Long Term Goals for Business

Episode 1022: Long Term Goals for Business, with Dorie Clark

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Long term goals for business — Learn strategies for sustainable growth and development by exploring our guide on long term goals for business.

Long term goals for Business — Dorie Clark helps individuals and companies get their best ideas heard in a crowded, noisy world. She has been named one of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50 and was honored as the #1 Communication Coach in the world at the Marshall Goldsmith Coaching Awards. She is a keynote speaker and teaches for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School. She is the author of Entrepreneurial You, which was named one of Forbes Top 5 Business Books of the Year, and Reinventing You and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of the Year by Inc. magazine.

A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, Clark has been described by the New York Times as an expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives. She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review and consults and speaks for clients such as Google, Yale University, and the World Bank. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, producer of a multiple Grammy-winning jazz album, and a Broadway investor.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about long term goals for business

  • Why working through the small tasks leads to progression
  • How to creatively and intellectually engage employees
  • Achieving long term goals for business one step at a time
  • How to leverage your time more efficiently
  • Why Dorie was inspired to write her book about productivity The Long Game and ​​some of the biggest takeaways from the book that business owners can apply within their own team
  • How to protect 20% of your time for personal growth
  • Some of the golden nuggets that Dorie would love business owners to focus on for the long game
  • The impact of the Great Resignation on business owners and what you can do to fill the pipeline of talent going forward
  • Why strategic thinking is so critical in achieving your long term goals


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Long Term Goals for Business: Full Episode Transcript


Get ready to find your recipe for success from America’s top business owners here at Onward Nation with your host, Stephen Woessner. 


Good morning. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI, and your host for Onward Nation, where I interviewed today’s top business owners, So we can learn their recipe for success, how they built and how they scaled their business. Well, when we think building and scaling, I know, Onward Nation, that there’s so much that you’d like to accomplish. I’m a business owner, too, and I get to hang out with business owners every day, and that I’ve interviewed over a thousand of the best. And because of all of that context, I know there are times, maybe even right now, when you feel max-pressed and pushed to the limit, and your goal is to actually build and scale your business. 


Well, it feels heavier than normal. Maybe it feels like you’re trying to push that Boulder up the side of a mountain, and the weight and the pressure of it to get it to the top feels intense and overwhelming. I get it. We feel rushed. We feel overwhelmed. And give me a litmus test. You’re onward. I mean, seriously, do you truly like truly ever feel caught up with your task list? I know I never do. We just keep focused on that next thing, the next thing, and the next thing after that, and in doing so, we forget to breathe, we forget to relax, and we forget to take the time to actually create a meaningful life intellectually. 


I know that we know this, and onward, that lasting success. Yes, of course, it takes persistence and effort. And yet, so much of the relentless pressure that we feel today, that pressure that is pushing us well, sometimes makes even the easy things feel that much more attractive. You know, we get attracted to what feels easy, what feels guaranteed, or what looks to be the path of least resistance. You know what I’m talking about, that low-hanging fruit. But again, intellectually, we know that if we did the small things and we did them with excellence and we did them consistently over time, we would achieve our goals, but we have to be willing to work at the small things, even when they seem maybe pointless, maybe when they seem boring. 


Enhance your insights about long term goals for business by exploring this podcast from Dorie Clark


Long Term Goals for Business: Dorie’s Introduction


And sometimes they feel really hard. So to help us sort through all of this, to help us gain some clarity, and candidly to help us remove some of the pressure, I’ve invited Dorie Clark, a two-time Onward Nation alum, Duke University, professor speaker, and bestselling author back to the podcast as our guest expert today. So Dorie and I are going to talk through several of the strategies and ideas from her newest book, entitled The Long Game, on how to be a long-term thinker in a short-term world, as well as Dorie’s insights and wisdom. They’re going to help us leverage our time more efficiently and then finally break out of that frenetic day-to-day routine that I know what I’m talking about. 


So, without further ado, welcome back to Onward Nation, my friend Dorie. Hey  Stephen. So good to be back here. Thanks. 


