I think we’re all impatient by nature.
Then again, maybe it’s just me. It just seems so natural to want what we want as soon as possible, especially for entrepreneurs and people with entrepreneurial mindsets.
I read a book once that said one of the character traits of successful entrepreneurs is “patient urgency”. Entrepreneurs tend to have the ability to wait for the right time but they can’t wait to work on and perfect their idea until it’s the right time. I’m starting to figure out that waiting until the right time is the key to that equation.
I think most entrepreneurs would say that they have the urgency part down, it’s just the “waiting for the right time” part that they get hung up on.
Look at some of the most successful people around.
Seth Godin spent years at Yoyodyne and other companies before he had saved enough money to start his first business.
Mark Cuban worked at odd jobs in college and sold software as a salesman before he finally went out and did his thing on his own years later.
Dave Ramsey sold his books out of the trunk of his car and had a small time Radio show for years before he ever caught real traction.
Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a post on Medium about how he spent like 12 years working his tail off before he started really building his personal brand. In fact, he was only able to build his personal brand because he spent those 12 years in the trenches.
All throughout history you can find example after example of people who were wildly successful but only after years of hard work and labor. You’ll have to look hard for that part of the story though because that’s not the sexy part so that’s the part that gets skipped in most success stories.
The truth is, if you want to do anything of any significance it’s going to take time. I just excepted it as natural law. Once you look around the world and start examining what anything truly impactful looks like, you’ll start to see that there really is no such thing as overnight success. Not in work, not with your kids, not with your marriage, not with your money, not with your friendships. It all takes a grueling amount of work.
But I think that’s for the best. I think God puts us through that so we’re actually prepared when it’s time to step up and do the thing we were meant to do.
It’s very hard to keep that in mind, especially in this generation. With guys like Mark Zuckerberg and all the other tech entrepreneurs that seem to change the world overnight, it’s tough to keep hard work and persistence in mind. But you can’t look at those guys and you can’t use them as models. They’re literally one in a billion and what happened to them most certainly will not happen to you or me. That’s not being negative or closed-minded, that’s seeing the world for what it is.
99.99% of the time, hard work and dedication are what pay off. Not swinging for the fences.
Have you ever heard of the 10,000-hour rule?
Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours of practice before you can be truly great at any one skill.
Think about that: If you spent two hours a day working on your skill, it would take you 13.6986 years (give or take) to be truly great at that skill.
Even if you spent 10 hours a day working on it, it would still take you nearly 3 years to achieve expertise.
Three years of 12 hour days is insane, but that’s what it takes.
(Side note: If you’re thinking 10,000 hours sounds ridiculous, check out Malcolm Gladwell. Trust me, he does his research.)
So what does that mean for you?
Keep your head down, be consistent, and don’t get discouraged. Don’t obsess over something for the sake of achieving your goals faster. Slow down and enjoy life, and take every experience as it comes. Don’t look past the here and now, because God put you right here and right now for a reason. Learn today’s lessons so you can pass tomorrow’s tests.
Rick Warren calls this “life’s waiting room” and I’ve also heard it called “being in the desert.”
If you’re in the desert right now – waiting for your big moment to come – don’t get discouraged. It’s actually a good thing. You’ll be all-the-better for it when your time comes.