Patience and perseverance are excellent traits to have. But in certain situations, you don’t want to wait too long, or endure for too much time.
I wrote a post a while ago about how raising a kid is like running a startup, and I find that patience and perseverance can apply to both as well.
Being patient with your child is a virtue.
There will be times where your kid throws tantrums and just does things that she shouldn’t be doing. Over and over and over again. Or if you’re sleep training your kid and she just cries and cries and cries and sounds like she may never go to sleep.
And you might lose your cool.
Being patient, persevering, and teaching your child the right thing to do — over and over and over again — will make her better understand right from wrong. And letting her cry herself to sleep, even though it might be painful to hear, will be better for everyone in the long run.
Patience can help your startup and business succeed as well. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) investor and expert Jason Lemkin says it typically takes 7+ years to truly build a SaaS company. And many founders give up too soon.
It takes some time to learn what you need to learn and do the things you need to do in order to be successful. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
But when might too much patience and perseverance be a bad thing?
In the sleep training example, maybe your kid is crying for a different reason other than just not being soothed to sleep. She may have poo’d or pee’d, maybe you forgot to give her favorite sleeping toy to her, or it might be too cold in the room. If too much time has passed and she still isn’t sleeping, you should probably go in and check on her.
In the startup world, you have to realize when it’s time to jump ship. You might recognize that the founding team isn’t right for you, and it makes sense to split up. Maybe you see that no one really needs or wants your product, and it’s time to pivot to another idea.
In these cases, you might be wasting your time pursuing things that just aren’t going to work, and the best solution is to not persevere and just move on.
Overall, patience and perseverance are great characteristics to have. But the tough part is recognizing when they are detrimental to your particular situation.