Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!"
In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at email@example.com. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
Hannah, I want to share with you a perspective and way of thinking that is not very popular or prominent in today’s world – but it is a secret of the most successful and for living a great life.
We live in an instant society. Most of everything we want, or need is at our fingertips with the push of a button. So, as you can imagine, when something takes time or is not instantly available it can be frustrating. Believe it not, there was a time not long ago where we went to the video store to rent a movie to watch for the evening. That idea seems so foreign and like it was so long ago – but 10 years ago we were doing it. Now almost all those companies are out of business and we have every movie we could ever want on our smart phone and we have changed as a people and society. With all this at our finger tips, we get angry if it doesn’t download fast enough! As I’ve often said, “We stop the microwave with 3 seconds left – we can’t even wait 3 seconds anymore…”
This “instantness” has conditioned us to have little patience and to not practice the secret I want to share with you. The secret? The ability to play the long game and practice long term thinking. Almost every successful Misfit Entrepreneur that I have interviewed on this show, at some point, during the episode, talks about how they had to wait for their success. How they had to play the long game. How they had to keep going when everyone else wanted them to stop or was stopping. How they didn’t know if they would ever reach their goal, but they knew that if they kept at it, eventually they would find some form of success.
It can take a long time for the big opportunity or big break to happen. Recently, I was reminded of this when one of my smaller side businesses, one that I have been active in for over a decade, finally got the opportunity we had been waiting for. We have a good product and have had some small success with a loyal set of users, but what we were missing was the right marketing partner to really take it to mass levels. And because it is a side business, I am only able to put a certain level of effort into it vs. the level of full-time focus I have on our much larger businesses. There has been enough time to make sure the product was excellent and to do a great job with it, but I was always looking for the right partner or partners to help it realize it’s potential. For over 10 years, I stayed with it, yes because I enjoy it, but also because I knew the potential, and in the last few months, through a simple coincidence, I was introduced to the partner I had been looking for. They immediately saw the value and now we are embarking on realizing the product’s true potential and value. Overnight, this could become a 7-figure business and by partnering, I am able to put about the same amount of effort in that I have been doing, which also very exciting. It is always magic to find leverage between great partners.
Now, I can tell you – most people won’t stick with something for over 10 years, being patient, and looking for the right alignment to come together, but I learned this lesson early in Grasp Technologies. When we started the company, both uncle Erik and I promised each other that we would focus on long term thinking and ride it out as we knew that if we did, we could make things a success. And we, along with our incredible team, over the years, did. I have a feeling this other business will now prove that out as well.
This is the power of term thinking and long term patience. You can accomplish just about anything if you take this view. And that doesn’t mean that things won’t happen fast either. I might have waited 10 years to find the partner, but within 6 weeks, we were going to market together. So, some things will happen quickly, but maintaining that steady pace long term is the underpinning that reaps benefits. As they say, it’s more about the journey than the destination.
There is strategy in that you have to be in the right market or at least understand the changing trends and keep up with them – a thing the video store businesses did not do. In fact, I would argue that the largest video store chain, Blockbuster, did not follow the rule of long-term thinking. Instead, they were very short-sighted on profits today instead of setting themselves up to own the future. In fact, the story goes that Blockbuster could have acquired Netflix for $50 million before it really got going. Now they are out of business and Netflix is worth billions. Wow, that may go down as one of the biggest business blunders of all time.
It is not just business, but life as well. “Great things come to those who wait,” has been a phrase echoed through time. I don’t necessarily agree with that. If I could rephrase it, I would say “Great things come to those who are patient, take consistent action, and not lose sight of their end goal.” But, the truly great things in life take time. It took me years to find your mother. And in turn, it took us years to find you. You and mommy are the greatest things in my life to date, and every moment that it took to bring us together, not matter how long, was worth it. So, understand that it’s worth it to wait and take action toward your goal in life too. The principle and secret is universal and has been echoed since the beginning of time.
Hannah, learn and put the power of long-term thinking to work for you and you will see the benefits throughout your life.
I love you,