Biz Tips: Are We Too Impatient To Be Successful?

Biz Tips: Are We Too Impatient To Be Successful?


Are We Too Impatient To Be Successful?

The Downward Spiral of the Short-Term Thinker

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We want to be the best. We want to have the most followers. We want to be successful. But we don’t seem to want to do the work associated with these goals. We are looking for quicker solutions. Faster growth. And early recognition. But for what?

All rapid growth gets you is more headaches that you aren’t prepared for. How many times have you seen a company spend the majority of their money on marketing? And then the marketing was good. It did its job. And they can’t fulfill their own promises because they weren’t ready for the influx that they created for themselves.

We just aren’t patient. We are thinking short-term. Maximum gain with the least amount of work. And we call that efficiency. That’s not efficiency. That’s stupidity. Because that is building without a foundation to fall back on.

Short-term results are just that. They don’t last. Because the game plan behind short-term gain is ignoring the long-term impact of those choices. And when the short-term is over, the downward spiral begins.

Growth Mindset

So many new companies these days come out guns blazing. A good idea, a good product, solid marketing, smart tech. Things go well early and someone convinces them that the time to scale up is now. Don’t worry that you still don’t know what you are doing. Let’s build out your business now because you are hot.

I’ve watched companies do this right in front of me. With me as a client. The problem is that when you start your growth cycle before you have perfected your customer service and/or product, you will alienate your customers. Everyone knows where the focus is and when it is not on the customer, something is wrong.

Your obsession with growing your business leaves the service cycle of your customer in less experienced hands. Because you are too busy with scaling and have left the upkeep to others.

If you have started to push into growth mode without first making sure that your business is running smoothly, you will fail. It may not be a fiery wreck because you are moving up when things are looking good. But you will fail. Because you’ve lost your focus.

Your focus is on getting bigger. Earning more money. Not getting better. Not on perfecting the system. But on filling the pipeline. Quantity over quality. Growth sounds great to a business. But growth means more hiring and that’s when people balk. Because to grow you have to bring on more people. Better people. And they won’t because they aren’t ready for that. And that’s where it fails.

Shiny Object Syndrome

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The worst combination in business is short-term thinking combined with shiny object syndrome. Where you need to stay ahead of the curve by having the best things. Everyone pitches you on their systems and you are impressed with everything. But only because you are impressed with yourself. For now.

You have shiny object syndrome. I need this. It’s better. You switch CRMs three times in a year. Wasted money. Wasted time in moving the databases and confusing your staff. But you don’t think about that. Because you want the shinier one.

And it plays into your personal life when you get that early taste of perceived success. An article comes out about your company and it’s good. You want to look the part. Which, in the current culture, probably doesn’t mean that Ferrari. But it could mean a complete overhaul of your workplace to make it more millennial friendly.

Shiny object syndrome leads you to spend what you don’t have. You start spending what you think you will have. But your forget that you aren’t even paying attention to the day-to-day now. Because you are in growth mode. Because your business coach said it’s time. To the tune of $2,500/month for that coaching.

P.S. — that coach is a shiny object sometimes too.

Followers as an Indicator of Success

The second that you think your social media following is some indicator of your success in the beginning is the same second you should go back to the drawing board. If you allow it, your social will grow at the same pace as your company.

But we can never do that. Because we are so impatient. We want everything now. We want to look good now. So we spend all this time getting followers (or buying them). And then we have nothing to give them. Because we just wanted the numbers. We are moving too quickly.

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It’s just another short-term metric that you can show to investors that make it look like people care about your company. But it doesn’t mean anything in the beginning. The only thing that matters is the service and product. If you don’t have those working at their best, what are your followers worth?

And if you really think about it, if you get too many followers, too early, you are risking blowback when there are adjustments to your business. That’s why long-term organic growth is complementary to your business. Short-term follower gathering is just another shiny object you are obsessed with. When you should be focused on the business.

Why We Are Too Impatient To Be Successful

It’s ego. So many of our personal deficiencies are because of ego. The need to be seen. Or lauded by others. Instead of developing a strong sense of self and not worrying about the rest. Thinking long-term instead of short-term.

You know who is not too impatient to be successful? Every writer that became one of the greats. If that’s what you want to be, you have to evaluate what you are after and why. Writers spend 5, 10 years on a novel. That is patience. And dedication. And a dedication to self, not ego.

But when I think of writing, whether it be a story here, a screenplay, or a novel, I always think about how quickly I can get it done. Not in terms of rushing, but about what will happen when I finish. Will I sell it? Get a book deal. And this is impatience. It’s what we all suffer from these days.

We just can’t wait. We want instant gratification. A constant feedback loop. But many of the best ideas we will ever have won’t come to fruition for years. And the best ones will need constant work before even being considered in the arena of success.

Can any of us just put our nose to the grindstone anymore? And do the work. Without needing a pat on the back after each chapter. Or a growth metric so we can scale. Can we just be patient again? And focus on ourselves. And the work. If we do this, with requisite skill, learning and mentorship, the probability is that success will come. In time.

The Definition of Success

Maybe this is part of the problem. Success means something different to everyone. Many people view success in terms of financial gain. Many view it in terms of their own personal accolades. And others view success as what good they can do in the world. Some do all of those, and more.

But isn’t it our very definition of success that creates the impatience? If we see success as a million followers, we will focus our energy on getting followers by any means necessary. Instead of the brand. The brand would be part of it, but the metric would be the driving force.

If our vision of success is making our first million in sales, we will push the sales metric at every turn. We would add more marketers, possibly to the detriment of our service division.

But if success is viewed in terms of long-term gain, the immediacy of metric-based productivity will be less relevant. Because to stay focused long-term, you have to continue on the path you agreed upon and let it happen. Long-term planning does not yield quick results.

And when it doesn’t, many make the mistake of changing course to achieve a short-term goal that will look pleasing to others. But when they do that, they have abandoned the long-term plan that was backbone of the business. And everything has changed. Because they changed their definition of success.

That is the downward spiral of the short-term thinker. Too impatient to be successful.

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Are We Too Impatient To Be Successful? was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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