Here’s a quote for Warren Buffett - who has been consistently among the few richest people in the world for the past 20 years or so.
“To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual insights, or inside information. What’s needed is sound intellectual framework for making decisions and to keep emotions from eroding that framework.”
Firstly let’s define investing as something which we we see as worth putting a consistent effort into to achieve a long term result.
So it is fair to say we invest in many things such as family, health, finances and business ideas. The key interpretation from the above quote is that it’s not about being an intellectual guru, rather our success will be a function of having a robust framework to work towards. That this information is available to everyone, and if we have to the discipline to stick to it our investments will yield results far beyond our expectation.
Turns out it was pretty cool, he did a good job of promoting our stuff, but there wasn’t a huge upswing in members or rentals. Which is OK – it wasn’t a game winning activity. It got me thinking about our attitudes towards instant gratification. We live in a world where we want and expect instant gratification. In nearly all things. It’s not hard to understand why with Google results, instant video, mobile technology that we want our answer right now, or we’ll move on.
This has a dangerous implication for entrepreneurs – in that the business world doesn’t work this way. Sure we need to move quick, finish things fast, and innovate constantly – but this still wont (or very rarely) will deliver instant results. We need ignore all the stories we read about our heroes who ‘did’ have things work out rather quick. They are the 1 in 6 billion aberration – and believe me it is not us – we are not that lucky. And it is luck, not brilliance. Proof of this lies in the fact we all know a handful of equally brilliant people who haven’t had the luck of Zuckerberg or Sergy.
We need need instead is to stay the course, and have faith in our actions. We must celebrate effort rather than results. Because there is no telling when the results will actually appear. But if we do the right things they will come to fruition. Success which may not be the global type entrepreneurs like dreaming about – but success to a level of great satisfaction.
We again can look to nature to see this in action. If we took societies instant gratification ethos into growing our food we’d all starve to death. In nature things take many months at a minimum, many years as the usual, and oft times, many years before we will yield anything. Whether we are growing vegetables, crops or fruit, we have to believe that doing the right thing will result in in just rewards. But we will not see the rewards until a long time after the input of our efforts. Efforts which must be made consistently every day with nothing to show for it. We must have faith that that the results will eventually come. Without faith the motivation to continue the nurturing will be lost. We wont do what is needed and the crop will fail. There is no instant reward in nature.
And there is rarely an instant reward in business. We need the same faith we have in nature when we know we have the right ingredients. We must continue to attend to the field regardless of physical evidence of success. We must celebrate effort and not results. Only then will we have the patience and tenacity required for a financial yield.