The most important virtue to cultivate as a creative entrepreneur

The most important virtue to cultivate as a creative entrepreneur

Patience is the most important virtue you must cultivate to succeed as a creative entrepreneur. Here's why and how.

Allow me to tell you something that you really need to know as a creative entrepreneur. Patience is a virtue and the single most important trait you must cultivate if you have even a chance of succeeding in your business.

I see it all the time and I am guilty of it myself. As business owners we seek magic pills. We think we should be making traction but fail to evaluate our effort and determine if the level of effort matches up with our expectations.

We want immediate results. We think just because we’ve launched something it entitles us to make sales, and we get upset when we don’t. Then we slip into this defeatist funk and loathe in self-pity or blame everything and everyone else for not being where we think we should be.

Get over your pride and find some patience. This is what I tell myself when I have my murky moments and this is what I feel compelled to tell you now.

Entrepreneurship is an endurance game. Yes, sometimes you have to work hard and you should always strive to work smart. But more than anything you have to stay committed long enough to beat the odds.

My theory from almost 15 years of business experience is that persistence supersedes strategy, connections, money, luck or any other “secret” to success.

All of these things are important but understand that what they're really doing is buying you more time: time you need to become adept at running and growing a business.

There is a lot of uncertainty in entrepreneurship and the risk of failure is high. But the longer you persist the more proficient you'll become. You'll start to gather data. You’ll begin to see patterns, get feedback and unveil insights that will empower you and steer you in the right direction.

So what you need more than anything is to take your time and that’s where patience becomes invaluable. Here are three ways to cultivate it.

Do work that gives you purpose

When your work or business is linked to a higher purpose and is something you genuinely enjoy doing, you'll appreciate the journey and not be solely fixated on end goals.

You should definitely have goals and milestones that you endeavor to reach in your business, but being only results-oriented will makes you anxious about the future.

Doing work you love, as I teach in the Abundant Business Blueprint™ masterclass, helps you be more present and willing to invest wholeheartedly in the process, even though you can't see immediate outcomes.

Create and commit to a process

Speaking of process, you need to develop one that you believe in. Having an A->Z action plan that gives you confidence will help you practice patience as you navigate the uncertainties.

In addition to your plan, you should also follow a routine that ensures you consistently implement it. A daily business routine helps eliminate inconsequential activities and, subsequently, alleviates some of the unpredictability that causes fear and doubt.

Identify areas that hinder progress

As you consistently work your process you'll start to see outcomes — positive and negative. Some activities will work and yield favorable results while others won't. These are all lessons learned that you can use to make refinements.

Incorporate periodic check-ins where you take a hindsight view and see what helps or hurts progress. In addition to your business use this as opportunity to check in on yourself as well and draw out any self-limiting habits.

Armed with smart insights, it'll become a bit easier and swifter to yield the results you desire. Knowing that favorable outcomes are possible and negative outcomes can be avoided, you'll grow more patient as you build trust in your own judgment.

Patience and persistence have been core to my strategy throughout other areas of life as well.

Over a decade ago I picked up running and it took four months of consistent training (running 3-5 times per week with gradual increases in distance) to be amongst the 0.5% of the American population who have run a marathon.

As a beginner I attempted to fast track my progress but it simply didn't work. My body flat out resisted dramatic increases in volume and I was forced to slowly become accustomed to running such long distances over time.

All these years later, despite not running as much or as long as I used to, it seems the theory of muscle memory holds true. The time I invested back then in accomplishing this physical feat built a repository of data that I can leverage even today.

Nowadays, if I want to prep for a long run it takes me only a fraction of the time to build up the necessary strength and stamina. Somewhere in my subconscious it remembers that I already put the time in so it tells my body, it's ok she knows what she is doing.

The same is true for driving a car, riding a bike, swimming, singing, typing, playing the piano, coding and so on. In training you only see marginal results over time and have to patiently work the process. But once you master the skill you can rely on it for years to come.

The time you invest now in committing to your business routine – despite not seeing immediate results – will remit future dividends. Cultivating patience is basically paying your dues now for the rights to that future return.

Eager to cultivate patience by pursuing purpose, committing to a process and overcoming self-limiting habits that hinder progress? Start by attending the complimentary Abundant Business Blueprint™ masterclass.