Business Blasphemy

EP37: Instant Gratification vs the Power of Active Patience

September 19, 2023 Sarah Khan Season 1 Episode 37
Business Blasphemy
EP37: Instant Gratification vs the Power of Active Patience
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Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered how our digital age's obsession with instant gratification is impacting our businesses, our goals, and our patience? 

This week I take a quick look at the change technology has wrought and how it's influencing our expectations in life and in biz. I share my philosophy on the concept of "active patience," a practice that combines consistent efforts towards our goals while understanding that real success takes time.

I then share my absolute favourite metaphor -- the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. Through it we learn that patience, when combined with consistent efforts, can reap enormous rewards. Tune in to this episode for a nuanced take on the importance of patience in our businesses and our lives. You will leave with a renewed understanding of the role patience plays in our success and how to incorporate 'active patience' into your work ethic.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Business Blast for Me podcast, where we question the sacred truths of the online business space and the reverence with which they're held. I'm your host, sarah Kahn speaker, strategic consultant and BS busting badass. Join me each week as we challenge the norms, trends and overall bullshit status quo of entrepreneurship to uncover what it really takes to build the business that you want to build in a way that honors you, your life and your vision for what's possible, and maybe piss off a few gurus along the way. So if you're ready to commit business class for me, let's do it. Hello, hello, blasphemers. You know I remember I'm totally dating myself. I remember a time before the internet, a time before we had instant access to literally everything. I remember a time of having to wait to find information or to literally do anything, didn't know the answer to something, go to the library and look under the damn Dewey Decimal System to find a book and then hope the book had the information in it. You'd have to go to the index and search the key terms and you know it was a long, drawn out process and if you had the encyclopedia Britannica, you were really, really cool but didn't realize how quickly that information became outdated. If you wanted to know how to get somewhere, you had to find someone who either knew the way or you had to go to the drugstore or a gas station and buy a physical map of the place and then chart a path. We were really excited when MapQuest became a thing, but that was after the internet was invented. Want to let someone know you like them? You couldn't just send them a message on DMs or on TikTok or whatever the kids do nowadays. You had to wait until Friday night when the radio DJ did a request show and you had to request a song and hope that your crush was listening and that they got your really vague attempt to let you know that you liked them by playing a song that you liked and you whatever. I mean, I never did that, but obviously this was a thing Like what I'm trying to say here is shit took time, but we knew that it did. The internet changed everything, but even when it began we had to wait. I remember when we first started to log on to things like bulletin boards and MSN messenger and a like I was at my space. I mean those were iterations that came after but the dial up modem. You had to wait minutes, actual minutes. We would burn a CD and it would take sometimes two, three, four hours, depending on how fast your speed was. Things took time and we had to wait. Then it started to get faster and faster and faster and now we have freaking supercomputers in our pockets and we have forgotten what it's like to have to wait for anything. Just this morning I was getting my daughter ready for school and I wanted to know what the weather was going to be like. So, instead of waiting the 37 seconds it would have taken to get her socks on and go to my phone and look on my weather app, which is actually a widget on my home screen I asked Alexa to tell me what the weather was. Hey, Alexa, what's the weather today? We have forgotten what delayed gratification is. Because we've become so used to instant gratification, we expect things to happen immediately. We have lost patience. We have lost the ability to sit in the unknown. We have lost that comfort in discomfort, and I can't begin to tell you how critical that is to be able to do, to sit in a space of just not knowing and then allowing your brain to figure out how to figure it out. What do we do now? When we don't know something, google it. What do we do now? We Google it, we Google it, we Google it. I mean, even my five-year-old knows. Oh, I'm wondering about this. I'm going to go and ask Google about it. Like, yeah, it's totally convenient and it's wonderful and at the same time, it's absolutely terrible because it is making us, a lose our ability to actually figure things out, but, b, it's also making it really hard for people to emotionally regulate when things don't happen immediately. We have a very skewed expectation of how long things take and it's bleeding over into business and I'm going to tell you it's jacking y'all up. Too many business owners are in the space and they put out some social content about an offer and if people don't respond immediately, if they don't immediately get people signing up or they don't immediately get new followers, they think something's wrong and they pivot or they try again, or they try a new thing, or they blame their offer. Like, there's so many things that happen that don't necessarily need to happen. We have just lost patience with it. We've lost the ability to sit in the discomfort of not knowing what's going to happen next. I remember when I used to teach and I think I've told this story maybe before, I don't know. Everything kind of blends together when you talk a lot, but I used to teach a communications course in college and what I would you know. This was usually happening around the time where I was teaching, like how to go to job interviews and how to communicate effectively, and one of the things I always did was I would start talking and then I would just stop and I would wait and I tell you no lies. Every single