INDEED ALLAH IS WITH THE PATIENT. AL-QURAN (2:153)
It may sound orthodox but the truth is that “Patience is the virtue”, particularly in startups. Running a startup is not for the faint-hearted, and not for the impatient either. Your business demands long-term commitment to generate a good amount of revenue and profits even if you have an unquestionably awesome product or service. Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has many times concentrated on the importance of patience through the examples from his life and how a person can take benefits from being patient in the hour of need.
We have three generic strategies for marketing your business and product theorized by the famous marketing guru, Porter. Differentiation, Cost Leadership, and Focus. These strategies further bifurcate into various other sub-strategies. Today, the world knows these three strategies, however, from our teachings in Islam there is another strategy above all and that is patience. This strategy is the key to success this is not an empty claim but proven time and again. It does not matter which strategy you choose you have to opt for ‘Patience’ as well because many times when you make a decision in your business or a startup you have to wait patiently to reap the outcome and the results of your decision. The understanding of the great importance of patience is clearly depicted in our Muslim heritage as well as in the western world. The holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spent his 23 years after the declaration of prophethood in preaching Islam and its teachings to mankind. In these 23 years, he worked with complete patience and integrity. He waited for the good things to happen even when he had nothing in the start he held onto Allah’s will and help which proved time and again to be enough.
He (PBUH) was not looking forward to just the people of Mecca accepting the message of Allah but the whole of mankind. He waited for a long time and his patience was rewarded. Today, even after 1400 years the most progressive religion is Islam it remains current and relevant. This is the level of commitment that we lack today in our businesses or in our daily lives.
Judgment and patience go hand in hand. In order to gain the advantage over the competitors, Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) inexhaustible patience played the most vital role in the times of brutal persecution and hostility from his own people. Being patient allows for a balanced mental state to make decisions and we have seen his perfect decisions stemming from this very faith and patience be it the migration to Medina or the mass forgiveness at the conquest of Mecca.
Humbleness and compassion are two great qualities and output of Patience. Prophet Muhammad’s humility was of the highest level and his compassion towards others was unbeatable. These qualities build a very strong reputation for any leader in the hearts of external or internal stakeholders. He was always considerate and understanding towards those who were ignorant and arrogant towards him. One cannot gain the trust of teammates if they are not allowed to speak freely and listened to with great patience. This builds an open communication environment fostering respect and trust the basic demand of the new millennial workforce of our changing times.
For those who practice sabr in Islam, there is always the unfailing promise and prospect of a never-ending world of felicity. It will enhance self-control which is very essential in the life of an entrepreneur because lack of patience means there is no control and without control, there will be chaos. There will be great challenges during the course of business and that will require a huge level of tolerance to cope up with them. Tying the concepts of patience with whatever the goals of the business are making the process of decision making and waiting all the more fruitful. Another lesson in the long stream of lessons that an age-old religion preaches which remain relevant and fresh to date.
WHEN THE PROPHET (PBUH) SAYS: BE PATIENT. REMEMBER! THIS ADVICE COMES FROM ONE WHO LOST BOTH PARENTS AND BURIED SIX OF HIS CHILDREN DURING HIS ENTIRE LIFE.