazy: The Truth about Starting and Growing Your Business , describes the ups and downs and emotional trials of running a business. Currently in its fourth reprint, it has been translated into Chinese, Russian, Korean and Thai. Moltz also authored Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success and B-A-M! Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World . His fourth book, Small Town Rules: How Small Business and Big Brands Can Prosper in a Connected Economy , will be published by Pearson in March 2012. For more information, visit www.barrymoltz.com