Patience is a Virtue … Honest!

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One of my cats caught a bird this week. Not exactly earth shattering news, except that until this April she’d never been outside or even seen a bird.

Her technique was fairly simple; she sat underneath the birdbath and waited. And waited. And waited. As birds would come in, she’d leap up and try to grab them. Mostly she got wet, but her patience was endless, and eventually it paid off.

It struck me that her experience is a good metaphor for how a new business works. We start with a goal, and a plan. Execute the plan, and wait for the results. Those results don’t always come right away. Sometimes our plan is shaky and needs modification. Other times, the plan is solid, however the market conditions change, and the results still don’t come in, or they come very slowly. And sometimes, things happen faster than we anticipate!

It’s hard to be patient when you’ve got a great idea that you think will take the world by storm, and for whatever reason it chooses not to flock to your door. It’s also frustrating to invest time, energy and money to be ready for opportunity to knock, only to wind up waiting.

I know several people, myself included, that are under the birdbath right now. We’re convinced that we’re on the right track, but we’re in the place where the idea is out there, the interest is out there, but the results aren’t quite where we want them to be. While I have no doubt that we’ll get our birds, the waiting is hard.

I also learned just how important it is to be ready when opportunity does knock. If you’re anything like me, patience is hard. It’s more fun to get the bones of a plan in place, modify as you go, and get started. Refine as necessary. But what happens when opportunity not only knocks, it threatens to break down the door? If you don’t have the plan and systems in place to deal with the demand, opportunity can slip through your fingers. Or, far worse, someone else can come along with a plan and a system, and capitalize on your efforts.

When Diane and I started the Trust Sandwich™ idea a month ago, we expected to get 30-40 enquiries. Our first day, we got over 500. Since it began a month ago, we’ve had a few thousand people contact us looking for more information. My bare-bones plan had to be refined, and fast, to cope with the unanticipated demand. Fortunately, Richard Cooley has stepped in to help get information to people. If you’re looking for info, drop Richard an email, and he’ll get you what you need.

Tamara was also a victim of planning. In her case, she didn’t have a plan for after she caught the bird, so I was able to take it away and let it go. She’s patient though. Every day since then, she’s been back under the birdbath, waiting for her next opportunity.


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