Impatient Words
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Impatient Words

Do you have an idea?

We have too many ideas already, thanks… What we need is the right people to execute them well.

There are so many startups built around brilliant ideas, with potential in the market to create the next unicorn. We’re all hoping and dreaming to set up the next multi-million company from scratch. And yes, it’s inspiring to see and hear success stories, sure, but ironically striving to being successful is rarely the cause of success.

What we don’t see is that their determination brought them there, not the idea. Instead of hyping these stories and trying to mimic the ideas, do we lose track of what we’d like to do or are actually good at? Rather we work hard, and linger in ideas not made for us. Working ourselves into the ground, so we can retire early and finally do what we love to do.

A few things we’d like to unpack here, 4 points actually;

- First of all: Are we expecting to just live for 30 years? What about the rest?

Working super hard, for a short amount of time, so you can retire early on that island you’re finally able to buy for yourself?

Moving to Sweden made me rethink this unrealistic narrative. And I moved from California, so quite the change in culture you can imagine. Life is a marathon rather than a sprint (yeah, this is ironic since we’re named Impatient, and we’re actually working with sprints.. But we’re not rushing into things. Quite the opposite. It’s not about work, being successful, about buying an island, it’s about life. And you have to be aware to what extent you’re willing to go to be “successful” and what that success means to you. Plus we’re going to run out of islands really fast.

- Secondly: Choosing great market potential over personal interest?

Often times we find people that are picking the market, purely because of its potential, only to run into problems. They don’t really like working in it, nor have they got any experience in the field. And we can safely say it’s probably not even an original idea. Sorry. People have probably already come up with it, it just hasn’t been the right person, right timing, or right environment to successfully execute it. Yet.

What does make them successful is the passion they have to solve their problem, because of personal reasons, because they’re doing something they absolutely love. It does help to benefit from being the right place and the right time. Working hard on what you love is more sustainable than following a hole in the market, or a trend. It’s those that have faith in what they do that will muddle through and pursue no matter what. They don’t know any better.

- Third: It’s not just about your success.

We aren’t in this thing for ourselves, we shouldn’t anyway. Imagine a world where everybody is aiming for this selfish goal. Everybody turning over all the stones available and walking over dead bodies to get there. This will leave nothing but piles of dead bodies (sorry for the gory picture). Rather, work on yourself and your direct surroundings first. Still work hard, just on what you actually need. Creating the right surroundings for yourself, your family and your neighbors.

It’s already challenging enough to find a sustainable way of working, financially, mentally and for your surroundings. Once we’re set ourselves, having everything we need (not what we want), we can start looking past ourselves to find who else needs help with creating this safe and self-sustaining way of living. Rather than growing, or getting more, more, more. Doesn’t that sound like a much nicer world view? There’s no shame in working hard, just look after yourself and others while doing it. And determine for yourself when enough is enough.

- Fourth and last: Focus on fixing what needs fixing, instead of adding new broken things.

Instead of creating more things that require support, let’s try and look at what already exists that need fixing. Full disclosure, we too started out working for startups, admittedly because of the excitement and feeling of helping great ideas into the world. Soon we found there’s just a whole bunch of okay ideas and even more unnecessary ideas that we just aren’t really passionate about supporting.

What we realized is that big organizations, the dinosaurs, need support right now. The need for new approaches in stagnant organizations became not only something we rolled into, it’s also making a bigger impact than we could have imagined. Just building 1 startup from the ground up, hoping it gets through all the tough starting phases, gets the word out, towards the right people, get enough funding, the right team, while having no competition worth mentioning… All this effort, without working at the idea that started the need to bring it into the world in the first place. Turns out most of the hard work actually just goes into the business bit, not in the great idea, or in the development of this idea.

Now, implementing new ideas into existing companies isn’t easy either, but you’ll get some results and impact fast. With less effort you can create a more wide-spreading change, which in turn creates a sustainable way of working.

Okay what now, how do we approach this?

We created some rules we (try to) work and live by. Some boundaries we set up to be as creative as we can possibly be, while staying true to our ideas and staying consistent. These rules might change over time, but they help us for a holistic work approach and keep an eye on the bigger picture. Design disciplines that can be moved around, combined and scaled as we find fit.

Try and create a reusable system for yourself, a way of working that will sustain the everyday tests. And let us know if we can help with that. We have ours, it’s called the Impatient Way.

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Living and working the Impatient Way

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Robin van Wijk

Robin van Wijk

Working with, learning and teaching new ways of working

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