Well, it is so good to have you back here, my friend. Thank you for saying yes. And I’m over the moon, excited to be talking about your newest book. And before we dive into some of the golden nuggets, I know there’s a ton that business owners can take and apply to their business, as well as their personal lives. Before we do that, I want to maybe counteract or proactively go after sort of the definition around the book and why behind the book. So, so that somebody doesn’t feel like, yeah, this is another like efficiency or just productivity or something, because I know it’s substantially more than that. So, let’s start with the long game: Why did you feel this book would be your next book? 


So let me answer that in two ways. The first is I am the world’s biggest fan of productivity and efficiency, and I love all that stuff. I read all of those books, but the question that we always have to answer beforehand, the upstream question, is, why are we being productive? What is the point of our being productive? What are the things that we need to be optimizing? Probably the worst discovery that any of us can make is that we have been very efficiently executing the exact wrong things. So my book is an attempt to answer that upstream question and to help us think through, all right, where we want to begin with and what the long-term view is. 


The second point that I’ll make is I have done a lot in the online learning space over the past five or six years. I started working with LinkedIn Learning, and their platform is super large. Now, they have 16,000 courses available on the platform. I also took a course on strategic thinking for them a number of years ago. And for the last two years in a row, it has been the number two most popular course on the platform. And over 1.1 million people have taken it. And it really showed me that there is a hunger among professionals and business owners for these questions. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Navigating Strategy in Uncertain Times


Here’s a good question for long term goals for business: How do we become more strategic, especially during COVID-19, when we were forced into being so reactive? I think people are just freaking sick of that, and they don’t want to be reactive anymore. They want to be proactive. They want to be strategic. And so this is a book in that vein to help people ask the right questions, hopefully, so that they can optimize for the right things. 


Well, and with a purpose, right? Being proactive and strategic in accomplishing the wrong things. It’s still not truly productive, right? 


Yeah, exactly. I mean, you don’t want to be a jellyfish like this. This is just the metaphor that kept coming to me when I was writing this book. It’s like if you’re just floating on the waves, so it doesn’t really matter where you end up. But I think for most people, that’s not the attitude they want in life. They don’t want to be the jellyfish on the shore. Just like wherever you understand that there are circumstances that may change, a wave blows in or a new current or whatever that you have to plan for a deal with, but you at least want to have an intention of where you’re headed so that you have the best chance possible of ending up in that place or at least close to that place. 


Oh, okay. So, all joking aside, I’m totally stealing that from you. I love that there is no jellyfish that winds up on the shore and is subjected to the tide, the currents, and the litany of other forces on the gel. That is awesome. That is a really cool model. 


Thank you. Yeah, and I think it’s actually like, let’s play it out. I mean, it’s so true because the people, the people who are sort of like the jellyfish in the end, all they’ve got is to just sting people on the beach because they’re so terrible. 


Okay. So, as we start to dig into some of the golden nuggets, let me make sure that I give this back to you and have it correct. So, it’s not about necessarily getting more done. It’s about getting the right things done, but it’s also making sure that the right things stack on top of one another. So at the end of whether that’s a career, just looking back on the business, whatever the end is, you can look back on that and say, yeah, I accomplished the exact right things that I actually did, what it is that I wanted to do because it wasn’t just a task list or getting more done in X number of hours than anybody else. Am I tracking with you? Just high level? 


Yeah, absolutely. And you know, every business owner has heard the mantra, but I think it is a powerful one for me and worth banging the drum on that. We always overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can accomplish in a year. And in many ways, that’s kind of the driving principle of the long game. If we think about a year, five years, or 10 years, it’s actually incredible how much we can accomplish. The part that I like best about all of this, frankly, is if you’re setting these ten-year goals, even incredibly ambitious ones, here’s the secret. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Achieving Big Goals Through Small Steps


Long term goals for business — You don’t have to know how you’re going to accomplish it. That is completely unnecessary. How are you going to do that? Who cares? It’s 10 years away. You’ll figure something out, right? All you need to do is just do a thing, learn from that thing, and then do another thing. And that literally is all it takes to get you there. It’s about small steps taken repeatedly. 


