Beyond the Build


Impatience Can Be A Virtue

Impatience has long been a characteristic that people try to improve upon, control or reduce. “Good things come to those who wait,” as the saying goes, but what if impatience is actually good, when taken in small doses? According to this article, in certain circumstances, being impatient can also make one a bit more efficient at times, action-oriented and motivated. As a matter of fact, it may be exactly what’s needed to get going, get ahead and reach that short-term or longer-term goal.

Years ago, we had a project with a division of one of the big three automobile manufacturers in Detroit. Halfway through the project, it got canceled. We prepared our invoice as instructed, waited, then and called and called with no results. No action. At the ripe old age of 28, I flew to Detroit and met with the CFO of this division and told him I could not leave without payment. I was impatient and it worked, although not exactly as I planned. 

I did not leave with a check, but we shook hands, and I trusted him to send me a check the following Monday. He even offered to use a new overnight service delivery service called Federal Express. If I had chosen to keep waiting, we might have never received payment, or it could have taken a lot of time and legal expense. While I do not remember the CFO’s name, I do remember that being impatient helped reach the goal.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.