Friday Flashback: Slow Down

Your strengths and weaknesses are likely two sides of the same coin. As an example, I work fast! I have always been fast which is a strength because I knock out projects quickly. Yet, sometimes I go too fast and miss a detail or mess up someone's timing on projects. There was a moment when I thought I was going to lose a large client because I made a mistake by going to too fast. 

In this Friday Flashback, we look on the importance of choosing to slow down. Below is an article I wrote a few days after making a massive mistake with a client because I was moving too fast. Ideally, you will take some action items on how to be quick but remain detailed. 

Wow, who knew starting a business would be difficult!  Over the past four months, I have been working long hours, meeting new clients, pushing myself past anything I have ever done before, and I learned this week that I need to slow down.

I made a mistake with one of my clients this week and the reason was because I was going too fast and did not follow one of my processes. In my hurry to continually build my business and provide results for my clients, I made a simple mistake because I was going too fast.

It is such a paradox that most of us are more effective when we slow down and actually work less which generally produces higher quality work. Normally, we think that the more we do, the more we will get done, yet this week I have really embraced the idea that I need to slow down. I have read some great articles over the course of the week and a few quotes have stood out that have made me re-think my work style.

A common martial arts quote is: “ slow is smooth and smooth is fast .” 

I have been in such a hurry to produce deliverables for my clients that I am not smooth in my delivery. Going forward, I am working on moving slower to provide better quality work.

Then there is the common entrepreneurship analogy: " It's like a man riding a lion. People think, 'This guy's brave.' And he's thinking, 'How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten ?" 

I knew exactly what this meant! As I have been going fast, I woke up one morning asking myself: how did I get here, what am I doing, and will I be able to provide the results I said I could?

Luckily, I am blessed with a great support system, i.e. my wife telling me to SLOW DOWN! She has seen me succeed in the past and knows that I am most effective when I take things in stride, focus on efficiency, and develop innovative results. When I do those three things I get in a zone and am able to produce high-level results.

Keeping all of the above in mind, if someone was to ask me for start-up advice I would say: slow down, the journey to success is long and weary, make sure to relax and take each day in stride. 

Originally Published Aug. 19, 2015 on LinkedIn

Matt Avery