Episode 115: The Long Game

Are you willing to enjoy today at the cost of tomorrow?

In high school, I was a cross country runner and little did I know it then, but the lessons I learned have served me well in life and business.

I learned you can either be one of those people that sprints right out of the gate, or one who plays the long game by pacing yourself.

If you’re a sprinter trying to play the long game, you’ll eventually wear yourself out. Pacing allows you to stay focused on the big picture and make it to the end.


In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The impact of short vs. long-term thinking in business
  • Why long-term thinking is your best short-term strategy
  • What to do if you’ve been trying to scale your business with a short-term mindset

Starting in high school, and leading into college, I actually ran a track and cross country. And I can't remember if I've ever shared that with you all. But it taught me so many important life lessons, specifically, the one that I'm going to share with you today, both in track and cross country, I ran long distances. And I had to learn to pace myself. And I remember, I used to go to the starting line, get ready to start the race. And inevitably, there would be people who were just take off sprinting right out of the gate. And I tried that once I wanted to get right out front. And I picked up that pace and sprinted to get ahead. But what I learned was that I couldn't maintain that pace for long. And so I had to change my approach. And once I shifted my approach, I let everyone else at the starting line just take off, they passed me by and I got really comfortable with what the pace was, that felt really good to me. And I just started out at that pace, and I held steady at that pace. And I kept running at that same pace, the entire time, all the way to the finish line. And when I took that approach, here's what happened. Everyone else just like I had done before, would tire themselves out and end up slowing down, maybe even walking. And I would just keep going at my same pace and pass them by, slowly and steadily. I would pass each person. And they ended up many, many times at the very top of all of the women competing. Sometimes, even within the top few of all athletes competing, meaning men and women were racing together. And oftentimes I was among the top few. Now. I share this today, because what I learned when I was racing, when I was running long distances is something that can absolutely be applied to both life and business. I think everything in life and business is really a sum total of all of the decisions that you make. And every time you make a decision, and you have the option to make a decision for the short term, or the long term, you can sprint right out of the gate. Or you can take a long term approach and play the long game. You can climb the hill, or you can try to take a shortcut around it. In this episode, we're going to take a look at short term versus long term thinking and why long term thinking is your best strategy. Short term. So first, let's talk about short term thinking. What I see all the time is that people are taking short term paths for many, many reasons. But there's that feel good dopamine hit. There's an immediate relief that you get. We all crave instant gratification, but it's just a loop because you're constantly in search of that next kind of feel good hit. You're looking for that instant gratification in everything. You want quick results, you want instant results. And in business. instant results don't really exist. We might see things happen quickly. But most of the time, what I see is the things that happen very, very quickly. Aren't the things that last long term. When you're in a hurry to get there, wherever there is you're taking shortcuts. And you start comparing yourself to where others are and how fast they're getting there without any knowledge of what they really want without any knowledge of how long they want to be there once they get there. Because by the way, different people will have different goals in business. Some people want to get there quick and then just sell their business. Some people want to get there fast and shut it all down. And just because they're getting there fast doesn't mean that they're going to create success in a way that sustainable. So when you're doing all of that when you're in a hurry, you're focused on now now now, sure things might feel more exciting, but they're also exhausting. Things that are good for you in the long term, aren't the things that are going to be fun right now.

 So, I know that it's not going to be nearly as exciting. I know, it's not going to be nearly as fun to focus on the long game. But are you willing to enjoy today at the cost of tomorrow? Because that's the question you need to answer you need to know whether you'd rather prioritize today and sacrifice tomorrow, or whether you're willing to enjoy your journey today. But focus on the bigger picture. I don't think that you have to sacrifice today. But you can change up your expectations, and really build for the long term. So let's talk about the long term. Long term thinking means that you're really asking yourself, what do you want long term, you're not focused on just what you need right now, just what you want right now. Because that payback is absolutely incredible. It's immense. But you have to climb the hill, you have to put in the work. Now you have to be willing to slow down. Now, many business owners don't understand the benefit of long term thinking, they struggle, because they're tied up and what needs to happen now, they lose sight of the big picture of where they're going, they get out of alignment, they start making decisions today that aren't going to help them get where they actually want to go. They struggle, because they're just working for that quick cash injection. They're operating out of scarcity. They're comparing to others without knowing others' goals, like I mentioned, they're worried about being the fastest to get there, instead of who's going to be able to stay there the longest. And they're not thinking about what's next. They're not thinking about their business operating, like a company, long term thinking is the key to sustainable growth. So if you're struggling with any of those things, you might be in a pattern of short term thinking. And you want to begin to look at the bigger picture. Now here are the benefits of doing that focusing on the long term will help you and everyone on your team, make the right decisions for the short term, letting everyone know where you're headed, being clear yourself on where you're headed, and communicating that casting vision to your team, aligning everyone on your team to where you're going, we'll help them make decisions in the short term that are aligned with that long term. It's going to help you and your team again, prioritize, evaluate multiple factors and really have an objective view. It will help you overcome any short term setbacks easier because you're thinking the bigger picture right? minor bumps in the road aren't going to send you into a tailspin. Because you have the full roadmap in mind. Because you know that ultimately, your success is inevitable. And this is just the journey to get there. It's not all about the here and now. And long term thinking positions you for a much bigger impact. So remember, long term thinking is your best short term strategy.

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