08/28/2015 05:22 EDT | Updated 08/28/2016 05:59 EDT

You Can't Rush Success In the Race to the Top

Blend Images - John Lund/Stephanie Roeser via Getty Images
Business people making a human pyramid

A valuable piece of wisdom I have gained from my experiences to date is that greatness takes time. We have all heard the saying that "patience is a virtue," but there is deeper wisdom in this statement and relevance to your life journey than you may realize. Starting out as a keen and motivated young leader, I've been known to neglect this virtue.

Perhaps driven by my passion and eagerness to create change, I have always tried to bring my ventures to fruition as quickly as I can. If someone was to tell me it would take over a year, let alone two or three, to bring some of my ideas to light I would have dismissed the notion entirely saying, "That's forever!"

A common mistake I made -- and one which I feel many others also get trapped in -- is putting a deadline on success. We are conditioned in life to expect certain milestones to be achieved as we age. We create career expectations, relationship goals and five-year plans, all pressuring us to succeed within constrained periods of time. While I do believe that planning and having attainable goals is good practice, I feel our understanding and assessment of our personal success shouldn't be linked.

Sometimes we watch our role models in media spring to their success. It seems as though fame and fortune just happen over night. One day your favourite pop star was normal like you, and the next day they are a platinum recording artist with millions of fans. Likewise, the brands and corporate leaders you admire today all seem to have sky-rocketed to their success. All achieved success seemingly quickly, so if you can't achieve at the same rate, it must mean you are failing.

This is a great misconception. The reality is the climb to success often doesn't get as much time in the spotlight as the celebration of reaching the top. The truth behind your pop star is that they had likely been training, performing in local venues and working to build a career long before they were discovered. It's because of all the work behind the scenes they put in that when their opportunity came, they were prepared and ready to take full advantage it! As an entrepreneur, the same I have learned applies to business success. You would be surprised by the number of household brands that started off in college dorm rooms or have founding stories with years of grinding the pavement to build a foundation for the success they have today.

There is a reason the Leaning Tower of Pisa tilts and why world wonders like the Great Pyramid still stand. Greatness takes time and patience. You may be in a rut now, or it seems like are not progressing as quickly as you should be to achieve your goals. Trust. Hard work and dedication pay off. Understand those succeeding ahead of you are likely rushing or cutting corners, and will not be as prepared as you will be when they reach the top. Learn patience. Patience is a virtue that will serve you well regardless of your journey and stage in life. Greatness is not a race, and true greatness is in fact rooted in longevity!


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