Patience is an underrated skill in business. Do not fall into the trap of making decisions too quickly and regretting them later.
It is important to make decisions when you run a business. Indeed, there are some situations where making any decision is better than analysis paralysis. However, there are also times when you need to be patient and wait for the stars to align in your favour.
An obvious example of slow but sure is hiring staff. When you have got a very clear job spec outlining the skills the new hire will need, there is nothing to do except wait until the right person comes along.
If you have “just taken anyone” in the past, you will know this is a bad option. It might have been ok when you were a startup, but settling just will not do for a fully functioning business with ambition. If a new person cannot do the job, it drains your time, energy and resources.
Not only that, in 12 months’ time you will have to go through the whole recruitment process again, having wasted a year of your life.
Another example is making a decision to set a new higher minimum entry level for new clients. If the decision has been made for the right reasons, there is nothing to do but wait for the right clients to arrive. If you keep saying “yes” to new prospects who do not meet your minimum standards, you will just keep spinning your wheels and clogging up the system.
Sometimes it is less obvious when to exercise patience. If you are unsure about a decision and do not have a read on it, usually the issue is you do not have enough information.
The first step you can take to help you decide is to do more research. Be patient, do some Googling, speak to someone who knows more about the subject and read up on it.
What you uncover will help you make an informed decision. You just have to remember to exercise patience in the first instance.
Patience is a highly underrated skill in business. Sometimes doing nothing is the best course of action – but it can be really difficult to do.
Holding out for the right new team member, client or piece of technology is a discipline you must master. It is about your standards – do you have the stamina to set your standards and adhere to them?
Holding out becomes much easier when you are clear on two things:
1. Recognise you are worth it.
You need to start taking yourself and your ideas seriously. It is all too easy to deflect and self-deprecate when asked about your business ideas. Who are you to have such big ideas above your station?
Your ideas are valuable and worth pursuing. If you do not take them seriously, it is likely no one else will either. When you believe that you and your ideas are valuable, you will find the stamina and discipline to hold out for whatever it is you need.
2. Be clear on where you are headed.
A lack of clarity does not show up as a lack of ideas. Rather it shows up with almost every idea looking like it might be worth pursuing, and that can create chaos.
Business owners are famous for generating lots of new ideas, much to the chagrin of their team. Only when you know exactly where you are headed can you evaluate an idea effectively to see if it has value.
Clarity lets you say “no” to nine out of 10 new ideas, so you can focus your limited time and resources.
When you are clear on your direction of travel, you can hold out for what you need to move forward. It is why you must have a fully formed business plan.
You know deep down when it is a bad idea to cave in and just accept near enough is good enough. You can still have doubts and hang tough. You can still feel uneasy and adhere to your standards.
When you honour your ideas and hold out for precisely what you need to achieve your new bigger vision, you avoid the hassle, pain and time wastage that comes from accepting something less.
It is the most efficient route to your objective. Going slow is often the fastest way to achieve your goals.
Hold out. Hang tough. Be patient.
Brett Davidson is founder of FP Advanc