One of the challenges of being an entrepreneur is the process of constant development, giving yourself a competitive advantage. There are a lot of qualities which are essential for business people – resourcefulness, drive and desire to succeed, creativity, imagination and so on. But according to Aaron Allen & Associates, a global consultancy firm, impatience is the entrepreneur’s best personality trait.
Impatience can help to push you forwards, driving your business on to success. By channelling your impatience and frustration properly, you can eliminate indecision and complacency from all areas of your business. Impatience can save you time, and as the cliché goes, time is money.
In the right quantities and in the right contexts, impatience can help to streamline your working day and improve processes. It can also act as a way to get ideas off the ground – we’ve all had good ideas that we’ve not acted on because we’ve been waiting for the “perfect moment”.
Streamlining and improving processes
Impatience can allow you to take a fresh look at the way things are done and visualise new and more efficient ways of doing them. By removing redundant items from your workflow, you can maximise efficiency.
If you find yourself filling in unnecessary paper work or experiencing email chain overkill, it may be indicative of poor, time-consuming processes. Get impatient with them and find new, quicker ways to manage work.
The principle doesn’t just apply to day-to-day work, but to every process within your business.
Impatience in practice
Steve Jobs was notorious for his impatience, and it helped to shape Apple and turn the company into the globally successful giant that it is today. He was particularly impatient with the conceptualisation and design of new products.
One story involves his frustration with computers booting up slowly. He demonstrated that shaving ten seconds off the boot time would save around 300 million hours per year for users around the world. It was eventually reduced by almost 30 seconds.
His ability to take a small detail and see its impact on a large scale helped, but it was his personal impatience which helped to eradicate the issue that his users were also suffering with.
And this is just one example (this article in the Harvard Business Review has plenty more). The truth of it is that Jobs – and many more successful entrepreneurs and businesses – find ways to eliminate the unnecessary and focus only on what matters. Unlocking the potential of your inner impatience is key.
A word of warning…
Be careful that you don’t turn your new-found impatience on your staff or your colleagues – you should make sure that you channel your impatience in the right ways.
It’s important to provide an understanding and supportive atmosphere for your employees at all times, as these environments are more likely to lead to increased employee engagement.
Just because patience is a virtue, doesn’t mean that impatience is vice. Channel your impatience properly and see what it can do for your business.
Conor McArdle is content executive at Brighter Business