Joyous impatience

My Mom gave me a cup for high school graduation that said "God grant me patience...and HURRY!" I didn't yet recognize just how impatient I was. But she knew and I soon learned.

As a marketer or product developer, always remember: impatience can KILL your chance for success in so many ways.

For starters, you need patience to create ownership in ideas or strategy. Then, you need patience to allow the plan to work. And you need still more patience dealing with staff when they say things like "do something different because this idea hasn't worked" when results are not immediate.

Over the years, I've learned how to manage my impatience (mostly). I even have found ways to use it to help me create urgency when needed - without going overboard. A sense of urgency is good, and in many companies dearly needed, but impatience is not.

Try these three things if you're impatient:

  1. Go slow when you want to go fast. This works for talking and actions. Try it. Obviously this is scaleable based on the situation or magnitude of the matter at hand.
  2. Find a healthy distraction to save you from yourself. Maybe it is a walk around the office, chewing a piece of gum or 10 push ups. Back when I could count my clients on 1 hand and worked in a home office, I would mow my lawn or take a quick bike ride rather than pester my clients. Almost always, after that 30 minute break - I'd have the email reply I needed to move the project along.
  3. Work on something you are curious about. If you need some help, check out Ted Talks.

Seth Godin talks about impatience in his Seven Marketing Sins post and in his interview below. Enjoy. [youtube]