Patience — The Forgotten Virtue Of Businessmen
By TRISOFT team
The greatest attribute a small business leader can have is the patience to allow progress to happen in its own time.
We often wonder what makes a business work. Of course, the list is long (and somewhat harsh) and includes money, people, technology, good advice and judgement. But there is always an extra ingredient, a magic one, that seems to make things easier and more interesting. This time the secret ingredient is patience, the virtue we all heard we ought to have from a very early age.
In a world of instant information, feedback, and connection we are spoiled into believing that everything is “instant.” But very few of us are actually shown or taught how to be patient, for patience is not something we have by default, but something we consciously do. Like any other hard-earned discipline, the more we practice it, the more we learn how to master it.
For the long run
Everything is fast nowadays. Even speed dating has been popularized over recent years. The trouble with the expectation for fast results is that some things require patience, persistence and time to happen. Things like change or complex business ideas or great relationships are some that are worth waiting for. In fact, the waiting coordinate is more than meets the eye — it can have a positive effect on a person by increasing one’s humility and understanding of the fact that we can’t control everything. It also feels good to know that one’s hard work paid off.
Patience is always a good quality on an entrepreneur, but it comes especially in handy when aiming for success in a small business. Every small business owner or startup enthusiastic knows that this isn’t a job for the impatient person. Success in a small business requires a commitment to be in it for the long run.
So here are 5 benefits of practicing patience.
1. Sweet rewards
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ― Aristotle
Being patient is rarely easy to do. But it is after all a thing of habit. And so is impatience. The sooner we learn how to avoid the frustration that comes in package with the lack of patience, the faster we can start working more efficiently toward our business goals.
It’s true, changing a habit requires strong motivation. But believe us, becoming more patient will bring you positive recognition, increased customer satisfaction and larger profits. So the rewards are indeed sweet.
2. A more realistic perspective
They say patience will make you calmer and give you a more zen attitude. But on the other hand, being realistic is a real jewel. When setting up your expectations, patience will teach you how to take a step back and think about where you started and how you made progress since then. Patience will also allow you to see the bigger picture, as involved emotionally as you might be.
It’s true that your business will face challenges - competition is fierce and there will be times when your competitors will outrun you. This is where patience will pay off the most. Because not seeing results where you want them or how you want them to, may indeed be difficult to accept, but it doesn’t mean you should give up. It means you should just work harder through a process that takes months or even years, not days or weeks.
3. Smarter about decisions
Of course, when you see things clearly and realistically, you are also more inclined to make the right choices in business and in your private life. So you become smarter. Patience will teach you how to turn the negative what ifs into positive, mindful thinking. Because worrying is normal, but obsessing is disastrous.
When we are patient, we have the mindfulness to stop and focus on the present moment. And by being in the moment, we are able to make wiser choices that improve our chances to become successful.
4. Hope and tolerance
Patience does not walk alone. It brings along its good friends — hope and tolerance.
When we are hopeful, we have a natural resilience and willingness to keep trying because we trust that in the end we will succeed. At the same time, patience increases our threshold of tolerance. Patience gives us the foresight to expect obstacles on our path and to deal with them diplomatically.
5. Better control over ourselves
A lack of success or progress almost always comes down to a lack of patience, which often comes from a lack of control.
Patience gives us back the control, another strong point over our competitors. Patience puts us in control of ourselves. And what is more precious than that? When we are patient, we give ourselves time to choose a better, wiser response or reaction. Emotions no longer dictate the way we act, as self-management replaces them. It always helps to stay gathered no matter what is happening.
Looking for Excellence
Be Slow to Grow
Under different circumstances, being slow would not be an advantage. With patience though, it’s a totally changed story. We know that at the core of every true success is the awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement and the confidence that by persisting and being patient, something worthwhile will be realized. Something that one day may be looked upon as a product of excellence. Because success begins with patience and the commitment to put in the due diligence necessary for excellence.
But excellence may be achieved in so many areas, all of which being improved due to patience. At the end of the day, when we are patient we are better managers and better people.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison
We live in a world that is driven by instant gratification and get-rich quick expectations. But the same world is also filled with businesses that met their demise for these reasons exactly. When expectations are out of line patience is the only possible saviour.
Yet patience is not easy to come by. This is why, when found, it’s definitely worth holding on to.
At TRISOFT, we admire people who have achieved long, happy marriages and have overcome difficulties in life. We esteem business owners who were able to sustain their companies through difficult economic times. These people teach us that value is not expecting immediate results or instant happiness, but decent, persistent work towards your goals, even when it doesn’t appear that success is guaranteed.
So we encourage you to be the type of businessperson who is making sound decisions based upon solid values rather than impulsive reactions. Because patience is the one virtue that serves us as business people well.