For many of us, patience is challenging to embrace. However, if you look back on the successes you have achieved in your life, most if not all have come through consistent and disciplined effort over time. It is extremely unusual to achieve anything of value quickly and without diligent effort. That being said, I am impatient and very hard on myself. I expect my performance and the results of my performance to be extraordinary. I expect to be great and I don’t like to wait for the rewards.
Then I snap back to reality and remind myself that I have to embody certain attributes to create and maintain success. There are a number of areas I practice that exist alongside of and a part of practicing patience.
Here are five things I do to move my business forward with patience.
1. The Next Step
Focus on the next step and not the end result. I imagine myself at the bottom of a very long and steep staircase. My default is to look from the bottom to the top and think about how it is impossible for me to get up there. Then I remind myself that the only way to the top is one step at a time. So I focus not on the top but rather on the next step. The next step is the only thing that matters. After climbing a few steps I know that I can get to the top, but it is a slow and deliberate climb. One step at a time, one task at a time, one relationship at a time, one loan at a time will lead to great success.
I never take a day off. Every day I move my business forward. I have a plan that requires me to perform tasks daily, weekly, monthly, and annually to achieve my goals. I write the plan, then execute against that plan every day, even though some days are harder than others. I know that I must climb one step closer to my goals every day and thus I can’t take a day off or I risk slipping backward.
I define discipline as the things I don’t want to do but know I have to. Discipline is the key to success in every relationship and every career. We must do things every day to move our business forward. It starts with a task that we must think about and perform every day. If we push ourselves to complete these tasks every day, then eventually these tasks turn into habits. Once the discipline becomes a habit it becomes a part of our life and it becomes much easier to stay consistent.
People work with people they like and trust. We all want to be liked. Being likable in every interaction/communication is a key component to long-term, consistent success. When we are under extreme pressure and stress it is very challenging to be likable and respond in a positive manner. I try my best in every situation to tell myself that every problem is fixable and that this too will pass. Adhering to this mindset is a huge key to staying calm and likable in stressful situations. Try to remind yourself that everything has always worked out and everything will continue to work out. The problem seems huge today, but as time passes the issues/problems will become less and less significant.
Do what you say you are going to do 100% of the time even if this is at your expense. Be honest. Do the right thing. It is as easy as that. As legendary Coach John Wooden said, “Never lie, cheat, or steal.” If you operate with integrity you can always look in the mirror and say I was honest. There is a lot of peace of mind to operating with integrity.
Consider how these attributes relate to your business as you begin to incorporate patience into your leadership and organizational culture.