time and I did this for probably eight years in a row Every single time somebody broke the silence before we hit the seven second mark, it's true, they would either giggle or they would say something to fill the sounds. Why? Because we are very uncomfortable with the unknown. When people stop talking and there's silence, we immediately get uncomfortable. So it's this space that we've all kind of grown really unaccustomed to, and it's this pause right, this having to wait for things, having to figure things out. So what I wanted to share today was the concept of what I call active patience. Active patience A lot of people will preach patience, right, and they'll people think that, okay, you know, you just be patient and good things come to those who wait and blah, blah blah. But I think there's a little bit of a misunderstanding around the concept of patience. So I like the idea of active patience and what this is is working as hard as you can like within your allowed capacity. Within your you know what you're able to actually do. Working as hard as you can toward your goal every single day, While still acknowledging that it's going to take time. All right, let me say that again Active patience is working as hard as you can, within your capacity, toward your goal every single day, while still acknowledging that it's going to take time. Where people go wrong with patience is thinking that they can chill right and their goals will eventually happen if they wait long enough. They call it faith, they call it mindset, they call it believing in oneself, like whatever they want. That's not how it works. You still have to do the work, but where we run into problems is well, how long do I have to do the work for? And nobody can say for sure, because every single person's circumstance is different, depending on how much time you have, what access you have to certain resources, how much knowledge you have, where maybe you have gaps in your knowledge or understanding are you able to implement, like there are a whole bunch of different factors that come into play that are going to dictate how long something takes. All you can do is keep working toward it. You have to be active, but you also have to be patient, and that's why I call it active patience, and that's really all I want to say is we really need to start understanding that things don't happen in the timeframe that we want them to, because we do have a very skewed sense of time. Now, before I wrap this week's very quick episode, I want to share a story with you, and I've shared this story in multiple classes that I've done over the years. I've shared this on the internet before, on my reels. I think I've shared it on Facebook before, but I want to share it with you because this story, for me, was a huge aha moment. It really made me understand that time is something that you really don't have any control over. What you do have control over is your output, and it's the story of the Chinese bamboo tree. The Chinese bamboo tree has a seed so hard that when you plant it, it'll do nothing for almost five years. Okay, I want you to think about that. Five years, we're about three and a half years post COVID and it feels like a long freaking time. Five years give or take, it does nothing. So that's right. Nothing happens in year one, nothing happens in year two, nothing happens in year three or four. You care for and water the seed for over 1400 days and nothing happens. And then, at some point in the fifth year, in the fifth year five years the seed breaks through the soil and begins to grow into a tree. In fact, the Chinese bamboo tree has been recorded at growing almost three feet a day. A day, that is almost 90 feet, nine zero feet in a month. And it has actually been timed at growing nearly one inch every 40 minutes. So once it actually emerges, the growth is just insanely fast. Right, but here's the kicker If, at any point, any point during those first four plus years, the person who planted the seed had stopped watering it, nurturing it, caring for it and we're talking daily, daily watering, daily fertilizing, daily caring for the ground and soil around the seed If they had not done that at any point in those four plus years, that seed would have died. I don't have to point out the parallels to your own goals and dreams, but I will. The day that you plant the seed is not the same day you see it sprout. The magic happens in the consistency Active patience, water the seed, nurture the seed, nurture the environment around it. Have faith, but keep working toward it and you know what you will see growth. But again, there are so many factors at play and how long it takes. Now, weirdly, the parallel is a little bit more accurate in the sense that most people will see some kind of really big growth in and around year five of entrepreneurship. But that's also not a given, just like having content out there for 90 days solid is not a given. These are benchmarks, these are time frames that we give in general, but everything has its own time, everything has its own season. And so if you have been out there and you can honestly say to yourself that you have been nurturing your seeds, that you planted consistently, that you didn't give up because you didn't see something quickly enough, that you didn't give up because you got bored or you didn't wanna have to wait, as long as you're having to wait, if you can honestly say to yourself I have nurtured it and I have cared for it and I planted those seeds and I believe that they're gonna grow and I'm just gonna keep doing the work that I know I need to do. Then you're good Active, patience, working as hard as you can, within your allowed capacity, toward your goal every single day, while still acknowledging it's gonna take time and all you can control is your output. That's it. That's all I've got. But if that isn't one hell of a lesson, I don't know what is. As always, you can have success without the BS. We're in this together. I'll talk to you soon. That's it for this week. Thanks for listening to the Business Blast for Me podcast. We'll be back next week with a new episode, but in the meantime, help assist throughout by subscribing and, if you're feeling extra sassy, rating this podcast, and don't forget to share the podcast with others. Head over to BusinessBlastforMepodcastcom to connect with us and learn more. Thanks for listening and remember you can have success without the BS.