Be Patient?

Be Patient?

By Ido Leffler and Lance Kalish

Ido Leffler and Lance Kalish are the founders of Yes To Inc., maker of hair and skincare products. From Get Big Fast and Do More Good: Start Your Business, Make It Huge, and Change the World (New Harvest). ©2013

One thing you will hear over and over as you build your ideas and your business is, “You need to be patient.” We think patience is bullshit. Patience means sitting by a phone waiting for someone to return your call. Or dealing with people who say, “Let me think about it.” Patience is a great spiritual practice, but if it stops you from acting, then it is stopping you from succeeding. Don’t let the concept of patience stop you from getting on a plane, hustling a meeting, or finagling your way into an industry conference that you don’t have a hope in hell of being invited to attend.

The flip side to this is that you’ve got to be somewhat patient for process. At Yes To, we have to be patient while product formulations are developed, and that’s about it. Our formulations are key to our integrity and success, so we give them as much time as they need. So long as we don’t rush through this process, we can proceed at full velocity through all the others. Patience? Who has time for patience when there’s a whole world out there to talk to about Yes To!

If we were to do this business the way the world had told us to, we would have launched in mom-and-pop stores in the naturals word, we would next have gone to Whole Foods (a.k.a. the Holy Grail), and then maybe we would have been able to get an account somewhere else. And that would all be fine, but instead of being a global business that has accounts in more than twenty-five thousand stores and is number two in our category, we’d be a struggling beauty brand sweating about covering our costs. Don’t fool yourself that you are being patient if what you are really doing is procrastinating or giving in to your unconscious fears about success.

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The Conference Board Review is the quarterly magazine of The Conference Board, the world's preeminent business membership and research organization. Founded in 1976, TCB Review is a magazine of ideas and opinion that raises tough questions about leading-edge issues at the intersection of business and society.