How Patience Gets You Everything
by Tanya Ganian
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
(TRANSCRIBED FROM AUDIO)
I want to talk about something that’s very important when you’re starting a business and it actually has a lot more value than money. it also has a lot more value than experience and knowledge and know-how and just about anything else that you need to start a business. And that is patience.
I have no patience. It’s so difficult for me to be patient and wait in line, wait in traffic, waiting at a red light, wait for someone else. I’m going to tell you today a little story about how my lack of patience actually affected the rest of my life.
I was always certain, since the day I picked up a pencil, that I would grow up to become a writer. There was no doubt in my mind ever. Ever. I started writing when I was 10 and I wrote incessantly. I read incessantly. I really, really loved short fiction, any kind of fiction novel really, and I used to write poems when I was in high school and I collected these books and I had notebooks of poetry and when I got to college I spoke to my literary teacher and I told her I wanted to become a writer and she asked me to bring her some of my, some of my writing and I did.
I gave them to her and a week later she came back to me and said she saw a lot of potential in me. I remember she said that in order to be a phenomenal writer, I had to be trained as a writer and a reader. I had to know all the classics and be able to recognize writing styles and she was willing to take time off her schedule and spent Saturdays with me and train me for a year. We would go through all the literary books and we would analyze writing styles and authors’ until I was able to come to a point where I was publishable.
And that was a phenomenal offer. I don’t think in my life anybody has made such a selfless offer of their time to me as this English teacher had and all I heard was a year – it’s going to take a year before I publish anything.
That’s all I heard.
I can’t wait a day for something. Waiting a year for anything was unimaginable to me and so I politely declined (this was 20 something years ago. I obviously know better today).
Instead, I sent a bunch of stories to editors of short fiction magazines and literary magazines. I just knew -I knew in my heart that when these editors read my stories, I would be hunted down as that rare literary gem that the whole literary community was looking for and they were going to knock down my door and throw millions in my face for my stories and wouldn’t believe how brilliantly I wrote without any formal training.
That really is what I expected.
Well, I could tell you I did get published and it was the most exciting thing that ever happened to me. Not only that I get published, but I got published in New York, New York. What else could you want?
With that letter of acceptance. I also got a $25 check and then I got published a few times more. Every time I got published I either got a $25 check, a $7 check or free editions to the magazine.
I soon realized I was going to be broke and I’m going to live under a bridge. I’m going to be writing under a bridge somewhere and I can’t take the time it’s gonna take to train to become a more qualified writer. And that’s when I realized that that next level up really did in fact take some formal training.
I really did start to slowly see the situation as a failure rather than the first steps that would lead to the big bucks. I saw those $25 checks, those $7 checks as not getting to where I’m supposed to go or as a stepping stone to where I was going to be. So, I put it on the back burner and I refocused my attention on something else. I like to feel pretty sure that if I had a little bit of patients, I would be sitting right now with Stephen King and his wife somewhere at a bar drinking, scotch or whatever writers drink and joking about how brilliant we are.
Speaker 1: (08:08)
This lack of patience was a theme that just repeated over and over and over again. In my life. I had to do things quickly. I had to accomplish things quickly. I didn’t give anything the time that it took to grow and now that I’m in a new place, I’m older, I realize the value of patience. It is the fundamental value in anything that is worth doing properly – that is worth doing right and that time that you need to reap the benefits of anything that you plant and watch grow.
Speaker 1: (09:03)
One of the values of a slow growth. Growing pains are valuable lessons. If you’re small minded and you approach it as a failure, you’re going to discourage yourself from moving forward. How is it possible that you are going to start anything at all and you are not going to stumble? There’s not gonna be any setbacks?
It doesn’t happen that way. When we’re watching other people succeed, they’ve been grinding for years and making mistakes for years. We only see the last little bit where they’ve nailed it. We don’t see the struggle and the pain that led up to their success and so we make judgments that everything should go easily. Everything should go that smoothly.
Speaker 1: (09:56)
Another value of a slow growth is that period of anonymity. There’s an abundance of freedom in anonymity. When you first begin, nobody knows who you are. And that is a gift. When famous people make mistakes and they stumble or they see the wrong thing, or they have nervous breakdowns, that is all public.
You can trip up every day. No one is watching. Take advantage of the value of anonymity, especially when you begin. That’s a gift to you.
Now, the last point that I want to make is the value of scarcity. So when you’re first starting, you have nothing. You don’t have a studio, you don’t have the best lighting and the best camera. You don’t have a video crew to come up with those amazing five minute IGTVs.
Speaker 1: (13:00)
You don’t have any of that when you were first starting and you are not alone. Every single new launch of a podcast that it was ever recorded was a closet. Every article of a blogger that was ever written was written on a note pad on a phone. That’s how things begin. Videos are shot in car seats right before pickup time for kids because that afternoon light hitting the windshield is the type of lighting Instagram models would sell their soul to capture. Instead of seeing this as a setback, you should be inspired by how resourceful it’s making you. You shouldn’t feel inadequate or drained by the lack of stuff that’ll make things perfect. It should remind you how scarcity is not going to stop you from moving forward and it should be a testament to your commitment. So growing a business takes time.
Speaker 1: (15:00)
If you start today, you can be in the same place you are today in a year or you can be further along. You may not become j Lo in a year. You may not become Stephen King in a year, but you’re not going to be where you are today, which is at the starting line.