Well, we’re 45 days into the new company and the learnings continue. This month I have faced my old friend Patience. I have looked him right in the eye – ready to battle – and fought. And as most battles with Patience go, I have lost some and learned plenty.
I like to start things, get them rolling, and wrap them up. I’m sure some of you prefer to operate the same way. Unfortunately for me, that is not how starting a small business works. The bulk of what I have been doing in the past month has not been starting or wrapping up but rather sitting in the middle of the waiting game. I have more than once found myself wanting to scream, “Why can’t these things be easier? Why can’t people just finish the things they start? And why does everything have to be so hard?” The answer is: Welcome to the Real World. In starting this business, I had to learn how to ask for help – which is not something I love doing, to say the least. I’m usually the first one to offer assistance and at the back of the line to request it. The hard part of asking for help is that it involves other people, which by design often slows things down. However, nobody promised me that things would go smoothly, that people would complete things according to my timeline, or that anything would be easy.
Back to my friend Patience. The big learning for January was: not everything has to be done RIGHT NOW. Even though I would like to wrap things up, the reality is that that’s not reality. The lack of patience for me is a tricky emotion, as I have lots of patience with people growing and little patience with tasks or myself. Once I wrestled with this notion, I started to realize that things happen when they are supposed to, and I have no control over most things. There it is – that nasty little word control. As I have written about before, control and patience for me are intertwined. The more I try and make things happen when I want them to, the more they don’t.
So what does one do when faced again with the lack of control? You breathe, practice gratitude, try to figure out what actually needs to be completed, and let the rest go. Easier said than done, but I will keep working at it!