Words: Corey Adams
I have a confession to make, and we have all been lied to. Well, sort of.
Most of us were taught the value of patience growing up. “Good things come to those who wait” was driven into our minds like a 16d sinker. This philosophy may work for getting a 12-year-old boy to sit still through your Saturday morning business meeting, but is it true? Heck, when I was 12, if you flashed lunch and ice cream in front of me, I would do anything — opting to act like a pack mule with a fresh carrot dangling out in front of me instead of a normal pre-teen boy. What this instilled in my mind is that patience could get me what I wanted— and there is the lie.
The problem is that there is a fine line between patience and procrastination. The line is so fine that many people put their dreams and aspirations on hold immediately when the slightest detail isn’t perfect. “It’s not the right time,” or “next year will be better.” These common phrases are direct results of the procrastination side of the line, but we as humans use the crutch of patience to justify our positions.
I fancy myself a student of the construction industry. I have had the pleasure to network, learn from, work with, and lean on some of the most driven, intelligent, and diverse construction entrepreneurs. I have discussed business growth with companies ranging from $300,000 – $20 million-plus in gross sales. Even with all the varying perspectives, goals, and strategies of this range of companies, there is one common trend that links them all together. They have all learned how to walk the fine line between patience and procrastination.
I am a firm believer that you only regret the things you do not try. Looking back on my career, I can find example after example where I chose to procrastinate in the name of patience — looking for reasons not to do something over the reasons why. That is my real confession. I have struggled with procrastination. If only I would have pulled the trigger on that real estate deal, started my companies two years earlier, and the list goes on. The regrets I have are from the things I did not try. I have plenty of failures in my career as well, but I do not regret them one bit. I was taught that college was expensive, especially in the school of hard knocks. Learn from your mistakes, but never regret them.
Good things come to those who go and get them, not those who procrastinate themselves into regrets. In the booming construction industry, there are opportunities every day to start a company, expand a company, or add services that are in high demand. There are times in life where patience can be a virtue, but if we do not walk the fine line correctly, we fall victim to our procrastination. Typically, the only thing holding us back is ourselves.
Another common thread that the go-getters have is staying positive. Wildly successful entrepreneurs are almost always positive, and this helps them masterfully walk the fine line. They have all the reasons in the world to be stressed, complacent, and guarded. They choose, however, to push harder and stay positive no matter what.
What do you want to achieve? What have you always dreamed about, but never tried? Well, the time is now. Procrastination is disguised as patience, and dreams without actions manifest into regrets.