It’s such wisdom, as you just shared it there. And here’s why in my opinion, that as you’re traversing up the side of that mountain 10-year goal, for example, that that you’re talking about, you’re going to learn things. You’re going to meet people, a new strategic partner, or somebody who comes in and represents a significant distribution. And you may not have even known them or knew them. And somebody introduces you to them. There are going to be things up the side of that path that will be impossible to predict. Right. That just happened because of the thing two steps before that, that then allowed that to happen. Right. So, don’t worry about that. 


It’s like just starting to get through the path, right? 


Absolutely. Yeah. Once, once you, I mean, this is like the opposite of the secret, right? You know, it’s not about, like, let’s make our vision board, but what actually literally is true is that once you are setting an intention and people are aware of that, they start scanning the horizon for opportunities for you and making suggestions. And some of them actually will play out or be useful. I mean, I was literally out last night, and I was having drinks with this guy that I had just met. He’s a theater director. And he, we were talking about some of my work. I talked about this in the long game. 


Long term goals for business: One of the long-game pursuits that I’ve been working on for the past five years is writing musical theater. Yeah. So I’ve been, I’ve been working on that. So we were networking quote unquote, and a friend texted me the night before and said, oh, Hey, I’m going to be in town from DC. And I said, well, yeah, come join us. Cause I figured, I mean, I know, right? I’ve literally never met this other guy, but I’m sure they’ll get along. And so I brought the guy from DC, and it turns out the theater director, his big ambition for himself is he wants theater is a little bit, not in great shape right now. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Seizing Opportunities on the Path to Success


So he’s interested in trying to get a writing job on a TV show. As it happened, my friend from DC was a political activist for many years. And as a result, he got to know a lot of newspaper reporters who covered him. As it also happens, there is a particular newspaper reporter who is a very good friend and has transitioned into being a television showrunner. And so my friend is like, oh, well, I’m good friends with so-and-so, I’ll introduce you. That could be the breakthrough for this director guy. Who knows? 


Right. That is so awesome. Really awesome. And a great example of how one thing leads to another leads to another leads to another. And yes, I think I have a point of view similar to yours regarding the secret, the law of attraction, and all of that I am in. By becoming more consciously aware of the things that you want to accomplish in your tenure path, then you will be sure. Notice things in your path that maybe you were one of before and all of that. But I love the intentionality of what you’re talking about here. Okay. So, thank you for that foundational context. That was awesome. So let’s put a business owner hat on and think about some of the biggest takeaways from your new book, the long game that a business owner can take and apply with his or her team. 


Example of long term goals for business – When it comes to large companies thinking about the long game, most of what we have are negative examples. Mostly, we have things like, well, there was Wells Fargo, and they needed to hit some quarterly numbers or just these, like it is an embarrassing litany of people doing preposterous. Sometimes, you’ll be Eagle things in order to juice severe results. And obviously, it’s just like, oh my God, what are these people thinking? There are very few positive examples, but one that we can point to is that actually, for all the questions about its head Gemini, one really has to give credit where credit is due. 


And that is Amazon. From the beginning, Jeff Bezos has warned and actively warned shareholders, saying if you are not prepared for the long-term, get out now because we are going to be reinvesting what we’re earning. We’re not going to be turning a profit for a long time. And now, of course, it has been born out. It is a cash cow, but when Amazon was founded, did they know about Amazon web services? Did they know about Amazon Prime? I mean, that was not even a glimmer in their eye. They figured it out. In a 2011 interview with Jeff Bezos with Wired magazine, he described what he believed was the secret of Amazon’s success. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: The Power of Long-Term Planning


He said the big difference between Amazon and its competitors is that for most of its competitors, the maximum planning horizon that they were willing to engage in was three years. He said that at Amazon, our planning horizon is more like seven years. And that means that we are able to undertake bigger, more important projects that other people are not even willing to touch. That is what gives us an advantage: a longer planning horizon. Inevitably, what that means is that you do have to be willing to suffer losses early on in order to wait and see how it plays out to invest, test, and grow. 


But once you’re there, it creates an almost insurmountable moat between you and your competitors. And so I think that the long planning horizon is something that’s really important for business owners to contemplate.


