Patience Is Undervalued: Why Values And Character Matter Even More Today In Business And Life
Every building has a foundation. Every movement has an underlying cause. All things grow from a belief in something. If you want to change the world, or even change your life, no-one is going to do it for you and adversities are assured. Its up to you and this comes down in the end to your values and character. These two things are inextricably linked because values reflect people’s morales and beliefs and character demonstrates the existence of those values by how people conduct themselves. Values mean nothing if you don’t act them out through your character and without values your character doesn’t matter.
Values and character are so important today because we are living in a world where the short term tends to get more emphasis. As a result patience is undervalued and people in business and life can tend to forget the long-term. Increasingly it seems we are looking for short cuts; the quick buck. This is having an adverse impact on entrepreneurship and our start-up culture because too many are swinging for the fences instead of steadily trying to make base hits. Our culture has enough stories to share regarding this point including a start-up culture where everyone is focused on Uber success. Consider the very successful entrepreneur Mariam Naficy who said ,“ You can sell your company for more than $100 million (today) and still be a ‘nobody’ ”. After selling eve.com for over $100 Million while only in her twenties, Mariam was having big challenges with her future. In an interview Mariam referred to the dangers of certain mythologies around “success” that she sees everywhere saying:
Mariam is right, nothing of substance is built quickly. While there maybe the occasional exception, those are clear anomalies. You likely have heard about the notion of an “overnight success”. They don’t exist. With clear values and character you get things done in the long-term because the world throws a lot of distractions at every and anyone and only by having a foundation and grit can you succeed. This reminds me of a story my father used to share when I was a child. It went like this:
Two travelers went to the mountains. When their journey passed the half-way mark, the beginner, who had never made such a trek, looked at the undergrowth, steep climb ahead and began to lament to his partner, “where is the beautiful scenery, which you spoke about and promised?” His experienced companion smiled and answered: “You’re in the midst of it. You’ll be convinced of the beauty and see the vistas as we reach the mountain’s top.”
The importance of values and character are often unrealized for a long time and we only see their importance when we approach the summit. Having the character, despite it sometimes being costly and hard, to stick by your values in the face of constant temptations to take a “short-cut” is the very definition of character. You have to stick with the long term, the long game, based on your beliefs and values.
I could not have ever achieved success without the values I and the people I worked with, like my partners Maureen and Robert, lived every day .
1. Have Integrity
Chose your actions based on values not only for personal gain.
2. Work Hard
Really work hard. Nothing is easy and if you are not putting in the long hours things do not get done for our customers, partners, people and each other.
3. Value Relationships
Its not about you its about everyone else first. Be loyal to those who help you and grateful , even to those that hate you.
4. Embrace Diversity
People are different and different types of people can make you better if they share the same values and character.
5. Have Fun
Life is short, you’ve got to laugh, smile and have fun.
6. Care About People
Really caring means taking time to listen and do for others in a way that is meaningful to them and reflects your appreciation and respect.
7. Use Your Brain
Today more than ever one has to be smart to succeed. There are more tools and ways to do things effectively than ever before. Keep learning in order to stay on top of what is possible to get things done in the best way.
As life goes on and particularly if you intend to do something important, trials and tribulations are assured, and the importance of values and character over-time become clear. Like the two partners climbing the mountain, it takes character and values, along with some other principals, to get to the top. Work with people who can make you a better person and keep in mind your values as you handle situations in the face of challenges. Always reflect on the right thing to do and this will ultimately lead to success if your lucky. Living your values by how you conduct yourself overtime is the essence of success. This is a very important foundation to remember and it requires taking a long-term view and valuing patience more instead of less.
Bryan O’Rourke is an entrepreneur, consultant, executive and investor. He has presented as a keynote speaker at industry and corporate conferences on four continents. He is widely published and quoted in periodicals like Inc. Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Bryan recently contributed to a book with other European thought leaders Growing The Fitness Sector Through Innovation which was released in April of 2016 at the Europe Active Health And Fitness Forum In Cologne. Visit http://www.bryankorourke.com and connect with him @bryankorourke Snap Chat Bryankorourke and https://www.instagram.com/bryankorourke/ .