"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."
- L. Tolstoy
I never would have thought my pal Kenny had anything in common with one of the most well regarded authors in history. Yet, here we are.
I've been working on a project for the past several months. It's a learning project - education.
Part of my latest project is related to business and success.
This morning when I stopped in to visit with Kenny, which I do most days, I asked him a simple question.
"If you could tell me the one thing most important for success in business, what would it be?" I asked.
"Patience." he said. Patience. He didn't miss a beat. Just blurted it out. Patience.
Kenny Polly is not what a lot of people might consider "successful." He's an auto mechanic. He didn't graduate college. He never got an MBA. He just worked his ass off over the years.
He is successful by most any measure.
He's wealthy. Not ostentatiously wealthy, but he's pretty much set, financially. I have an idea that he could retire today and live a fantastically lavish life until the day he dies. But wealth is just one measure of success, and a paltry one at that.
He is happy. Kenny Polly loves his work.
He is patient. Some days I find myself feeling a little proud that I get up at 4:30 most mornings. This is ego. It is a useless way to think, but still ....
Kenny lives forty five minutes west of Nashville. He drives into work six days a week. Usually by the time I get there, he's had a pot of coffee an he's finished his paperwork. I get there most mornings between 4:30 and 5:00 AM. You do the math. Five days a week you can find Kenny at the shop until well past closing time. They close the shop at 6:00 PM.
"I fucking love what I do." He said this morning. "Love it."
It shows. He's there at the shop on average 15 hours a day during the week. On Saturdays he goes home at noon, or so - a normal 8 hour day. Except there's the hour and a half round trip drive. Call it 10 hours on a Saturday. A short day. A day of relative ease.
Kenny and I have been having coffee every morning (when I'm in town) for the past 30 years or so. His schedule pretty much stays the same. He loves working on cars.
This morning his advice to the would be business person was a simple one word quip, "Patience."
You want to be successful? Love the work. Put in the work. Be patient. It's really that simple.