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When it comes to setting & achieving long-term goals, Dorie Clark is a rockstar. She covers the subject extensively in her Wall Street Journal bestselling book, The Long Game. Today the keynote speaker, Duke University professor, Harvard Business Review contributor, and 4x author shared all her secrets to winning with the CWK community. From small daily changes to accountability hacks, you’ll leave the conversation ready to run the extra mile.
I unashamedly love scratching items off my to-do list. As satisfying as finishing quick tasks is, I also feel it’s the antithesis of what I should be doing to reach my long-term goals. I was glad to hear Dorie say I wasn’t alone.
“We’re programmed to desire instant gratification. Though we know success doesn’t happen overnight, no one can answer what ‘not overnight’ is! So, we get frustrated when we don’t see results quickly. But not having quick results doesn’t mean our efforts aren’t working at all, they’re just not working yet.” (tweet this!)
Part of what motivated her to write The Long Game was helping others know they’re not behind, they just need to practice patience.
Before we can have patience with our plan we must think strategically to create one. Dorie’s approach to strategic thinking is unusual but no doubt will make the task less daunting.
Get this, there isn’t one. Instead of following a strict plan, set a date and follow opportunities you enjoy that will bring you closer to your goal.
“What sounds cool to you? What would make you happy? Or excited? You don’t have to know all the answers right now. Figure it out as you go and stop thinking small. If what you chose doesn’t bring you closer to that goal, at the very least it probably brought you somewhere interesting.”
Whether it’s remodeling the bathroom or changing career industries, strategic transformation almost always takes longer than expected. That can also translate to using more finances than expected. So how do we make sure we don’t run out of cash in the process of pursuing our dreams?
Dorie says, make small bets. Grow your network. Take courses to build skills. Transition out of your current situation by reinvesting the funds you earn rather than leaping into the new without a cushion. (tweet this!)
“When you’re running on fumes you’ll be too stressed to enjoy anything. To some it’s motivating because you HAVE to do it, but who wants to live like that?!”
I couldn’t agree more. We all want the ‘sexy’, ‘NFT’, ‘Bitcoin’, ’billionaire in six months’ story, but sometimes the best way to go is by baby steps.
Want to know what it takes to play The Long Game well?
Consider Luis Velasquez. A runner who, after brain surgery, was told he may never walk again. He did 5x-10x what was instructed in physical therapy – or “marathon training” as he called it – to accomplish his goal. Now he runs Iron Man races!
There’s also Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, who adopted a seven-year investment cycle while most companies use a three-year plan. And, well, we know how that turned out.
The moral of the story is, you must be willing to do what others are not.
While it’s great to have examples like Luis and Jeff, Dorie and I agree it’s important to not compare their year 20 to your year 1! Instead, compare both of your year ones to more accurately measure your progress.
Also, recognize and celebrate small victories. You’ve decided to pursue speaking and got your first gig speaking in a break-out session at a conference? Amazing! Don’t minimize the opportunity because you aren’t on the main stage. You’re still one step closer to it.
In The Long Game, Dorie writes about a tech concept called The Deception Phase. This is when exponential growth is happening, but because it doesn’t look like it to the naked eye, it’s negated. She explained it’s easy to succumb to that deception in our journeys. We can overcome this by remembering “small” growth is still growth.
Share your growth with your community! Use my tips to supercharge your LinkedIn profile and brag about all the great work you’re doing.
Homework: Watch my Tedx Talk
Keep connecting with Dorie:
Madeline Mann’s work is all about telling your story in a way that shows your worth and lands you THE dream job. She’s been featured on ABC, Bloomberg, New York Times and next week she’ll be with us to share tips on everything from LinkedIn to interviewing. RSVP here
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