For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of Instant Gratification, think Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and the like.
As a society, we’ve become very used to the notion that we can put something out in the world, and instantly get acceptance or a response from peers and strangers alike.
That little gadget in your pocket is ground zero.
Think about it. Dating? Instantly put a photo out there and know if you’re hot or not. Fancy dinner? Post it on Facebook and people tell you they’re jealous. Loose 2lbs? Post your struggle to Instagram for a pat on the back. Gig style websites give you instant access to money and praise for doing a task well regardless of how difficult and expensive it was or wasn’t. Hungry? Burgers to your door.
So it’s not a wonder that with the MONUMENTAL amount of potential at our disposal as modern day entrepreneurs, that many fall into the bracket of “Wantreprenuers”, making a strong start and then trailing off. The very device that acts as a conduit to instant reward and recognition, is a gateway to simply unparalleled access to opportunity – and that combination instills a habit which makes the reality of the life of an entrepreneur that much harder to stick out.
You see, as an entrepreneur, the journey is about the process rather than just about the snapshots. Journey > Snapshot > Reflection. When we see posts, we see what people want to share, rather than the journey behind them and instantly everyone reacts with it. We see a snapshot into their life. In fact I genuinely see people disappointed if they don’t get a certain amount of likes and so on.
But we don’t know how long that journey was. We don’t even know whether the snapshot really is what the person posting it is making out that it is. Like a literal snapshot, it could be shown through a filter which shows a selective part of the bigger picture.
But it’s so damned easy to hit like and give that instant gratification.
On Social Media, it is very simple to shower appreciation on a post and when that post has no real-world impact, that level of engagement is enough to give us the buzz we expect.
When you’re relying on your venture to work however, the same level of appreciation won’t suffice if you’re not getting the sales to match.
And therein lies the problem.
The superficial appreciation you get in the form of “Likes”, won’t hold the same weight. Instead, real Gratification, Success, comes from the sales that you generate.
Now Let’s double back to “harsh realities of Entrepreneurism” . Nobody Cares. That is, nobody cares if your company is opened for business. Nobody cares if you’re excited to be selling fidgets for xyz. If you’re lucky, they will flick you a like or a share and that will be that. Most sure as hell won’t put their hand in their pocket because you share a link to your website. And 80% of what goes in to your journey, doesn’t produce a real snapshot that’s worthy of real appreciation.
Things don’t happen instantly. You can’t always boot up an app to give you what you need within the next half hour. Campaigns need constant monitoring. Negotiations may take weeks. Sales may take months to start trickling in.
It’s all a staying game.
So to summarise, if you don’t shake the reliance on instant gratification, the Entrepreneurial journey becomes a spiral into desperation and depression. It’s often a lonely game where your forever exercising patience.
Instead, you have to forge a resilience that teaches you that it’s OK to have to really, REALLY work to get real-world gratification and that it’s necessary to master patience if you don’t want to be one of the many that wants to succeed but quits before it’s time.
And when you do get your first bite, you will realise that it’s much, much sweeter.