Slow and Steady

Run the Marathon, Not the 100 Meter Dash

Why is everyone in a rush?

A rush to build a billion dollar company, capture 1,000,000 followers on Instagram, or launch the next Snapchat.

These all sound like amazing ways to obtain fame and fortune, but what people forget is there is no such thing as an “overnight success.”

What appears as instantaneous success is actually a combination of hard work, timing, and perseverance.

Personally, I don’t understand the rush. Maybe it’s the Midwesterner in me, but I want to focus on building a sustainable business with intention and real customers. Looking at this phenomenon through a business lens, I understand the concern of your competition out-competing you. However, there is a good chance they are also participating in the short-term race to the top of the mountain.

Instead of competing with others for a romanticized outcome, why not opt out of the 100 meter dash and sign up for the marathon?

Because it’s hard? Creating real, long-lasting value that solves a real problem is always hard. Getting people to pay you for something you’ve created is hard. Settling for anything less is just lazy and short-sighted.

Because it’s not as sexy? It isn’t, and that’s OK. You know what’s sexy? Farming. An industry where people work their asses off and make a living or business around providing a basic need for others. We could all learn a thing or two from farmers.

Because there may be more to lose? Last time I checked, entrepreneurship means you assume the risk of creating a business. That risk can be as small or as large as you want. Just remember one thing: there seems to be a correlation between the amount of risk you take on and the impact you create.

Whatever the reason, take that initial idea and think more long-term. How will you create something that is around 5, 7, even 10 years from now?

In the beginning, sprint your idea to validate the need. Once the need is there, think long-term and prepare for the marathon.

Are you running a 100 meter dash or a marathon with your business. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter at @williamfrazr.

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Check out The Imperfectionist for more articles that discuss turning ideas into action.

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