Make “The Long Game” Part of Your Busy-ness Routine


"The Long Game" is a book that seeks to remind you of what you might have put on the back burner since you started your business.

the long game

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Entrepreneurs are great dreamers and great starters. But as you already know, building that dream into reality is a long game. As you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking “I haven’t had much time to think about long games, I’ve been too busy doing what has to get done. Well, this is your opportunity to grab yourself a copy of Dorie Clark’s new book The Long Game:How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World

Clark is More Than a Thinker

You’ve probably seen and heard about Dorie Clark in some of your favorite publications. She’s contributed to Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Inc. and The New York Times, an she’s been named one of the top fifty business thinkers in the world by Thinkers 50.

But Clark is so much more than a thinker. Her previous books, Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You and Stand Out practical and down to earth. She is a consultant and keynote speaker who teaches executive education at Duke University.

I’ve been following Dorie Clark for more than ten years, I’ve met her and interviewed her and I can tell you, she’s the real deal.

Ditch the Hustle and Grind

“The Long Game” is a book that seeks to remind you of what you might have put on the back burner since you started your business.

Remember those visions or goals you had set for yourself, that have somehow gotten lost in the daily grind? You might want to write them down so you can have them handy as you read this book.

Remembering Your Long-Game Will Get You Through

The book starts with a series of paragraphs outlining Clarks grueling schedule. I normally don’t care for these types of introductions as it lands like some type of humble brag. But not in this case.

While you may not be a “thought leader” jetting around the country, working with clients, writing books, and teaching classes, you have your own list of responsibilities tugging at you from every direction.

Clark seeks to remind you that this is something YOU’VE created. And, that many times, this constant rush of activities and packed schedules is getting in the way of your long-game.

They key message in this book, is that the long-game is what gets you through the tough times; those moments of doubt when you ask yourself what is it all for? I suppose you can call it your “why” or your “vision”, but whatever you call it, remember to keep it front and center.

How to Keep Your Long-Game in Front of You

Clark has organized the book according to the process she wants you to follow. There are three core sections:

White Space: Creating space and time to think

This section is all about recognizing that YOU are responsible for creating your schedule and deciding on where and how you’re going to spend your time. The best part of this section is learning how to say “No”.

Focus Where it Counts: Picking what you’re going to focus on

This section is all about prioritizing and choosing your goals. It’s probably been a while since you’ve had the time and space to look at them, and this series of chapters is a great opportunity to dust those off and take a fresh look. I especially appreciate chapter 3 which offers some helpful frameworks you can use to identify the right goals for where you are today and where you want to be.

Keeping the Faith: Moving forward despite challenges and setbacks

With time and space to think strategically under your belt and a fresh (or refreshed) set of goals and priorities, you’re ready to dig into the last section that will help you consistently move toward the goals you’ve set.

Who Should Read “The Long Game”

It goes without saying that “The Long Game” is written for entrepreneurs and business owners. But I’d like to add this to your reading list if you’re currently employed and thinking about starting a business.

If you’re already in business, read “The Long Game” as a supplement to your business planning routine. I’ll add one more recommendation here. If you have employees or a team working for you, consider that they, too have a long game. Recommend that they read the book and get together to see how you can support each other’s long-term goals and dreams.

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, “The Long Game” will help you create a structure that will get you through the step you’re in now as you prepare to launch and where you’re going when you do leave your job and launch your business.

Add Long-Game to Your Busy-ness Planning Routine

The Long Game is a must-read for entrepreneurs and business owners. It can be hard to keep your long game in mind when you’re consumed with the day-to-day tasks of running your company, but this book will help you get back on track. Grab your copy of “The Long Game” and make it a regular part of your goal setting and business planning routine.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."