“Adopt the Pace of Nature: Her Secret is Patience”

May 08 2012

Its a beautiful quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson and in my opinion, never a truer word has been spoken.  If there is one common denominator is all my accomplishments in my life it has been that good things take time to build.  Most things do not happen overnight.  Time is a barrier to entry that lets those that have patience triumph over those that are unwilling to sacrifice and wait.

Growing plants has taught me from a young age that you must wait for things to mature in order to get full reward.  When I plant a tree seedling it often takes 5 or 6 years to get to retail size.  There is no getting around it other than to buy them from those that have put in the time.  You have no choice but to be patient in my business.  You exchange money for time.  You simply plant and wait.  The more you wait, the more you have to charge to pay for your time.  The business decision is whether the price you will get will be enough to cover the time that you have invested.

Its a beautiful thing watching plants grow.  They are your babies. In contrast to a home gardener, not only do I see the beauty of the plant itself, I see the money that will come with the sale of each one of the plants that I’ve grown.   To me, they are both beautiful things.  I know that good things will come and I am willing to sacrifice the present to enjoy the future.  I also know that time is precious so its important to enjoy the ride as well.

This blog is another example of patience.  When you start a blog you are writing to an empty forest.  In the beginning, those that do read have no idea who you are and why you are writing.  With time, people start to learn your personality and what you bring to the table.  People are deservedly critical in your writing and your statements because you haven’t built a level of trust or familiarity that comes with time.  Putting your name and face to your work will speed up the process and hiding it will add or even take away trust.  In the meantime Google decides if they want to bring anyone to the party.  All this doesn’t happen in weeks or months, it takes years.  If someone is going to commit to giving you time or money, they want to see a history and a future in what you are doing.  Business is no different.

Most people don’t have the patience or the finances to wait.  They expect instant results and the advent of the Internet has made things worse.  Things move at lightening speed and if you aren’t adapting and innovating you fall behind.  Or so people think.  Either way, you still have to have patience.  The patience may not have to be 3 to 5 years like my business, but it still takes time.  It takes time for people to find you.  You can try and buy time through advertising or third party support but you are only adding risk to the table that can often be exchanged by patience.  If you have a product that people want, eventually they will find it.  Knowing you have something that people want and the patience to wait until they find it, will reward you in great wealth or it will teach you a lesson about the real needs of your customer base.  To cut your attempt short will guarantee that you will learn or gain nothing.

What about knowing when to cut it short or fold?  It’s just as important to know when to pivot or change direction but it can’t be at the expense of making sure that you’ve put in the time necessary to reach your results. This is where most people falter and I think for most people we have all made this mistake.  Many times we get in and realize it will take much longer or cost a lot more money that we expected.  Other times we are throwing darts and hope that one hits and then we focus on the winner.  Regardless, its a lesson in failure for 99%.

I see it every day in domaining.  Every day someone has some new tool or business model with most simply fading into obscurity.  Only the useful seem to stay around.  The copycat models and marketing based businesses come and go.  For the domains themselves, rather than wait a few months and save money for a solid dot com, people are buying 20 junk domains hoping that a miracle will lead them to selling one of them for a large some so they can buy a better name.  It’s like the dollar a day lottery player.  If that lottery player would have just put that dollar away every day they would have been guaranteed $365 at the end of the year.

So grow that plant, show some patience.  Figure out an end goal and take the time necessary to get there.  Its OK to let failure alter your course as long as you actually had a course.  Those that constantly change direction are likely to end up exactly where they started, minus the time.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Michael

    When you side step from domaining and write, its always ON POINT. Thank you, certainly lessons to be learned in all of your personal posts.I’ve printed out and hung up near my computer some of the quotes/knowledge you’ve passed on or shared.

    Where’s Chris been? Do you guys still work together?

  2. rathead

    do you use DDT? i hear you can still get it on the internet and it is very effective against certain insects that could damage a nursery business.

  3. Morgan

    Great post Shane and so true! So many people quit things they could be incredibly successful at because they want instant results.

    Always like the parallels you find in the plant world!

  4. sem

    Wow. A guy who has the chutzbah to take life wisdom into the computer world. That’s worth more than any sale could be.

    Attempt to meld nature with internet landscape is a fine art.

    Great job.

  5. Tom S

    Great post Shane. I thought I read a while back that you were going to slow down on your posts,
    and I thought to myself “there goes one more source of great info”, but you seem to have kicked it into another gear. Your site is becoming a great source for domain info and everyday life./thks

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