Over the years, I have gathered a collection of classic Warren Buffett tips that relate well to both investment decisions and making good decisions in life.
One of his best pieces of advice is rather counterintuitive. It relies on Father Time as the "friend of the wonderful business." Plainly stated, it is having the faith to believe that good things will happen to those who wait. Here's Buffett:
No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.
To entrepreneurs getting a business off the ground, instant gratification is a mere pipe dream. That speaks to Buffett's point; he's a firm believer in the important lesson of thinking long term.
The long and hard journey and trials of 14-hour days and sleepless nights will eventually yield results and pave the way to success, making the journey that much sweeter. The operative word to make that happen boils down to one rare trait: patience.
The benefits of patience
Researchers have discovered that people exhibiting the rare trait of patience make more progress toward their goals and are more satisfied when they achieve them (particularly if those goals are difficult) compared with less patient people.
Other research also found that patient people tend to experience less depression and fewer negative emotions and can cope better with stressful situations. Additionally, they feel more gratitude, more connection to others, and experience a greater sense of abundance. That goes a long way when you're building a business.
As you develop your patience and keep pressing on, remind yourself not to obsess over getting instant results for your efforts. The key to making your patience a successful virtue is to rely on a two-part mechanism:
- A great system that you can faithfully and consistently work over time
I'll speak to the second point. Too many well-meaning entrepreneurs and working professionals go about their business by putting heavy emphasis on that big audacious end goal so they can experience the results they desire.
What they fail to do is put enough focus on having a good system and process in place so they can enjoy the journey. That takes patience. Sure, accomplishing what you set out to do should be your ultimate goal, but I've seen too many people get discouraged, give up, and fail because they disregarded the means to get to the top of the mountain. They gave up on the system because of an obsession with achieving the goal.
Goals are important, no doubt. What gets you to those goals, however, is a good system. A system of repeated habits and actions that you take daily, over and over again, as you reach for your highest goals. That will ultimately lead to your success.