Patience messages on my wall

October 5th, 2008

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I have a bunch of reminders up on a wall near where I work.  I believe that PATIENCE is a vital part of making money through enjoyment.  The “urgency addiction” we’ve all been trained to believe is so important just gets in our way of 1) creating a truly unique, resonant dream business, and 2) our enjoyment in creating it.

Do more by doing less – 80/20 rule

It’s not the quantity of stuff that you do that matters, it’s the quality or resonance of what you do. 80/20 rule: 20% (or less) of what you do will create 80% (or more) of the results.  So focus on finding the 20%!

Patience is important in helping you sift the “gold from the fool’s gold.”  It’s easy to come up with a bizillion ideas for your business – blogs, products, features, events, content, lead generation ideas…blah blah blah.  Time, even a few days or weeks, helps you sift through the ideas worth doing from the ideas to leave behind.  What would really be meaningful to customers?  What kind of dream business do you really want to create?

It’s tempting to think “if I just get more of these ideas done, it’ll help my business, right?”  But – you and your business, no matter how big it gets, will never have the capacity to execute on all your ideas. Even if you become a billion-dollar company. So instead of trying to do MORE, focus on finding the idea nuggets, the diamonds in the batch, that will truly make a difference (which takes patience).

It’s quality of experience, not quantity of features or marketing programs, that draws customers to you. For example, customers won’t care, use or consume most of the features, content and marketing efforts you produce.  Before doing much marketing, be patient in tuning your business, testing your product/packaging/messages. Do you still have to ‘push’ people into buying, or do people connect with it and come to you?  If you still have to push or pester people to get their attention or to buy, it’s a sign you haven’t tuned your product or messaging enough yet.  When people get excited and say things like “I want that!” or “That is so cool!”, then you know it’s time to start investing more in getting the word out!

Create ideas, but then sit with them to see which ones truly deserve your attention, and then pick out the few best ones.  Do more by doing less.

Impatience steals your enjoyment

Impatience = unhappiness.  “I’m not happy with what I have, so I need to get these other things, fast.”  Impatience implies a need to be somewhere else, a dissatisfaction with what you have. So by definition, when you’re feeling mpatience, you’re enjoyment and happiness is less.  How can you smell roses when you’re moving too fast even to see them?

Patience creates time

When you realize that most of what you do (80/20 rule) isn’t a true contributor to your dreams and success, and that patience is one way to help distinguish “activity” from “productivity”, then consider that patience creates time for you.

How long will it take to create your dream business?

It’ll be years, not months. For a normal new business that isn’t based on consulting, it usually takes 2-3 years to get to self-sufficiency.  So if you’re always impatient, thinking “if I just get to that next goal…”, you’re going to be unhappy for quite awhile 🙁

Focus on enjoying the ride – find ways to make money through enjoyment, including enjoying the path of creating your business 🙂

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3 Responses to “Patience messages on my wall”

  1. Mike Genstil Says:

    Great thoughts, Aaron. Striking a balance between driving hard to monetize what you have, vs. ensuring that what you have is monetize-able, is key.

    You can always tune the product more, you can always invest more in marketing…so being patient in the meantime makes a lot of sense.

    Surrounding yourself with people who consistently ask the hard questions is an essential ingredient to success.

  2. Wendy T Says:

    I’m very glad that I stumbled upon your PebbleStorm and then your blog through Meetup Los Angeles. I found myself perusing Meetup in the first place because I found myself thinking that I had to do something to network and get the word out on what I do. The more I browsed the various and sundry groups, the lower my mood sank. Although I feel as though I’ve discovered what I’m here to do and I’m excited about doing it (I’ve been self-employed and developing my business for almost two years), I just don’t know how or where to get the word out about what I do as a sustainable/restorative landscape designer or attract enthusiastic clientele. I’m feeling pressed economically and patience is getting squeezed along with my available funds. Even though I think the horizon for what I have to offer looks bright because I know I have something of great value to offer, I’m currently scared and concerned I might have to give it all up and just get another (uninspiring) job. Patience is a good watchword but is there a when or if to throwing in the towel?

  3. aaronross383 Says:

    Hi Wendy –
    It’s ok if you get a dayjob for now for the income, and make your sustainable/restorative landscape designing passion a side business. Give yourself and it more time to let it develop at its own pace. These things always take longer than you want! Take the pressure off yourself. Perhaps there is a job you can find that would put you in an environment in which you’d meet more potential clients, such as a nursery, so that you’d get steady income and help your dream business at the same time.

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