The one thing missing
Patience. Something I struggle with more often than not.
When an idea is in my head, I immediately picture the end goal. Aka, my expectation of success.
Anybody else do this?
Start exercising and immediately want your body to look like that chick on Instagram? Cut cookies and want that "fat" part of you to disappear? Or maybe start a relationship and are waiting for it to feel "official"?
This hit me square in the face when I went with a good friend of mine, Jimmy, to Natural Products Expo West.
If you are unfamiliar (which I was until asked to go), it is a giant expo with all of the latest and greatest natural products showcasing what they've got so buyers, suppliers, and distributers will take their product to market.
Think free samples of granola bars, cookies, crackers, vegan cheeses, etc. Lots of etc. So much etc. that I cannot elaborate any further because I didn't get a chance to see it.
At this Expo Jimmy launched his brand new vegan, non-GMO, gluten free Pho noodle company. I will resist from gushing about how delicious his noodles are and how you have to try them, but definitely get on his website to snag yourself a free sample :).
Jimmy has been working on this company for 3+ years. He wanted to bring delicious Vietnamese cuisine to the masses and, mostly importantly, disrupt the unhealthy ramen noodle space. So he set out to do it.
After 3 years of recipe testing, supplier finding, focus grouping, brand building, Shark Tank contending, and fund searching (not to mention also being a dad, husband, and Ironman athlete) he was finally able to reveal his product.
I remember asking Jimmy one day on the phone, so... do you make any money with this right now?
And he told me no. I thought, how on earth can you determine if you are successful without the money to show for it?
That was my idea of what the "end goal" was. The only way I could imagine measuring success. Obviously you want people to buy the product that you make. And at the same time it's important to have your sights set on other goals along the way.
Like getting the recipe just right, finding that supplier you trust, crowding out your 4th cup of coffee with a cup of herbal tea, having one drink at happy hour and feeling good for your early Saturday run, enjoying one cookie and not feeling guilty for it, or actually having a good time on that fourth date.
After years of trial and error and no physical indicator of "success" (by my old, limited standards) the big reveal was bigger than any of us could have thought.
Companies like Amazon, Costco, and Whole Foods came by, bloggers and social media personalities, VegNews, international suppliers and restaurant owners, even Michelle Pfeiffer wanted her some noodles.
After the weekend was over, I was present to patience. All of the people at that Expo patiently created the product that they believe the world needs. They invested all of their time, money, and efforts into creating something. And none of these amazing things happened overnight.
I loved getting the reminder that it doesn't always look pretty, sometimes you take 5 steps backwards before you can take 3 steps forward, and you say eff it and then come back to it.
Whatever you are up to right now, with your health, work, life, remember that your "end goal" has mile markers along the way.
Don't get so focused on the end goal that you lose sight of the little victories along the way and get too overwhelmed by what appear to be setbacks.
Stay present to patience. The ride will be more enjoyable and your the results will be better than expected.