The idea of patience can frequently appear out of date in our fast-paced, competitive world of business, when every decision feels like a race against time. The idea of carefully growing a business might seem out of place in a climate where the motto is “innovate or perish” and startups are hailed as the next overnight sensations. But what if I told you that in addition to it being a virtue, patience is also a powerful and underutilized growth tactic in business?
In this blog post, we will delve deep into the overlooked and underappreciated role of patience in business growth. Why? Well, I am chewing threw this with two of my endeavors and believe that the topic may be useful for you. I want to disprove the idea that success is ultimately measured by speed and instead examine how a patient approach may revolutionize your business as well. I believe that I can present a strong argument for why waiting can be the key to unlocking sustained, long-term success, even though agility and innovation logically have their place.
The Rush To Success
Let’s address the pressing need for success before getting into the specifics of how patience can be a development strategy. A tremendous amount of pressure is placed on businesses in today’s fast-paced (ever-on and digitized) business environment to produce quick results and quick growth. Who hasn’t been in a role where everyone is wanting to get it done yesterday? Entrepreneurs are also told to “move fast and break things” or to “disrupt” industries before someone else does. We’ve created a society where urgency reigns supreme (and everything should be here and now – whether a project deliverable or a package we just ordered), and the fear of missing out or being left behind can drive hasty decisions and actions – because in our heads we feel as though we will get left behind.
While having ambition is unquestionably a positive quality, rushing to success can result in a number of negative outcomes. I know, because I’ve been there. You see as entrepreneurs, we at times can find ourselves acting on the spur of the moment rather than following a well-thought-out plan. In any business burnout among staff and bosses alike can emerge from the relentless pursuit of quick expansion, which in, my view, ultimately hurts a company’s long-term prospects. The value of creating a strong foundation and encouraging steady, sustainable growth frequently gets overlooked in this frenetic pursuit of instant success.
The Power Patience Has
From my perspective, one of the most important situations when having patience can really help and make a significant difference is when you are – making decisions. Decisions are like building blocks in the realm of business. Your decisions today will determine how your company develops in the future. As a result, it’s essential to make sure that these blocks are carefully constructed and strategically placed. Just like anything in life, business is the same.
Patience in decision-making entails gathering important data, thoroughly analyzing the options, and considering the long-term consequences of your choices. It entails resisting the temptation to jump on the latest trend or making a decision based solely on short-term rewards.
Let me give you an example:
Consider Amazon, which was founded by Jeff Bezos. Amazon was not always the profit machine that it is now. Instead, the company concentrated on developing a large customer base and a solid infrastructure. It ran a loss for several years, which may have worried many investors. Bezos, on the other hand, was patient enough to wait for the proper moment to shift toward profitability. This perseverance paid off handsomely, as Amazon has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most profitable corporations.
Now I’m sure that through those periods, the discussions during meetings became tense, or things needed to get done by midnight, etc., however, Amazon’s story demonstrates the importance of patience in decision-making. Rather then yielding to the pressures of short-term profit, Bezos took decisions that laid the groundwork for Amazon’s long-term prosperity. He saw that laying a solid foundation and cultivating customer trust would eventually lead to long-term success.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting fast gratification in the world of business and entrepreneurship (and life as well). However, by being patient in your decision-making process, you may make choices that correspond with your long-term vision and put your company (and you) on a path to long-term success.
Building Trust And Strong Relationships
Patience is crucial in the development of relationships and trust. Trust is the money that supports all transactions in company, whether with customers, partners, or employees. Trust is something that cannot be rushed – quick, quick, it’s all good. No, just like in any relationship, it must be developed gradually. And it takes time to build good relationships. It entails taking the time to understand your clients’ needs, listening to their criticism, and following through on your commitments regularly. It entails cultivating relationships and cooperation even when the rewards are not immediately obvious. More then just NPS scores and feedback surveys. It’s about cultivating that 5 star review by going above and beyond.
Starbucks is another example.
Starbucks the global coffee behemoth has mastered the art of relationship-building. Starbucks invests substantially in barista training in order to create a pleasant and friendly environment in its stores. Even in a market with several competitors, this emphasis on customer experience and connections has resulted in a highly devoted client base. Especially in the early years.
Starbucks’ success demonstrates that patience in developing relationships can pay off handsomely. While other coffee shops may promote speed and efficiency, Starbucks prioritizes the quality of customer connections. Starbucks has thrived despite competition from both large and small coffee shops because of its commitment to developing trust and loyalty. Businesses that prioritize relationship-building stand out in an age where quick satisfaction is the norm. They recognize that trust cannot be rushed or created; it must be developed over time via continuous, painstaking efforts.