Before we go to the next one, let me just touch on this example here because back in the day, when you mentioned when Amazon was first founded and struggling, losing so much cash on a quarterly basis, for the, excuse me, the losses were so significant on a quarterly basis and they were burning through a significant amount of cash because anyway, we can get into PNLs at some other point. But, the piece of that that I find so interesting is I remember an analyst commenting on Amazon’s long-term future and saying, Amazon, no matter how much money they make into the future, Amazon will never, ever be profitable. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Navigating the Evolution of Business Strategy


And so hearing what you just now said and thinking about that, which was several decades ago, and in thinking, gosh, there was somebody who had such a quarterly profitability or earning statement mindset where it didn’t understand the long-term or the long game using your book title as to what Amazon was actually going to do in the marketplace. It wasn’t about books and DVDs, and it never was. And so all of these different iterations to build out the long game. Now, we look back on income and look at that statement or think how preposterous it would be to say something like that. 


Right. But this is such a great example that you’re bringing forward the long game. Okay. So what are some of the other golden nuggets that you would love business owners to really be focused on with respect to the long game? 


Yeah, absolutely. And just to quickly build on what you were saying, Stephen, I’m listening right now to an audiobook. I was just listening to it yesterday when I was at the gym, and it’s from 20 years ago. It’s called When Genius Failed. And it’s a book about the fall of long-term capital management. And so it came out in 2000, and I just had to chuckle. I mean, it’s. I love reading or listening to older books to just sort of see the things that seem so obvious in their worldview. And so we’re talking about bond markets, which are a little bit arcane. And so the author is explaining to us about bonds and about safety levels. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Embracing Innovation and Adaptability


And they say, well, the safest is the U.S. government bonds. The next safest would be a solid, steady company, like General Electric, which is very risky, and something like Amazon. And I’m like, are you, I mean, like, Amazon’s probably more reliable than the U S government now, like, come on. I’m like, oh, it’s so risky. It’s, it’s incredible that people thought 20 years. 


There’s only 40% of total e-commerce sales right now. But you know, just that thin slice. 


Long term goals for business — That’s right. Yeah. Things can change, but it is such an important point because, at the moment, it looked like Jeff Bezos was playing the same game as pets.com and cosmo.com is global. You know, they’re selling pet food online, and they’re selling books online, same, same, but what is important for all of us is that what was going on in Jeff Bezos’s head was different. And we couldn’t see that part. I mean, the people who looked carefully could from his shareholder letters, but on the outside, you couldn’t really tell the difference, but the thinking and the strategy behind it made the outcome different. And I think that’s really powerful. So to build on all of that, I mean, other important points that I mentioned in the book, one thing that I’m a really big fan of, and I advocate for people for individual professionals to be doing this in our own lives. 


Also, I do think for business owners, it is a great practice to bring into our organizations to adopt Google’s 20% time. The reason most people are probably familiar with this, but the idea is that you would allocate up to 20% of your work week to more speculative projects, things that are outside your official job description. Letting employees do this at Google is how Gmail was invented. That’s how Google News was invented. So it’s a source of great innovation, and frankly, we’re in a time now where studies have shown anywhere from 25 to 50% of employees are now thinking about quitting, like it’s bonkers. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Empowering Engagement


Long term goals for business: So how are we going to keep them? How are we going to keep them engaged? One possible way to do it is to say, Hey, guess what we are? We’re going to make your job demonstrably more interesting for you by letting you roam intellectually for the benefit of the company. That’s something that really could be a win-win, but part of why I like this and think it’s, it’s so important is we have seen the, just the massive disruption that can be thrust upon us at a moment’s notice. And because we don’t know what is coming, we don’t know what to prepare for. Like, if, I mean, obviously, if you, if you know, what’s coming, you can plan for it. 


We don’t. And so we have to be prepared in an all-purpose kind of general way. And the best way to do that is to just say, all right, 20% of my time. I know that’s not easy because the emails will always encroach, but if you vigilantly guard it and say, okay, 20% of my time, I am spending on growth, I’m spending on professional development, learning something new, trying something new, experimenting it, that if you have people all across your company, doing that in different ways, it becomes like Swiss cheese layered on top of itself, right? There are holes, but you are protecting and covering the holes somewhere else. 


