Ways to distinguish yourself – #67 Understand the 3T rule

There is one rule that is hard to break and it’s called the “Things Take Time” (3T) sometimes rule.

During the initial days at CIGNEX
(back when I co-founded the company in late 2000) I wish I had
practiced the 3T rule. Those of us in the technology world know that
those times were tough and nobody was buying anything from anyone. If I look back and reflect on those times, it seems funny (now)

* We had compelling offers for our
customers and I thought prospects would like to hear about them.
Unfortunately that was not true

* When we did get a meeting, I thought they would seriously consider our offers. Unfortunately, they didn’t!

* When they did consider our offers, I thought they would buy. Unfortunately, they didn’t!

* When they did express interest in buying, I thought they would buy NOW. Unfortunately that was not true!

I had learnt a simple and powerful lesson – “Things take time.” Just
because I was in a hurry to make a deal did not in any way mean that
the other party was in a hurry too. Things just take time. There are
times when you have to hurry and there are times when you don’t. The
wisdom is to know the difference. It take years for a tree to grow and
nine months for a baby to be born. No point in hurrying up.

Of course, over the years I have met people who are struggling with the
3T rule and those that have mastered it. Those who are struggling are
typically hurried, restless and frustrated. They want results now. They
send an email, leave a voicemail and sometimes stop by to meet and
follow up on the request. On the other hand, those who have mastered it
are typically calm, composed and in control of their time. They
understand when I say I will get back to them in a few days. They know
– things just take time!

The danger of not mastering the 3T rule is that we might think working
hard is the answer to speed up things (and break our back bones) when
all we needed to know was that things just take time sometimes.