When I was in business school, the emphasis was on long-term strategic thinking. While this approach works well for established companies, simply abiding by that doesn’t work for the entrepreneur (and many others). I agree that long-term thinking is important and so is short-term thinking.
Let me put it this way, the entrepreneur is many times working in the moment. They have to focus their efforts on ensuring their assets are used in the most effective and efficient way. The entrepreneur also makes a lot of mistakes while working to make their company successful. And they will fall many times along the way. That is how they learn. Being an entrepreneur is different than being a small business owner (while both can one in the same at times). The entrepreneur usually is taking a new idea/concept for a business and working to make it viable. There may or may not be a market for their idea either. Heck, when Apple computers came out it was the same way.
The vision of the long-term is also critical to help keep the entrepreneur focused. Both Steven Jobs and Bill Gates looked years into the future and dedicated their efforts to making that vision come true. And yes, both had flops along the way.
While the long-term vision is important, so are short-term ones. What I mean by this are the opportunities that come up that you may have overlooked by completely being focused on the long term. I mentioned in a previous post about the mind of a champion. In it the champion will grab opportunities that helps to propel forward their purpose. If that opportunity is better than what they envisioned, then go for it.
I like the idea of using crowdfunding to help take ideas into the reality stage. With short-term thinking, one can do this. The old way was to develop a long-term plan and get venture capitalists to invest. No longer are they the only (and some cases main) player in town. Times have changed. Many entrepreneurs are bootstrapping their business today. This harkens back to a day before the investment community.
In my opinion, both short term and long term thinking are needed. Sometimes we’re in a marathon and other times we have to sprint. And along the way, be aware of opportunities.
Have fun too!
Bob Choat, “Transformational Master Black Belt”
America’s #1 Mind-Body Transformation Expert and author of Mind Your Own Fitness