“The key to everything is Patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” – Arnold H. Glasow
I am not a patient individual. The Disc Personality test puts me at a high D/C, and I have ADD to boot, which makes it hard for me to stay focused and on course all the time.
My brain is in constant motion, solving problems that haven’t arisen yet, answering questions that haven’t been asked yet, finishing projects in my mind before they have actually been completed, leading powerfully from the front with a naïve belief that my team is moving at the same frenetic pace as me.
I was so wrong.
As a successful business-owner with multiple real estate and marketing companies, my journey of 18+ years towards attaining a level of patience and equilibrium has been a tough battle. I have fought and prayed for every shred of patience I have mustered. And I did it because of one reason only: you cannot exist in a people-centric business without a high tolerance of people.
All sorts of people. Employees and core team members who I can mentor, disciple and train, but cannot finally push to a place of excellence where they themselves do not want to go. Entrepreneurs I consult with, who want to take the shortcut to success without gaining foundational experience. Clients who rather exist in status quo than look at an innovative idea or a money-saving, new policy in the face.
It happens. When you’re dealing with people 24×7, you have to make allowances for all shades of personalities.
And build a huge reservoir of patience so you do not deliver the whole vision you have for them, or for the company, at once!
This is a valuable lesson I am finally beginning to learn myself. That each person has his or her own pace of processing, growing and changing. As a leader, it is my job to know when to give them the next crucial piece of the puzzle, so they are equipped to take the next step in their own personal journey. And then the next piece, and then the next piece, until the full picture has emerged.
And when it finally does, it wasn’t me – but they – who did it for themselves. My job is that of a facilitator, and if I can fulfill this role consistently – without losing patience with the organic nature of the growth process itself – then I have truly succeeded.
It works the other way too. When I consciously practice patience, I give myself the leisure to make more effective decisions without pole-vaulting over the next dozen hurdles in the way. By taking it slow, I am seeing things, finding things I may have missed earlier because I was always in a hurry.
Mastodon, my new media company is a reflection of sorts, of this great change that is coming upon me. I am choosing better people, building a stronger business from ground up and it is already paying off.
But I am not on this journey alone. Like Moses, I have God’s friendship guiding my way. As long as I spend a few minutes daily with my inner silence – usually when I am out on my walks or in meditation – I can hear His voice loudly and clearly.
Yes, controlling my mind’s constant chatter is still a daily challenge. Patience, after all, is not just the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. I doubt I will ever be able to say that I have truly triumphed in my ongoing battle for patience. I have to keep reminding myself of my fallibility as a human being and then attempt to rise above it.
For the betterment of myself, my family and my business.
Matt is a founder and CEO of Mastodon Media. He’s a Christ-inspired entrepreneur with a mission to help professionals grow and companies flourish with the Christ-led principles of Business Discipleship.