Is your business growing at the speed that you planned or that you would like? For many people building businesses online, growth is measured in terms of subscribers to our email lists and in revenue terms.
When these two critical metrics don’t grow as fast as our imaginations led us to believe, we become prone to attack by our businesses’ growth public enemy number 1.
The Stupid Apple Grower
Imagine you live in the suburbs or some other such places where you and your neighbors have huge backyards.
Imagine also that your neighbor, who, besides her current full-time job, decides to plant several apple trees in this her backyard so that she can sell the apples, make a side income and use some to make her grandma’s favorite pie.
She buys standard apple tree seedlings that mature to fruit in about four to six years, plants them and starts watering them.
What would run through your mind if your neighbor starts checking to see if the trees have given fruits a week after planting the seedlings?
Imagine what would go through your mind if she comes to your house every week in the first year to complain that her apple trees despite all the watering and care she is giving them are not giving her any fruits?
Imagine also that after telling her how long it takes for a standard apple tree to mature you still see her, hands on her hips mumbling and cussing at the trees standing in the orchard? If you are the good neighbor that you are, you would probably be calling her relatives to come and check on her for she would indeed have lost her mind.
Your business is like an apple tree orchard.
Depending on how long you have been building this business, the results will take time so having the correct mindset and attitude towards its speed of growth is critical not only to the success of the business but to your productivity at your regular job as well.
Impatience Makes You Susceptible to the Shiny Object Syndrome
If you become impatient with your business’ growth, you will be tempted to shift focus away from what is currently working.
You will be tempted to try out ‘new’ things that, in your impatience, you feel might bring quicker results like new processes, systems or software tools.
When you get impatient with your results you will also be drawn to try out different methods espoused by the hottest new gurus in your space.
Don’t fall for that! Stick to what works.
This is not to say you shouldn’t seek to improve, no.
Impatience with your business’ growth could get you fired from your full-time job
When my wife I were running a bottle recycling business while I was working full-time as an engineering intern, I had 3 days off every week during which I did the bottle recycling.
My impatience, however, led me to take company trucks without authorization to deliver my bottles to the recycling depot during work hours.
I almost lost my job.
Impatience will convince you that you can get away with using company resources and doing stuff that will get you fired.
I like what Ryan Robinson teaches in his 10 Things to Avoid Getting Fired When Running A Side Business. If you have a solid handle on your critical growth metrics, you will always know when in fact your business’ progress is where it should be or not.
Impatience robs you of the most critical key to the success of your business
Consistency in putting in the work required to build your pipeline is the most critical key to the success.
Not talent, not better education, not better contacts, not access to unlimited capital. Consistency, that is the thing. It’s consistency that allows you to put in the 10,000 hours that guarantee you become a master of your craft.
It is consistency in doing the work your business is in that builds a solid reputation.
Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect is based on the fact that to achieve the compound effect, one has to be consistent in applying force or working on their craft.
If you become impatient with doing the key routine tasks like creating content, you will kill your momentum.
Impatience f*cks your ability to make good decisions for your family, business and FT Job
Having struggled with impatience myself, I know first hand how much it messes up my decision making. There is a reason why the wise of old put patience amongst the greatest virtues of humankind.
Patience puts us in absolute control of ourselves. When we are in charge of ourselves, we make better decisions all around.
Ray Dalio, in his book, points that every person is composed of two beings, the lower you and higher you.
The lower you is the impatient part of you while the higher you is the patient you.
The problem is that when you become impatient, you allow the lower you to hijack the higher you. When that happens, all sorts of stupid decisions start being made.
The best way for the higher you to always be in charge is for you to meditate.
Compare with others
Finally, impatience makes you blind to the good that is going on around your business. It leaves you prone to comparing your progress with other people’s.
Don’t do that.
Stay in your lane and just do you.