One of my favorite childhood books is “The Tortoise and the Hare.” In the story, the slow-moving Tortoise sets out on a race against the speedy Hare. At first, the Tortoise lagged far behind – unable to see where the Hare was. The Hare, also aware of the growing distance between the two, decided to take a nap. “I have the time,” he thought.
While he rested, the steady and committed Tortoise caught up and passed the Hare. When the Hare finally awoke from his nap, the Tortoise was already reaching the finish line. Even with the Hare’s burst of speed, he couldn’t win the race. The moral of the story is simple: slow and steady wins the race.
What does a simple childhood classic have to do with your business and finances? Simple: slow and steady wins the race. You can’t build an empire overnight. If there’s a gap between what you want to accomplish in your company and what you’re able to do today, the best way to close that gap is by honing your skills. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey wrote, “It’s preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have—you.”
Growing your business occurs when you master yourself, grow your knowledge, and build your skills. This might feel frustrating (because you want the results now), but stepping back to hone your skills will give you the edge needed to cut through more difficult challenges.
Here are some easy-to-apply tips for remaining slow and steady as you work towards your goals:
- Create new practices. It’s not always fun to be patient as you learn and grow your skills. It’s easy to give up or check out. If you want to avoid backsliding, be mindful of your inbuilt resistance to change. It really helps to create new practices to keep you accountable. When you feel an internal resistance to practicing a new skill like planning for the week ahead or learning your finances, commit to following a regular practice.
- Seek Out More Than Results. Ask yourself if you’re seeking a quick fix or if you’re committed over the long-term to mastering your desired skill. Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences.
- Get clear on your vision. Remember this is all about the slow and steady. Write out your vision and keep it somewhere that you can constantly see and be reminded of what you’re working towards. Make vision-based decisions rather than feeling-based decisions. When you don’t “feel like” continuing your practice, surrender to your commitments and do it anyways!
If you’d like more support building your business and honing your financial skills, we invite you to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org! We’d love to connect and see how we can support you. Slow and steady, my friend.