You know that old saying about “sometimes it’s a marathon, not a sprint?”
I don’t know about you, but I think it is always a marathon, not a sprint.
Hitting my 7th year of business, I really cannot think of any sprints. Lots of things that looked like sprints turned out to be marathons. Setting up systems and procedures that really work for my Plum Deluxe brand took about 4 months longer than I expected. Right now, I’m consulting for a pre-launch software startup that’s got some pretty hairy coding going on. They tried to sprint at the end, only to realize the marathon was ahead of them. (They’ve slowed down to a sustainable pace.)
There is no better way to make something important slow down than to try and rush it.
If someone is pregnant and about to have a baby? Sprint.
Being chased by a snake with flesh-eating poison fangs? Sprint.
Otherwise, it’s probably a good idea to find your stride and get a feel for the road before going too fast.
I close with a paraphrase of Bill Gates that often floats around. It’s very apt in this topic area:
We overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can accomplish in a year.