Innovation requires patience.
I know that seems counter-intuitive to driven entrepreneurs, but hang on, there is logic behind this statement.
The vast majority of people just don’t have the ability to see future possibilities until they exist and are being used by their peers. This may seem like a degrading statement, but it’s not.
Some people have the ability to see the future possibilities others don’t. Just as often, those who have entrepreneurial vision are totally incapable of turning the dream into a reality.
Accepting this truth as an innovator will give you the patience needed to make sure your vision becomes reality.
Patience With Family & Friends
When you have an innovative idea, especially one that directly impacts your life, frustration quickly grows when you can’t convince others of its validity. Those around you not being able to understand how this could change their lives seems outrageous.
When you allow this frustration to impact how you treat those close to you, they will begin to question your abilities. The people who are most likely to help you take risks can quickly become those most opposed to your dream. Not because it’s a bad idea, but because who you are as a person is more important to them than your “crazy” business idea.
Remember that all the hours you spend contemplating and planning your idea isn’t what they are doing. Be patient. Write down your idea. Think of analogies that will have relevancy to them. Not only will this help you prepare to counter objections, it also helps get you ready for customers and potential investors.
Patience Convincing Investors
On the investor side, they are already successful. The need to take risk isn’t something they have to do. It’s something they choose to do. More importantly they want to take risk, but only with the right people. 99% of investors will tell you that the person is more vital to success of their investment capital than the idea.
Since they are getting pitched hundreds of ideas, this means they have so much to filter through. On top of that, most of them have multiple companies, incredible responsibilities and decisions to be made on a daily basis.
So in terms of patience, never expect everyone to see the potential in your idea. You have a 1 in 50 chance of getting a yes from an angel investor, and 1 in 300 chance from a VC. Many startup founders give up after being turned down the first time. Don’t give up the first time.
Just like it’s hard to convince your friends and family, it takes time to connect with the right investors, identify objections and develop ways to counter them. Not just through words but expanded business logic, customer acquisition strategies, and proof of concept.
So Why Be Patient?
As you try over and over again to convince friends, family, bosses, or potential investors of your genius, remember that people just can’t see what is in your brain. Everything about entrepreneurship requires the courage to take risk. Since very few are ready to make that leap of faith, the ability to see beyond the here and now becomes even more limited.
Changing the status quo requires being able to paint so vivid a picture, your target customers and potential investors will be able to see the future created if they adopt your new product or service. Think of painting this picture just like an artist would. While the vision is there, it takes time, patience and expertise to create something of true value.
Since there is no way to escape this truth, it is much more efficient to just accept it and leverage to your advantage. When the inevitable panic sets in that someone else is going to beat you to the punch, just remember they are facing the exact same challenges as you.