Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How Is Patience Related to Business - Business Tip # 11

Whoever coined the proverb "Patience is a virtue" didn't do it just so your parents would have something to say in order to justify putting off buying you a car. He or she had larger, loftier lessons in mind. Patience has gotten a bad rep, as a way to learn to pass the time before things start moving. It has also gained a reputation as a safety blanket under which not-so-motivated/not-so-sure entrepreneurs can hide. Patience should be seen in a positive light, and that is what we hope to instill in you - a true appreciation for the value of patience, and a sense of its merit as a component of your business ethic.

Patience can be defined loosely as the quality of not being hasty or impetuous. Through our definition, patience is seen in a positive light for being the virtue that it is. Patience is about exercising intelligent and informed restraint, not blind and submissive resignation. It is a tolerance for the time required to execute the perfect business transaction. Do not see it as a sign of inner weakness. Nor is it a lack of belief in the inevitability of your own eventual success. Keep in mind that patience is a skill, and that much like the tolerance for spicy food, it can be acquired through practice. The success of even the best entrepreneurial idea depends critically on a healthy dose of patience. Even a so-called overnight success is going to take more than just 24 hours.

Some of the issues you will encounter during the process of starting your own business involve the approval or review of others. For example, when you draft a business plan and send it to potential investors, you will need to wait for them to get back to you. Since your blood, sweat, and tears have gone into getting the proposal just right, you are confident that it is a perfect plan that requires no further explanation or debate. But investors might not immediately see it that way. Just as you have done research in preparing the proposal, they, too, will conduct their own research and implement their own evaluation before coming to a decision. Acting in their own best interests (as everyone does), they cannot take a proposal at the entrepreneur's word. In a case like this, you simply have to be able to wait for a response. The case is the same when waiting for pending patenting, pending acceptance of a contract, and so on.

Waiting for a response can be frustrating if you expect results too quickly. Don't be too hard on yourself. Speak with people in your industry, and get an idea for how quickly you should expect to hear. Ask the investors themselves for an estimated response time. Base your worries on these estimates, and learn to be patient. The world won't stop spinning to attend to your idea, so it helps to be patient.

In a broader sense, be patient for your business to be able to stand on its own two feet. You are taking on the world, you know. Although the task is not impossible, it will take time. And if you believe in patience as a virtue from the start, you will be better off in the process. As a component of your business ethic, patience will help you not to disappoint yourself by expecting too much too soon. While fast and direct success would be ideal, it cannot be expected. Slow and steady will get you there with half the stress.

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