Tuesday’s Tip: Playing the Long Game

Recently I picked up an old game my friends used to play.  Sid Meyer’s Civilization.  It is a fascinating game.  Combining politics, war, social dynamics, intrigue, supply, diplomacy, science, etc…  A unique difference about it vs most video games is that you have to be playing about 10 turns ahead (this equates to about 30 min of play time, and 50 years in game time).  If you want to attack someone, unless you have boat loads of money to purchase units, you have to start building an army ahead of time.  Armies cost money to maintain and so you can’t keep a large standing army and once you’ve defeated your enemy you have to cut back your army size or else you’ll use all your money just keeping them alive.  Do you need to make friends with someone so you can cross their territory with your army and not start a war with them.

In the world of small business (and life) things are similar.  Everyday we have a long list of tasks that seems never ending many of those tasks likely have little to no long term significance.  I read a great article here: http://blog.crew.co/playing-the-long-game/ that talked about how you should allow yourself to procrastinate to work on significant things.  As I was playing the game, I realized that in my own life, I’m not playing the 10 turns ahead, I’m playing it about a week ahead.  I realized this, and when I got to work this morning I shared my thoughts with Jordan and we identified where we are lacking in Novak Solutions and what we need to do to change.

So I pose this same question to you.  Where do you want to be in 5 years with your business, and what do you need to get there?

I want Novak Solutions to distribute $1m/yr in dividends in 5 years.  To do this, I am lacking some skills, specifically I need to learn to market effectively, and I need to learn how to effectively manage employees so they make us money.

Today, I asked our marketing specialist (Beth Shurtleff) to prepare a summary report on what each of the 5 top digital marketers say a high converting landing page needs. (Not just a check-list, but a 20 page or so report on what she discovers and what the different people think, and what the common threads are).

I also created an Infusionsoft campaign to remind me what my goal is.  It sends me an email once a month (on a Tuesday Morning) reminding me of my goal, and prompting you to think about what you can do today to do what I need to do to get there.

You use it too if you want, just sign up here (you can un-subscribe at any-time, and it really is just one email a month): https://joey.infusionsoft.com/app/form/playing-the-long-game

Of course I have other goals in other areas of my life that are more important then business, but I’ll keep those to myself.

If you are into sci-fi you may be aware of the multi-verse theory.  My religion clashes with it and I don’t think it’s true.  But flip it around and one thing I think we can all agree on is that there ARE an infinite number of possible universes in the future based on our choices.  It’s up to us to choose which one we want to be in.

You CAN make your dreams come true.  Life isn’t like a Disney Movie where things JUST HAPPEN. We have to MAKE them happen.  So Do It!  Play The Long Game, and Reap the rewards.

1 Comment

  1. In Civilization, the automated opponents often are dilettantes. They fight a little, explore a little, build a little.

    If you choose to focus on just exploring, or just fighting, or just building, or just researching, you can easily outpace the AIs.

    Not too different from business and your (human) competitors. Do what they do, how they are doing it, and you fail. Do your own thing, focus hard on just that, and you win.


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