A Life Lesson That’s Taken Me Years to Learn: Progress is Slow

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When I was in college, I founded a clothing company called Aristo Movement LLC. I wanted to build a clothing line based on great acts of service in one’s community. When I first launched, I was staying up late, waking up early, and skipping class to run my business (sorry mom). I was dedicated. While working two jobs and taking a full load of classes, I was in no position to run a business. But I wouldn’t be deterred. Every spare second to build my company was taken and I ran myself into the ground trying to do it all.

After two years of working on the business, I closed up shop. But I learned a valuable lesson about life, building a business, working out, and something that can be applied to all facets of our life; progress is slow.

What do I mean by progress? I wanted to see overnight growth in my company. I was under the illusion that if I gave 100% of my energy to working on the business that day, I would be seeing results overnight. I was sprinting in a race that was built for marathon runners, and I was growing weary fast.

The lesson of slow progress has taken me years to work into my life. I still find myself trying to focus on passion instead of persistence and quality instead of consistency. Passion and quality are both traits that absolutely must be in everything you do, but without persistence and consistency you have no hope.

The simple fact is building a dream or business takes much longer than we could ever hope or dream.

I first started my entrepreneurial journey the spring semester of my freshman year in college, four and a half years ago. I just knew by the time I was twenty-one I would be making millions. Seriously, I thought that. I figured I wouldn’t have had to have finished college because like Zuckerburg and all the greats I would just be making too much money (cue laugh).

Apparently, I had lessons to learn before making my millions as they have yet to arrive in my bank account. The first of those lessons was to slow my pace to a consistent speed that I can keep up on a daily basis. I still wake up and pour my heart into my work, but I have a more realistic expectation of what kind results to expect and when to expect them.

The Chinese Bamboo Tree is a unique kind of tree. Unlike most trees, the seed will take five years before ever breaking the surface of the soil. For all that time, it is slowly sprouting roots underground until one day, bam! In a period of five weeks the tree can reach nearly 90 feet. This is our life. We work away in the shadows, in the darkness, until one day our work is finally recognized and it seems like over night we finally became somebody.

The truth is, you were somebody all along, but progress just happens slowly by beating on your craft, day after day.