How Short Term Decisions Can Get You To Your Long Term Goals

One of the best business and wealth books on the planet is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  It’s the handbook and bible for many of the my most successful entrepreneurial friends and mentors.   Chapter Eight is titled, “Decision: The 7th Step Toward Riches.” If you haven’t read it, I recommend you do so as soon as possible.

Here is a quote from the book, “Analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark, disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of REACHING DECISIONS PROMPTLY, and of changing these decisions SLOWLY, if, and when they were changed. People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, IF AT ALL, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.”

My experience has found this to be true.  When I think about my most successful clients, all of them made quick decisions to work with me.  They didn’t have to “think about it” or “run it by” someone else.  They assessed the opportunity, and took action.   This is why I’ll usually press a prospective client to make a decision, even if it’s no, because indecision is the worst place to be, and is a habit that leads to failure.

As a business owner, there are many decisions to make on a daily, if not hourly business. It helps the decision making process to have a short term and long term goals. Identifying where you want to be in the  next year and the next five years, as well as having a 10 year vision is part of having a business.

Keeping the long term goals and plan in mind can help you make better short term or immediate decisions that are going to be effective and lead you closer to your goals. Every decision should be weighed on the basis of “does this take me closer to further away from my long term goal?” When you are planning your business goals, here are some questions that you should be asking yourself, and developing answers for.

  1. What is your 10-year vision?  What do you think your business will look like? Are you planning to expand and having employees? Will you still be located in the same place or would you be moving elsewhere? Imagining what your life, and your business, will look like 10 years from now can help you to frame your short term goals accordingly.
  2. Break down that 10-year plan into shorter segments. Define your five year plan. Where do you need to be, in your life and your business, in the next five years in order for your 10-year plan to be successful? For example, if you think you will eventually relocate, should this happen in the next five years? If so, this could take some significant planning! Start developing a blueprint, and put your plan in writing so that you have something to refer to other than your great ideas. This helps keep you accountable and helps you see how you are progressing toward your ultimate goals.
  3. As you make your short term decisions, always ask yourself if this decision fits into your long range plans. If you intend to be making six figures in the next year, make decisions like a six-figure business owner. If you continue to think small, you will stay small! For example, if you need to significantly increase sales and revenue in order to reach that six figure goal, then break down the steps that are required to build up your sales, and implement those steps as your one-year plan.

In order to have long term success, you need to make solid short term decisions. Every opportunity that arises, every decision that you make, needs to be evaluated in terms of your long range plans. When you run a successful business, there are really no small decisions—unless you want your business to stay small. Empower your thought process with your long range goals, and think big!


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