Couldn’t We All Use A Little More Of This One Thing In The New Year?
You might have thought I was referring to money, but that’s not it.
While most of us welcome the free flow of cash into our small businesses, there’s something else that’s a bare essential for our success—and for our sanity. It’s often difficult to acquire and equally hard to maintain.
I admit it; I often lack it—particularly during rare but aggravating extended periods of non-stop misfortunes, miscellaneous challenges, and mishaps. I’m guessing you’re no stranger to those streaks. None of us is immune to them.
I’m in the midst of one of those uncharacteristic phases now…in October, our 11-year-old boxer mix, Luna, passed away. In mid-November, we adopted a 7-month-old rescue pit bull puppy, Lulu, who is the epitome of stubbornness. A week after adopting Lulu, my husband broke his ankle, rendering me the sole dog walker, trash taker-outer, meal maker, etc. And my 90-year-old grandmother’s health took a turn for the worse, and she is on her deathbed.
No violin music, please. I know a lot of people are dealing with situations far more dire, but it has been challenging nonetheless.
And so, my patience has been put to the test. And it has failed as much or more often than it has passed.
When we lose our patience, our loved ones—those who give us unconditional love—are the people who typically bear the brunt of it.
And impatience can put a hurting on our businesses, too, if we don’t recognize its signs and make an attitude adjustment in time.
Potential Small Business Pitfalls From Lack of Patience
- Inability to take well-meaning constructive criticism favorably
- Sending “short” emails that have an air of annoyance
- Difficulty concentrating on tasks
- Difficulty thinking creatively
- Exuding tension and frustration on calls (or in meetings) with customers
- Impaired flexibility in accommodating the unexpected
- Avoidance of business-building networking events
These side effects of impatience can kill productivity, stop growth in its tracks, and leave a bad impression on clients.
Unfortunately, curbing impatience doesn’t always come easily, and being in business presents more than enough adversity to wear on entrepreneurs’ tolerance.
As a small business owner, you deal with all sorts of headaches, including:
- Employees or subcontractors who aren’t reliable.
- Clients who have unreasonable expectations.
- Prospects who balk at your rates and question your value.
- Tech issues with your smart phone, website, laptop, etc.
- Projects that don’t go according to plan.
So how do you find the patience to deal with all of that and more? It requires awareness and, ironically, patience with our own selves and our inability to control everything to a T.
I wouldn’t say it’s a New Year’s resolution per se, but as 2016 comes around the bend, I have promised myself to be more aware of and to give pause to how I react to and respond in trying times. I’ve given myself permission to exercise patience with myself in order to exhibit more patience toward others in stressful situations.
I wish you patience in the New Year, too, along with whatever else you have your sights set on personally and professionally.