If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you may have the perception that systems are simple – that if you set them up once, they’ll run themselves and solve all your problems in the meantime.
Bad news: that’s not (always) the case.
This is especially true if your system(s) have been set up recently.
Systems – especially new ones – are fragile. They are generally weak and susceptible to outside forces. They may generate some of the desired outcomes you hoped for, but they almost certainly will not be able to sustain themselves for any period of time.
Mostly because they aren’t tested. They haven’t had a chance to interact with the world yet. And while they may have all the components they need to be successful, they are often underdeveloped and too weak to be useful on their own.
Learning from Experience
As some of you may know, my wife and I just had our first child – a daughter named Lane – a few weeks ago. The time we have spent with her so far has been incredible. The past three weeks have revealed many parallels between the business systems I build and parenthood.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far…
Both Take Time to Grow
As time passes, newborns begin to utilize the calories and nutrients flowing through their bodies. As they convert those calories into mass, they begin to grow in both size and ability.
They start to see. They start to respond. They start to interact. They start to sense their surroundings and adapt. Best of all, they eventually make their own decisions.
Both Take Time to Evolve
Babies’ needs are fairly simple in the beginning. They cry because they are either:
- tired, or
- in pain.
If you listen carefully, they are capable of telling you exactly what they need.
Both Require a Lot of Attention
Newborns require an incredible amount of time, energy, and attention from their parents in order to survive. As someone who strives to be as productive as possible, it was a challenge to shift so much personal time away from my endeavors to care for someone else.
Over the short-term, there is almost zero return on the time you invest. Luckily, systems (and children) are long-term payoffs.
Know Your Persistence Will Pay Off
Don’t give up on your systems too soon. Give them the love and support they need in the beginning. With enough TLC, your work will not only be able to sustain itself but thrive on its own.