Taking a long-term view

Sometimes you have to do things now that won’t pay off for a long time.

It’s so much easier and immediately satisfying to do the things that will pay off in the short term.

Doing that smaller, easier task just to cross it off your list.

Chasing that hotter but lower-value lead in your sales pipeline.

Checking email instead of writing a few pages of your book.

But if you take the time each day to work on the longer term projects, they’ll eventually be way more valuable when you complete them in the future.

Develop that relationship that may lead to the big sales deal in the future.

Work on writing that book, even if you only get a page done.

Start that moonshot project you’ve been thinking about.

I admire Amazon for not caring about what Wall Street says and continually reinvesting their profits back into the company to keep growing. And I admire Google for attacking huge, difficult problems like self-driving cars and diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s.

It’s much harder to do work that won’t pay off until far in the future. But when it does pay off, it’ll be that much more rewarding.

What long-term projects are you working on, and what short-term sacrifices are you making to get those projects done? I’d love to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me @mikewchan, or email me at mike@mikewchan.com.

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