And I very much am a practitioner of this in my own life. I make an effort to do it. That is where the musical theater came from. It sounds like a totally random thing. It might be a totally random thing, but I am meeting scores of interesting new people, new connections, new networks, and you know, who knows my goal for myself? It was a 10-year goal. I’m now five years away from it to have a show on Broadway in the 20 or 26 seasons. So, that is what I continue to work toward. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Leveraging Innovation and Flexibility


Long term goals for business? Oh, I love that. Really love that. So let’s peel this apart a little bit further here, and here’s why I say that because when you mentioned the 20% and thinking, gosh, who, who would have imagined then April 20, 21, we would see 4 million people resigned from their positions willingly. And then, and then we call that the great resignation who, who, who could have imagined such a thing? I, at least, know personally that I could not have. And so when I think of the 20% that you’re talking about, I’m thinking, oh my gosh, what a great way. Now that we’re in this battle for talent, what a great way for us to recruit and retain the best that we can in our business because the A-players then get 20% of their time to do the intellectual things that you just described. 


So I never thought about that. That could be sort of a tool that we as business owners could use in order to counter the great resignation and all of the impact downstream from that. So, what are your thoughts on that? 


Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we know obviously that things are a lot more complicated than just throwing money at the problem. I mean, do people want more money? I mean, sure. Why not? However, the reason that people think about resigning a very significant amount of the time is not money. I mean, they accepted the job to begin with. And so unless they’ve been at the company for some super long time and their salary has not risen commensurately, it’s not like money is typically somehow an urgent problem that needs to be solved. They are leaving for other reasons; they’re leaving because either they don’t like someone that they have to work with, their boss or their colleague or something like that, or they’re leaving perhaps because they’ve had this, this Yolo moment and they want to go remote or they want to live in Costa Rica or whatever the thing is, or they’re leaving because they feel like it’s a little bit unfulfilling in some way that they maybe it’s become a little rote. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Empowering Employees for Success


And if that is the case, if you can actually say, look, we can think because employers now, I mean, everybody’s making accommodations about remote things. We’re figuring all that out. There’s there’s things that can be done if somebody is sufficiently talented to warrant that accommodation. But if you can actually say to somebody, look, if you, we need you to do X, Y, and Z, but we want you to be interested. We want you to be fulfilled. We want you to keep growing. And so if you feel like this is you’re, you’re in a rut or something like that, let’s break you out of that rut. And you tell us what you think could benefit the company and go for it. 


That is actually a really interesting and appealing prospect. 


I think so, too; this is a huge takeaway from our conversation. I mean, I always learn something new when you and I get to spend time together; this is definitely going on the list of big Aha’s of like, of in w we’re having conversations now around the great resignation, what business owners can do to be the to fill the pipeline of talent and so forth as, as either people transition out or whatever. And so thinking of this as a very powerful arrow in the quiver, and also not only is it going to be great for the teammate, but then also obviously great for the business too. 


And you cited several examples. I know our time is running short. So I want to make sure that we talk about a couple of other golden nuggets in, your new book entitled The Long Game Onward Nation. So what one? What would be a couple of others that you’d like Onward Nation to know about? 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Overcoming the Busyness Trap


Yeah, absolutely. So, in the long game, there are a lot of pieces that I talk about. One that I think is especially important to mention is for business owners. I mean, at the beginning of the show,  Stephen and your preamble, you were talking about just the incredible pressure that so many people feel, the fact that the work is never done. And, of course, being self-employed myself, I can very much relate to all of that. And so, in the long game, I actually divide the book into three sections. The first one is what I call white space because something that I have seen time and again, and I think this is a roadblock that many business owners face, is that we, I mean, we all admit that strategic big is important. 


We’re like, yeah, that sounds like a blogger good RDL. Meanwhile was a study, which I quote in the book, that said that 96% of leaders say, yes, they know it’s important, but they don’t have time for it, which is just so mortified. And what will, where is that time going? Well, of course, it’s going to be ridiculous things like emails and meetings and whatever that we all face, but there are actually two other interesting points that I think are worth excavating a little bit because it turns out that there may actually be some more subconscious and subterranean reasons that we are so busy. 


