Most people can’t run a successful business for the same reason they can’t have a successful relationship. They lose sight of what they’ll feel later, because they focus on what they feel now. They sacrifice long-term joy for short-term happiness. In a world consumed with convenience, we want to have everything and we want it now. We want it our way. It’s all about US. And it’s about when WE’RE ready. That’s not how success works. Never has. Never will. Success is the reward of doing the right things, the right way, for the appropriate amount of time. Many of us don’t achieve the fullness of our success because give up too soon. This happens in relationships and in business. I had this happen to me once.
There was this girl. She was amazing. She was beautiful, funny, intelligent, had a strong work ethic, a Christian; she was a good girl. She had everything I could ever want. Now, if you know me, you know I don’t make emotional decisions, and I admit that I am as bad at relationships as I am good at business. I’m often told I will be a bachelor forever, and that I don’t give anyone a fair chance. We can debate those later. Anyway, I was in love with this girl. She had my heart in her hand. Even without a title, she had my total commitment. But I wasn’t ready for a relationship. Relationships come with obligations and requirements that I wasn’t able to give. This had nothing to do with wanting other women, or keeping my options open. I was preparing for the future. I was building a business and it required my focus. I wanted to make sure when I’m we were finally in a relationship, I could fulfill my responsibilities as a man, and as HER man. I couldn’t imagine my life without her, so I wanted to make sure I could provide for her a life equal to, or better than, what she had before me. If I ever get there, I want to ensure that work is an option, not a requirement, for my wife. And I want to make sure that if I ever have children, their only thoughts of college will be WHERE to go, not IF they can go. That’s what I think a man should do. ( However, I will not pay 1 red penny for my child to go to the universities of Alabama or Texas) Because of my business building, I didn’t have the time needed to focus on a “traditional relationship”. But I was willing to compromise as best I could to make something work. I knew there would be some sacrifices on her end, but I told her “If you give me the time. You’ll have everything you want and more. I’m committed to you and I have no desire for any other woman in my life but you.” All the things she wanted she would have had, and then some; in time. Unfortunately, she wanted them THEN. She didn’t see a future, and she chose to move on. It crushed me, but that was her decision to make, and she did. It crushed me, but I had no choice but accept it. Having a relationship THEN was more important to her than having ME later. I’m not saying her decision was right or wrong, that isn’t my place to say. I know some of you are thinking “Well if you loved her so much, why didn’t you just give in? That way you wouldn’t lose her.” The answer to that is easy. You don’t shortchange a person’s future, for instant gratification today. We both wanted to the same thing. I wanted to be able to give it to her consistently, not for a limited time. But this is what many of us do in our own relationships, and in business.
Success in our personal lives and professional lives require, what I call, “The 3 Ps of Success”: Planning, Preparation and Patience. Each of these must be executed fully in order for any of it to work. Many of us get the planning part down easily because it is centered around what WE think. It’s based on OUR ideas and what WE think works.
Preparation is where we start to fail. Just because you know what you want, doesn’t mean you’re ready to have it. You still have to prepare. Writing a business plan doesn’t mean you’re ready to start your business. You may have to clean up your credit report in order to secure some financing. You have to get proper documentation. You have to do research to source the proper resources, and vendors you will require to do the business. You have to identify your market. Then you have to research how to best appeal to their market. You have to establish a brand. Then you have to research how to best make your brand attractive to your target market. All of this happens before you even decide on a name. The planning and preparation phases can be as stressful as the execution.
After you have completed the planning and preparation stages, you HAVE to have patience. Without patience, you are sure to fail. Achieving success requires patience. The limits of your patience will be tested. Many don’t realize the roller coaster ride success will take you on. Things will be great one week, and you’ll be pulling your hair out the next. You’ll have record sales one month, and the next month, you can’t buy a customer. You’ll have to turn down work one week, and the next you’ll be checking to make sure your phone service is working because you’re getting no calls. You will feel the highest of highs. But you will also feel the lowest of lows. When the lows come, that’s when most people give up. Especially if you’ve been low for a while. But if you are willing to be patient through the darkness and uncertainty; if you hold on when you feel there is nothing to hold on to. If you have the will and the strength to see the big picture and not get caught up in the emotion of where you are in the moment, you can have everything you ever desired, and then some.
No one ever says achieving success is easy, but everyone says it was worth it. Running away and giving up only prepares you to run farther, and give up more often. You have to have faith. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” You have to have faith in order to have success. You can’t just give in to emotions because you’re not currently getting what you want. As the famous quote says “You have to do what you HAVE to do now, to do what you WANT to do later.”
God bless and dress well.
William Wilson, CEO
William Wilson Clothing
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