I’m impatient by nature. And when I once stumbled upon this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that says: “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”, I thought that Mother Nature, in addition to being patient, must have a very good sense of humor.
I guess she kept her big secret from me when I arrived on this planet. But the good news is, choosing the entrepreneur path often allowed me to turn my original impatience into a real asset.
One could argue that impatience is self-sabotage and that it can make you lose it completely when you have to make decisions that imply long processes or dealing with a heavy hierarchy (wink wink global groups).
But what’s the way to go as an entrepreneur? Going for things, no matter what, annoying others along the way with your perpetual sense of urgency they probably don’t understand or embrace the inertia of the world and wait for things to come to you?
Personally, I’m picking the first option without hesitation.
Then, once you have accepted that your impatience is not a bad thing, you have to learn to live with it. Because let’s be honest, it can also be very, very damaging to your nerves. If you’ve been diagnosed with the impatience syndrome, you’re the perfect client for burnout. So watch out and read.
You’ll have to follow three simple steps:
1. Live up to the famous serenity prayer
Repeat it to yourself as a mantra each time you’re getting pissed at something or someone.
This is how it goes:
Give me the Grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
As you can tell, that last part is the most important one and gets us to our second step.
2. Identify the moments where your impatience will be a fuel and the ones where it will unnecessarily set things on fire
Let’s work with the example of being stuck in a traffic jam because to me, this one is THE indicator of my mental state. I usually turn into the worst Italian truck driver when I hit the road so when I’m able to stay calm in a traffic jam, it’s a sign that I’m good, very good. It’s a situation over which you don’t have any control, in which you can’t really do anything else except listening to music and repeat the serenity prayer until your mind stops running wild.
3. Check that your impatience is in line with your ambitions
Of course, I’m all for impatience but it doesn’t mean throwing yourself around, being all over the place all the time or getting angry at the people you work with.
It means taking risks and calling, texting or writing to someone five times if needed. And this implies having a clear vision of your goals and taking purposeful steps towards them. Don’t appear as desperate but just as very determined.
Long story short: make peace with your impatience and make sure it doesn’t interfere with your gut feeling. No matter how impatient you might be, you have to listen to that one. It will be your everlasting best friend during your whole entrepreneur life (and long after that). But since this topic would need another article for itself, I’ll just stop this one here.
Looking forward to hearing how impatient you are!