If you’re like the entrepreneurs I have met, you like to make things happen, and you like things to happen quickly. I often joke that entrepreneur years are like dog years. Days can seem like weeks and months like years. 

Unfortunately, you can put time and energy into launching something, but the market situation and economy may shift and you may be left impatiently waiting for things to happen.  

As you are waiting, you may feel like (or may actually be) hemorrhaging money and wondering if you will ever see any return on your investment. 

I feel compelled to remind you of Carol’s Rule of 3: It will likely take 3 times as long, cost 3 times as much, and be 3 times more difficult than you think it will. 

Patience is a virtue, and if it doesn’t come naturally for you, it may be something you want to cultivate. 

The challenges of time and funding

Depending on the type of business you have, there may be an urgent market need and time may truly be of the essence. For example, you may be trying to beat a competitor to market.

Or, you may be bootstrapping your business, which also makes timing important because you need to bring money in to support and grow the business. You may have a small amount of cash set aside, but please see Carol’s Rule of 3 above. 

And if you have outside investors or have taken on debt, you may be held to a timeline for repayment, which will make being patient more difficult.

The benefits of patience

Sometimes through analysis or a strong gut feeling, you will know what you need to do. That said, forcing yourself to make a decision under stress or the pressure of a tight deadline generally doesn’t lead to good decision-making. 

In my experience, the knee-jerk response is often driven by fear and a scarcity mindset. Practicing patience and making a considered decision can save you time and rework, in addition to being more likely to be successful. 

Three ways to practice patience 

Here are a few suggestions for how to be more patient. First, you can try to pull up and look at your situation objectively. Is this actually critical or can you make some adjustments? Is a deadline a necessary deadline or an arbitrary one that can be moved? Sometimes you may be so close to it that you don’t realize you can just push the timeline out if need be. 

If you have a big decision to make, try waiting 24 hours. In the heat of the moment, you won’t have access to either objectivity or creative problem-solving. The advice to “sleep on it” works here as well.

If you need to cool down and not react, say that you need some time to think about it and you will get back to the person or the team by a specific time in the future. Then, go outside for a walk if at all possible. It is amazing how things become clear when you step away and step outside. 

Patience can lead to success

Making the right decisions at the right time can only benefit your business. Being able to objectively evaluate situations will help you make the best decisions you can with the information you have at that time. 

In “7 Reasons Patience Is an Important Virtue for All Entrepreneurs,” John Boitnott says, “With patience and resilience, you remain focused on your goal despite any unexpected adversity. You know your goal is still possible and worth continuing toward, so you don’t get bogged down by the clouded judgment that frustration can bring. In short, patience helps you stay effective for the long haul.”

As an entrepreneur, patience with yourself, your team, and your business will help you make the right decisions and stick with your business so that it can grow and achieve its potential. 

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash