3 Occasions Where Patience Is Key
Everyone can be impatient from time to time -- it’s part of human nature. But there are those people that can't seem to wait for anything, and on the surface, seem to get an insane amount done. The reality, though, is that if you dig deeper into the minds and actions of these overly successful grinders, there is going to be a very calculated practice of patience buried in their ways.
Let's look at a handful of times when patience becomes key.
1. When looking for new opportunities
As entrepreneurs we think that opportunity can be found anywhere, and as we get more adept at awareness, they seem to come out of the woodwork constantly. The problem with this, commonly referred to as “shiny object syndrome,” is that it’s tempting to chase each opportunity that comes our way. But that's devastating -- the more you split up your time, the less you’ll be able to focus on each opportunity.
It’s exceptionally important that you take your time, be patient and choose the right opportunity to pursue because regardless of what you pick, you’re going to be spending an insane amount of time doing it.
2. While developing your team
Sure, some people learn faster than others, but when helping your people to develop and advance inside your organization, it’s considerably more beneficial for them to learn on their own, through experiential situations, than to learn from training manuals or from you just telling them the answers.
Yes, there are some things that aren’t worth the time required to create experiential learning opportunities (such as how to log into the admin system or clock in and out), but setting the basic or minimum job duties aside, you’ll have a lot more success by answering questions with questions that lead them down a path to discovering the answer on their own -- commonly referred to a the Socratic teaching method -- which I assure you requires some patience. Think of it more like an investment.
3. When building relationships
Far too often you’ll have a conversation with someone you’ve just met, and in the first 30 seconds, the dreaded question comes out, “So, what do you do?” This is one of the worst ways to get to know someone new, and just screams “I’m only interested in getting something of value from you.”
The truth is that the age-old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is absolutely valid and the only way you’re going to create a network that allows you to accomplish amazing things in a shorter period of time is by being patient and building lasting relationships with others that have been more successful than you. It’s really that simple and the second that you become impatient and make an "ask" too early -- before you have a real relationship -- you’ve blown it.
Adam Callinan is a founder at BottleKeeper, the fast-paced and sarcasm-infused solution to the warm beer and broken bottle epidemics that have plagued the world for centuries. Callinan is also a founding partner at Beachwood Ventures, a Los Angeles-based early-stage and non-traditional venture-capital firm at the intersection of technology and entertainment. As an entrepreneur, Callinan has spent over a decade building small businesses in and around technology, medical devices and consumer products, which most recently includes an exit in 2013. Callinan lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife Katie.