Now where Starbucks is today, is a different story, as we shift to more local shops again. I believe their peak is over, but that large base is still there as they continuously reinvent themselves.
I am not talking about all the wishy washy “reduced plastic” labels crap on bottles, with all the green washing happening. I’m talking about sustainable growth being an important goal for every company that wants to last over a longer period of time. While rapid growth may bring short-term rewards (look at WeWork), it frequently comes at the expense of long-term viability. Patience allows organizations to concentrate on laying a solid foundation that will support consistent growth over time.
To me, Apple stands out in this area. Apple’s journey to becoming a trillion-dollar firm is a fascinating case study in long-term growth (if your in marketing or honestly anyone in business you should read up on it more). Apple continually created breakthrough products under the creative leadership of Steve Jobs. What distinguished Apple was not only its innovations, but also its unwavering commitment to excellence and customer experience.
Apple has never compromised quality for speed. Instead than rushing products to market, the corporation improved and enhanced them over time. This strategy resulted in a brand that customers respect and admire. Apple’s products gained a reputation for dependability, design, and seamless integration throughout time (creating names like Jony Ive). And I don’t use any Apple products, however, I find that their narrative reminds us that perseverance in seeking long-term growth may result in a brand that stands the test of time. While it may be tempting to pursue fast victories and rapid expansion, investing in your products, services, and brand will pay off in the long run.
That is what I am doing. Logically, the last point I want to make here revolves around adaptability.
Changing Market Conditions
The business landscape is constantly changing. Businesses that are successful must be nimble and able to adjust to changing market conditions. However, patience does not imply complacency. It requires a desire to observe, learn, and adapt over time.
I remember a few years back I applied to Stepstone for a specific management role. I went through a few interviews and was selected as a final candidate for a real-life case study. I developed it in less than 3 days (despite receiving up to 2 weeks for it) and got back to HR. We made an appointment and I went in to pitch my presentation and case study results. It all revolved around customer experience and journey. Overall it went fantastic, however there was an elderly gentlemen (out of 7 people in the room) who was in charge of the sales team and somehow got stuck on one of my timelines regarding the implementation of chat bots. You see, I’m a tech maven (at least I tend to think so). I don’t know everything, but I know my way around technology (and try to keep up to date), and to me this was a crucial next step in the development (over a timeline) for this case study, however, we spent a significant portion of time discussing this one exact point and how he didn’t like it. To summarize: in the end, I didn’t get the role. Totally cool. Because the best part to me was a few months later when I came across a news article that Stepstone just acquired an American chat bot company to implement additional services.
Yes, you’re welcome Stepstone!
Market conditions are always changing and hence you need to adapt to those market changes. But patience is part of that process. I mean look at Netflix. The streaming giant has revolutionized the entertainment sector, and is a great example of gradual adaptation to market changes. Netflix began as a DVD rental service, but the company’s management recognized the change to digital streaming early on. Rather than quitting their DVD rental model abruptly, they carefully evolved into the streaming industry. (They just recently announced that the last DVDs will be able to be kept by customers).
Netflix’s smart adaptability to market changes enabled it to become a worldwide entertainment giant. Over time, the company’s willingness to learn, experiment, and pivot has kept it at the forefront of the industry. Netflix’s narrative tells us that adapting to change does not necessarily require drastic changes. Recognizing new trends, assessing their long-term potential, and making strategic movements when the time is appropriate are all part of patient adaptation. Businesses can remain relevant and competitive by gradually embracing change.
Embracing Patience as a Growth Strategy
No business path is without difficulties and failures. Patience is the anchor that holds businesses together through difficult times. It enables leaders to endure storms, learn from mistakes, and emerge stronger.
So that is my argument today. Patience stands out, to me, as a secret tool for business success in a culture that often values haste and rapid gratification. It enables deliberate decision-making, relationship-building, long-term growth, adaptation, resilience, and the formation of extraordinary teams. Remember that patience is not a sign of weakness when you embark on your entrepreneurial path or lead your firm, but rather a proof to your commitment to long-term success.
So, the next time you feel tempted to speed through a choice or chase fast victories, remember the value of patience. It could be the missing component in your success recipe (and perhaps in your life, but that is for another post).
That being said, make it happen!