BUILD THE BUSINESS YOU WANT

Success is a long game


Transcript

Hi, George Swift from Bigger Brighter Bolder. Today, we are going to play lucky dip with my book - 67 Kick-Arse Philosophies For Small Business Owners. Literally 67 bite-sized philosophies for mindset, sales, for general business growth.

Okay, so where's she stops, nobody knows. I shall literally pick it purely by chance. Here we go.

“Success is a long game.” Success is a long game, and it's what I had to say about that. And we'll have a little chat about it in a minute.

“Play the long game!

“The older I get, the more time starts to compress.” Isn't that true?

“When I was 20, a year seemed like a long time. When I was 10, it seemed like an eternity. Hell, at that age, the weekend never seem to come. Christmases seemed eons apart, yet today I feel like I've barely put the decorations back in the loft before I'm getting them down again.”

Well, that's quite timely, isn't it? Because I don't know about you, but I'm literally thinking about getting my decorations down this weekend and I cannot believe it just feels like I've put them up just the other day.

“Summer holidays come and go, as do birthdays...” Summer holidays - maybe they don't come and go quite so quickly as they used to. “...summer holidays come and go, as do birthdays, and this new experience of time brings new appreciations with it: The future isn't as far away as you think...”

When we're kids, I mean when you're 15, you know, you never even think what you want to do for a job. If you're going to come out of university at 21, you know, when you're 21, you're not thinking about what life’s going to look like when you're 40. And maybe when you're 40, you're not thinking about what life at 80 looks like. However, the older you get, the more you start to realise that time starts to compress. And you start to realize that you need to start making the most of it, make it count.

“Instead of thinking in terms of days, weeks, or months at a time, start thinking and seeing increasingly further into the future. There's truth in the statement that most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year, but hugely underestimate what they can achieve in a decade. Time is a friend and a powerful ally, if leveraged properly. The more we can plan ahead and take the appropriate steps today, the more likely we are to have the business and life we want in the future.”

So basically it's obvious - I've just said it there, right? So if we're firefighting and we just think about today, today, the hunter-gatherer in our unconscious mind, where we're sitting there, doing what I need to do today to get through today, to make it to tomorrow, and tomorrow I have to do enough to get through. Obviously with that, you can't plan that far ahead. We want to become increasingly more like a farmer.

So farming, evolutionarily, kicks off 10,000 years ago. The proper early beginnings of farming seemed to be about 20,000 years ago. And the truth is that we need to be more farmer mentality than hunter-gatherer mentality. But the problem we have is that in terms of evolutionary timescales, the majority of what makes us up, certainly at an unconscious level, is actually hunter-gatherer. It was opportunistic scavenging.

And to this day, we have a large portion of us that is motivated in the same way. The idea of credit card debt - you look at the adverts and they’re saying, "Look, don't wait until you've earned the money, you've earned it already. You deserve it. Put the money on your credit card because this thing is so important to you. Pay it off later. Oh, and while you're paying it off later, if you could pay us a chunk of interest while you’re at it, that'd be great."

“Eat the chocolate bar now, feel better today. Don't worry about your waistline - you can worry about that tomorrow.” Come tomorrow and you start worrying about your waistline, the chocolate company is saying, "Hey, have another little chocolate by the way, worry about your waistline tomorrow."

So we are still suckers for this kind of thing. In life, we're very short-term focused. We'll take the short-term gain of today and the short-term avoidance of pain today, even if it's going to cost us a huge amount of pain later.

That goes back to our hunter-gatherer past, however, if we engage our farmer, we start to realise, that I might be a bit hungry today. I need to till the soil today in order to grow the crops of next season, so that we can eat plentifully next season. And when the carrots are this big, it's the patience to leave the carrots in the ground, even when you're hungry, because you know that if you leave them for a few more months, you'll get carrots this big, does this make sense?

So we need to engage much more of the farmer and we need to be a little bit more mindful of our hunter-gatherer. We need to be mindful of how some of the big brands are trying to hijack our hunter-gatherer opportunistic self with this thing – it’s not very good for you, but you'll feel better today, and you can worry about your early death later.

So what we want to do is say, "Right, what's the long game, what's my long-term vision? Where do I want to get to?” And then it's about making the sacrifices today. About the farmer that tills the soil today - works hard today - but maybe doesn't get to eat that food today so that we can all eat plentifully later.

So where in your life are you playing too short a game and where in your life do you need to play a slightly longer-term game? In other words, what seeds do you need to be planting today? What seeds do you need to be nurturing today? What small embryos of ideas and concepts in your business do you need to nurture today? Even though you might not necessarily be reaping the rewards of those until maybe six months, maybe 12 months, maybe even longer in the future.

Of course, we have to tend to our day-to-day needs. We must make sure that's taken care of. The moment we're taking care of our day-to-day needs, we need to start increasingly to stretch our focus, our vision, our energy into that future space, because the more we can invest in the future and the longer we're willing to apply ourselves to a high degree, to a longer term, then the greater the future that we can create for us.

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