How Patience Is Underrated When Making The Biggest Decisions For Your Startup

Patience is an underrated superpower of successful entrepreneurs.

I don’t mean slowness or never being bold.

You can be fast and impatient about SMALL things like execution and experiments. Speed works here.

But when you are impatient about BIG things, it is almost always wasteful and won’t get you there any faster.

Don’t be rash or impatient about big things like these:

  • Investing big money to grow faster
  • Making important leadership hires
  • Narrowing in to find your product-market fit and positioning
  • Quitting your day job when you think you have a great idea
  • Deciding on a cofounder
  • Making major strategic decisions you can’t undo
  • Developing partnerships that are critical to your business
  • Choosing an investment partner, if and when you go that route

I have seen mistakes of entrepreneurial impatience over and over and over again. We see these mistakes in hindsight very clearly.

The mistakes of placing big bets before you did the patient work to be ready for them.

Professional poker players are the masters of patience with a few will-timed strikes of boldness.

I think all business success stories used patience early to create extraordinary leverage later on.

Time, then timing.

Time and patience to keep testing before you place your big bets.

To keep interviewing before your big hires.

To keep waiting for your product and your market and your business model to mature.

To mature yourself as a CEO and your team.

Ironically, raising big funding from outside investors doesn’t increase your patience. It’s hurry-up time. You are taking rocket fuel, so your rocket should already be ready for liftoff.

You should have already done the patient work to create real product-market fit with the right leaders and the right customer acquisition factory already.

I think bootstrapping and procrastinating big funding allows you to be patient when you start so you can grow efficiently later. You can choose to add funding rocket fuel later–or not.

When you are really ready, you should be bold and go for it.

But we founders and entrepreneurs can get ahead of ourselves.

We think they are ready to go big before we really are.

Impatience with the big decisions is almost always wasteful and usually doesn’t get you there any faster.


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