Long Term Goals (Issue 969)

In which we are reminded that, sometimes, our role as friend, advisor, or sales person is to understand and remind people about their long term goals so they don’t undercut them with short-term shiny objects.

A few weeks ago, I received an email message and then, following my response, a telephone call from a group that would like me to do some work for them. The work would fall outside the scope of my business, so, this would be extra, “in addition to.” They think that my expertise and experience could be well applied in a different setting.

Well…. Nice to be considered and there are some potential strong payoffs to taking on the project they’ve proposed. They asked, “Would you consider this?”

Ever the firehouse dog, eager to go when the alarm sounds, I said, “yes.”

An immediate flurry of emails followed as a wider cluster of colleagues on the other end weighed in about scope and schedule (some very short-burn deadlines followed by a series of deadlines through 2021). I began to think about the people I might invite to join the effort with me, how we would orchestrate our activities, the design of the project, and rough views of how the funding might work. Very exciting. As I said, nice to be considered.

So, I shared this evolving story with a friend, finishing with, “…this is SUCH a great opportunity.”

“Well, congratulations,” he said. “Nice to be considered.”

And, then, he paused for a moment…. and asked, “What about next summer?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve told me many times that you want next summer to rent a place on Cape Cod for a few weeks to have a ‘real summer.’  How’s that going to go if you take on this project?”

Good question.   “I don’t know….”

“Look, it’s up to you, of course and, if you want to have the time on the Cape to relax without worrying about this project or anything else….”

Good point. “So, you’re saying I shouldn’t take it on. [Pause…Shift… Bargaining] It’s kind of a once in a life time deal, you know.”

“I know… and if you can’t schedule this project around the time you want on the Cape, are the benefits that come with this project worth putting off the Cape for another year or more?”

Good question. “No,” is the short answer. I have some figuring to do and a couple of emails to write.

Nick Miller trains banks and bankers to sell to small businesses. Additional columns and an expansive array of articles on other topics can be found on Clarity’s Web site.

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