And unless we actually deal with these and face them head-on, it’s going to be really hard to make room. It’s not like strategic thinking takes a huge amount of time, but it does take a little time so that we have this space to really step back from the day-to-day of the frenzy, which is why I’m impressed that you’re, you’re off on a mastermind retreat right now. I think that’s great. But so, the two pieces are really interesting. Number one is research by Sylvia at Columbia Business School, which shows that a major factor involved in busyness is that in our society, busyness is viewed as high status. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Uncovering the Hidden Factors Holding Us Back


And so partly as a signaling device to others, and partly honestly, it is a signaling device to ourselves. Busyness is something that a lot of people hold on to; even if they say they don’t want to, they hold onto it because it makes them feel needed and important. So that’s one piece. And the second, honestly, is it is a really uncomfortable emotion not knowing what the answer is or not knowing what to do. And so sometimes when we are faced with uncertainty about, oh, well, is this the right move? Do you know if I should launch this new product line? Should I pivot my business? 


I need to raise sales by X percent. I really don’t know what it is. Sometimes, it’s easier to just double down and keep doing the thing you’re already doing rather than ask those uncomfortable questions. So those are two factors that are just worth all of us looking at, 


Oh my gosh, I love that so much. And with it, I want to make sure that I get the Columbia researcher’s first and last name, Sophia Malecta. 


Boy, could I have messed that up anymore? Okay. Well, thank you for that and your grades there, too, but it is so true when you mentioned busyness equals status. I see that people are, I see that with business owners, travel schedules, and keeping a frenetic pace in travel schedules. And because I’ve heard other people say, oh gosh, you’re traveling, traveling a lot, meaning, oh, you must be really important in the business and must be doing well. And so then there’s that temptation to keep that even going faster, more often, whatever. And the reality is it’s not that glamorous. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Finding Growth in Uncharted Territory


So I love the piece of the uncomfortableness of not knowing and then just doubling down on the things that you do know, but those to your earlier point, a few minutes ago, about 20 minutes ago, you could be doing the wrong thing super efficiently, right? Whereas you need to get into that longer-term or long-game planning process, push yourself to start working on the things that you don’t know because that’s where the growth is in solving that problem. Right? 


Absolutely. We oftentimes take action in a way that feels productive, but the need to solve it is sometimes more of an emotional need. And we want to, we want to be able to go, go to bed at night and say, I did everything I could. And it’s a good feeling to have, but also you don’t want to have that feeling just as, as this sort of illusory thing where it’s like, oh, well, I made myself feel better, but then, but I made all the wrong decisions. Like nobody wants to be that guy, so it’s important to be honest with ourselves, that’s kind of the first mandate as a business owner. 


This is so fascinating. And I love the data point that you shared with us, that 96% don’t have time for it, which, on the surface, you’re like, what? And then, and then putting your business owner hat on, you’re like, oh, I can totally see myself doing that yesterday. A great example. I got here a little bit early in Kalispell, Montana. I apologize if I’m mispronouncing that, but just outside Glacier National Park, it’s beautiful. It’s epic. And I had a little bit of time before dinner. And so I’m walking around Whitefish, Montana. I started actually getting a little anxious because I had a few minutes to spare. Then, I called and checked in with Christine and Katelyn. 


But then I think I’m literally thinking of Dorie. I need to be doing something. I mean, I can’t just be walking around this small, amazing, incredible town outside of Glacier National Park. Should I check emails? Should I? And I’m like, oh my gosh, I just said set. Right. 


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Long Term Goals for Business: Prioritizing Strategic Thinking in a Busy World


Totally. Totally. I tell a story in the long game about a trip that I took years ago with a girlfriend to the Adirondacks. What I didn’t know was that where this cabin was number one, it didn’t have wifi. And number two, it had cell service, but it was really bad cell service. And I just was like having a panic attack the whole time. I insisted on driving into town. It’s like this half-hour drive every single day. I’m like, something could be happening. 


Well, it is alarming, and we can laugh about it. But it is also alarming that we can’t do that right, that we can’t give ourselves the space to actually think about the long game. And that’s the point, right? 


That is the point that’s that’s right. My man. And I’ll just, I’ll take the opportunity to mention that I created a free resource. If folks are interested in thinking about how to apply this more in their own lives, it’s the long game, strategic thinking self-assessment and anyone who’s interested can download it for free at Dorie Clark dot com slash the long game. 


Okay. That sounds awesome. So I know that we need to scoot, but before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, I know we covered a lot, but in any final advice, any, any final recommendations that you’d like to share, and also please tell Onward Nation the best way to connect with you. 


Yeah, absolutely. Well, I would say one of the pieces that stayed with me, I actually closed the book with this. I have a good friend named Dave Crenshaw, and I profiled him in the book; he has a schedule that I think is really amazing. It’s this hard-fought schedule where he works about 30 hours a week, and he takes two months off a year. He takes all of July off and all of December off; I’m like, oh my God, how does this guy do it? But literally, I mean, I feel like he sort of can’t not because he’s a time management expert. He’s written books about time management, but he’s walking the talk. 


Learn more about long term goals for business by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” framework


Long Term Goals for Business: Creating Space for Balance and Freedom


And so I interviewed him, and I was asking him like, well, how are you doing this? Because I think for any of us as business owners, this is the dream, right? How do you possibly do it? It feels hard to take a week off, much less two months off. He said that, ultimately, he uses a concept called distance to empty. And I love, I love the metaphor. This is something that he borrowed from the gas tank in his car. A lot of the more modern cars have a feature that tells you how many miles to go until you have to get gas. 


And what he has done is he likes to think of this as how far you can go without checking in, without attending to your business every moment. And at first, the distance to empty is like maybe half a mile, like it’s not going to be a lot because you’re so involved and you’re doing all the things, but over time, you want to build up the space and build up the systems that enable it to be more and more so that you can take longer and longer breaks. It is really about rooting out systematic inefficiencies and finding ways that things can run effectively without you and without your constant involvement. 


And so he says just on a micro level, if you’re working until eight o’clock every night, you’re not going to get anywhere. If you suddenly say, you know what, starting tomorrow, I’m going to take off at five. O’clock, like, that’ll work for like a day. And then the next morning, you’ll be in at six because you’re like, oh, I miss so much. But he says that it’s almost like resetting your circadian rhythm and that you’re okay. So the next you can get off, let’s say, 15 minutes early, right? If you’re working till eight o’clock every night, how about starting tomorrow? You commit to leaving at 7:45, and you do that until you can master it. 


Learn more about long term goals for business by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” framework


Long Term Goals for Business: Last Bit of Advice from Dorie Clark


And then you roll it back to seven 30, and you keep doing it until you get it to the place you want. And it’s the same thing for vacations. And time off is how long can you be away without feeling like things are going to break. But thinking that systematically enables us to have the kind of freedom that we want and the kind of freedom that, in many cases, was the impetus to begin with for us to start the business. 


Well. And if we have the long-term thinking, thinking the long game, it’s about that next strategic hire, or maybe that acquisition, or maybe the launch of that next service, or that building out that next team to take something off of your plate, right? That you can then eventually build and scale your business, but then have a wonderful schedule where you’re working 10 months out of the year. Amazing. But if you don’t think long-term, you’re never going to get off the hamster wheel’s best way for onward to connect with you. Dorie. 


Thank you, Stephen. The best way is through my website, DorieClark.com. Again, for folks who want the strategic thinking self-assessment, that’s DorieClark.com/TheLongGame. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to speak with you here. 


Awesome. My friend, thank you for coming back. Thank you for saying yes, and Onward Nation, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and relisten to Dorie’s words of wisdom, which I sure hope that you do, you need to take what she shared with you, the wisdom, the golden nuggets, the plan, the assessment, take it and apply it into your business and be better for it because you’ll accelerate your results in a less phonetic way in Dorie. Again, thank you, my friend, for saying yes. Thank you for coming onto the show for a third time to, yet again, be our guide and mentor to help us move our businesses onward to that next level. Thank you so much, Dorie. Thanks. 


This episode is complete. So head over to OnwardNation.com for show notes and more food to fuel your ambition. Continue to find your recipe for success here at Onward Nation. 


Learn more about long term goals for business by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” framework

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