In our society, everyone is in a rush to be successful. We want instant gratification from everything we touch, see and feel. We desire to be fulfilled, whether that has to do with relationships, riches or even fame. The problem is that you can’t get rich quick and it takes literally years to build anything that is sustainable, gives you meaning and makes a difference. Over the years, I’ve pivoted, iterated and evolved my career. Since I now have a strong handle on my life mission, and both my strengths and weaknesses, I can make MUCH better decisions. I always tell my friends that if you know your long-term goals, you can make better short-term decisions!
Many of my daily routines and actions are focused on the future, not the present. For instance, I spend a third of my day networking with key people who I won’t ask for any favors for the foreseeable future. If I were to ask them for something the second I met them, they would be turned off and less likely to support me. Since I help them before asking for anything in return, it comes off as genuine and they are more likely to respond to me in the future. In college, I was told to pass out resumes in hopes of securing a job, when the real strategy is to have a longer term dialogue with recruiting until they eventually want to hire you. You won’t need to beg for a job if the recruiter already knows, likes and trusts you.
Let’s start focusing on relationships instead of one-night-stands. Our daily actions may add up to bigger victories if we just be more patient. It takes years, even decades, to build up to our breakthrough moments and it’s worth waiting! If I wanted to raise capital for a new tech startup, I would just have to email a few venture capitalists that I’ve networked with the past ten years. The key is that I never asked them to invest in my company so I was able to build rapport with them more easily! When you want an outcome now, you are missing out on a bigger one in the future. Instead of taking a six figure salary today, you could hire someone to help you scale your company and then end up selling it for a larger sum in a few years.
There’s a reason why it takes several dates to be in a relationship, and multiple interviews before you get a job; you need to see if there is compatibility. When you play the long game, you give yourself enough time to build a relationship where both parties benefit and it doesn’t feel sleazy. When you play the long game, you’re investing in yourself and your future. Isn’t it worth it?
Peggy Kopman-Owens says
Yes, Monsieur Schawbel. You are quite right. We may not succeed in reaching our own goals in life, but we will never fail when helping others reach theirs. Best wishes for your continued success and a peaceful journey.