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You don’t get to the long-term without short-term success…


One of the toughest challenges a business faces is balancing between the short term and the long term. For too many organizations, everything is always short term.

We get pulled from one fire to the next, never allowing our long term priorities to take hold.

For too many organizations, the opposite can occur as well. You get bogged down in thinking about the future to the point that you don’t have any good ideas about moving forward in the short term.

The truth is that if you are ever going to achieve any sort of long term success, you need some results in the short term.

That’s the beauty of the Process at the University of Alabama, focus on the job in front of you and don’t let the rest of the stuff distract you.

Finish with that one play, move on to the next thing. With each play building on the next.

That’s the way we have to think about our short term activities too.

They have to be a part of a larger strategy just like with Alabama football, but the only way to make your short term activities successful is by focusing your attention completely on the task in front of you.

This is the logic behind something like “chunking” which I think Brian Tracy talks about pretty regularly. As in breaking your big projects down into “chunks” that you can take a bite out of and accomplish that move you towards completion of the larger project.

It is the same philosophy behind scheduling appointments for yourself to ensure that you are taking the right actions and making time for your biggest priorities.

You take out your calendar and schedule what you want to get done.

But back to short term activities as a way to drive your revenue. You need to know where you want to take your revenue over the next few years and attack that on a annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily basis.

If you have been smart about setting your long term goals, you will see a path that will get you to the results you want in the long term. And, if you are paying attention to the long term, each of these goals sets up as an easily measured short term goal.

In the ticket business, we knew that success would look like averaging $50,000 in sales a day. Knowing that there were seasonal variations and demand adjustments, we were able to plan for what success looked like in the long and short term.

For any business, this kind of thinking is wise.