When Does Going Faster, Make Things Slower

When Does Going Faster, Make Things Slower?

I start this blog with a riddle: When does going faster, make things slower?  Well the answer is: when you are rushing a relationship.

A few years ago a close friend of mine, Dr. Emory Cowan, contributed an article for my book Masters of Networking.  I’m sharing his contribution in my blog today because I think it is a great concept to think about as we start the new year.

Building a word-of-mouth marketing plan requires developing a trusted network of partners — which means cultivating relationships. But relationships require time, energy, persistence, and, most of all, patience.

I believe that patience gives us the most difficulty. We live in a quick-fix, immediate-gratification society where patience is neither valued nor encouraged. We want our sales now, our business fully grown now, our satisfaction in wealth now. But when I grow impatient with the tedious process of developing relationships, one of life’s many humbling lessons comes back to remind and instruct me: Drink no wine before its time.

Many years ago, I bought some peaches at the farmers’ market in Atlanta. They were the famous Georgia peaches, grown in orchards in the Fort Valley region and renowned for their sweet, juicy taste and wonderful aroma. I took them home, visions of peach pies and cobblers dancing in my head. We ate some right away; most sat out on the kitchen counter.

One morning I was awakened by the aroma of peaches filling the house. I knew that something would have to be done with them soon or they would spoil. Wine, I thought. Why not make some peach wine? I knew my parents, who lived fifteen miles away, had an old ceramic crock and an old family recipe for fermenting wine from fruit. I found the crock, cleaned it, and, on the way home, bought cheesecloth for the top, along with yeast and sugar for the ingredients.

By the time I got home, my excitement over this project was so great that I could almost taste new wine as I cut up the peaches, added the sugar and yeast, and closed the top with the cheesecloth. But the process of making wine is slow, and I was impatient. With the crock safely stashed in the cool basement, I drove home from work each day with growing excitement. I would go immediately to the crock and smell the brew. As the days went by I became more intent on having the wine ready for consumption. But it was not happening fast enough for me.

So, one afternoon, frustrated that it was taking so long, I carried the crock to the kitchen, determined to speed up the process of fermentation. I removed the contents, used a blender to further emulsify the peaches, and added more sugar and yeast. Smug and satisfied, I returned the crock to the basement, and three days later I had — vinegar!

My vinegar-making triumph has become a life-shaping parable for me. When I am tempted to rush the process of forming relationships, whether in business, in a networking group, or in my personal life, I am reminded that some things just take time to happen. I am aware that letting my impatience force the process can turn the potential of new wine into vinegar.

Patience in developing relationships is a virtue. It leads to solid networked contacts who can help you with your business, your interests, and your life.

This is a powerful lesson for us all to consider for life and for networking.  Good wine and great relationships both take time.

What are your thoughts about this story?  Have there ever been times where you tried to rush a relationship and had a bad result?  Share your story here with us here.


5 thoughts on “When Does Going Faster, Make Things Slower?

  1. I relate to this story very similar way to a pilsbury cake which I received ,where U can make a cake in 30 minutes .My Mum is an expert in cake baking n takes 3 hours over her ‘orange peel cake ‘ .So when she made the pilbury cake for me in 40 minutes . I could taste the ‘quality’ difference between the two .There are not too many short -cuts in LIFE ,you have to go through the process and do all the run of the mill .

  2. Great story from Dr. Cowan and one of my favorites from Masters of Networking. I think we live in such a face-paced, “gotta-have-it-now” world that some people just want to skip over the relationship building part and get down to business, (as evidenced more by most men in Dr. Misner’s new book, Business Networking and Sex (not what you think). At every different type of networking event I attend, I encounter at least one person who wants to rush their networking efforts and get right down to business. To me, events such as “speed networking” only seems to foster what I would call a bad networking habit because a great number of the people attending these types of events believe networking is all about running around and meeting as many people as possible in the shortest period of time, when it’s the actually the opposite.

    In my seminars and trainings, I teach people that networking is all about building relationships. In our personal lives, we generally don’t meet someone and within the course of an hour, decide to have a relationship with them, move in together, get married to them and live happily ever after — and those that do are usually doomed to failure. With networking, it’s no different. In my book, The World’s Worst Networker, there’s a chapter called The Instant Winner which deals with the way some people rush their networking efforts and conclude that networking “doesn’t work” when they do not get immediate results.

    Networking is about building relationships and enhancing the, relationship through a process of engagement. It’s about helping others before you help yourself. It’s going to take some time but it will well worth it in the long-run for everyone. As Aesop taught us many centuries ago in his fable the tortoise and the hare, “slow and steady wins the race.”

  3. I believe it is Mario Andretti that said “If things are in control, you aren’t going fast enough”. With networking the opposite is true. The issue at hand is too many people see new contacts as prospects, rather than referral partners.

    This is such an important point for networkers to understand. I have even taken this idea to the point that I refuse to hand someone a business cards unless they ask for one. Even a simple act like that can be pushing too fast.

  4. I really agree with the nuturing of the relationship. Many years ago I was anxious to hit my sales target and was willing to do anything to hit it. The harder I pushed, the slower it went. I finally had to “let it go” and work with people instead of against them. In the long run I exceeded my sales goals but not in the month when I spent the time rushing through the process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *