How many of your ideas have ended up on the floor? How many agencies have turned you down? How long have you waited for that promotion? That raise? That extra responsibility you deserve?
I’ve been there. I’ve known a lot of people there. I’ve heard so many insanely successful people talk about being there. All of them share the same single recipe for escaping failure.
Patience is the shortcut to success.
Take a look at any success story in history. Every person with “overnight success” has said that “overnight” lasts years.
Patience is Persistent
The Beatles were discovered one night by Brian Epstein, who stopped into a pub they were playing. But they were only playing that pub that night because they played it every night. They didn’t get discovered in a night. They got discovered after years.
Your career is going to be a long path. It seems like everyone is in a rush to become a creative director, or Chief Creative Officer, or have their own agency. The list of people with that goal is astoundingly long, but there are only so many who will get there.
If you're not in a rush, you'll get there sooner than you thought.
If you spend your entire career proving to people why you’re ready to take the next step, you don’t have to rush to get there. Focus on your craft, doing great work, and becoming an undeniable candidate for the next step. Then, when that opportunity shows itself, guess who they look to?
Patience is Self-Aware
One of the most annoying, yet difficult-to-ignore-because-he’s-right people in this world Gary Vaynerchuk (self-proclaimed “all-time great, pure-bred entrepreneur”). And his constant battle-cry is: Be self-aware.
Here’s a tough question: do you deserve what you want? Self-awareness, in this industry, means that you need to know what you want, but also, if you deserve to have that.
There are people who are completely satisfied being senior creatives their entire lives, focusing on making great work, one project at a time. Then there are those who strive to progress upwards in their career, setting their sights on creative director positions and above. But the thing is, even though lots of those people feel they deserve that success, they don’t.
For patience to work, you need self-awareness.
You need to be self-aware enough to know your strengths and your weaknesses. But good news, if you’re aware of those weaknesses, you can work on them.
Patience Likes People
Networking is important to interns and seniors alike. It’s one of the most effective ways patience can pay off. You never know when someone you’ve connected with will come back into your life. Or when you’ll come back into theirs.
Patience takes many forms, but of all, it takes time. Sometimes it’s an immediate payoff. Sometimes it’s takes a long time. Sometimes it never pays off. But you won’t know unless you’re patient.
Play The Odds
Even if you get lucky and have a “big break,” the chances of that opportunity perfectly coinciding with a single attempt at greatness is just bad odds.
I like to give opportunity a constant target to hit. Not a single moment in time. Constantly put yourself out there.
And may the odds be ever in your favor.