Play the Long Game

As a youngster, I was impatient and always looking for immediate results and payoffs.

For example, as a college football player, I wanted to be a starter this year, not next year or the year after, now.  Forget the fact that I hadn’t put in the time and reps of the other guys, I was the right choice!  Ha!

Early in my business, I didn’t understand why I didn’t have a business that was competing at the level of the national franchises even though I had only been open for a few years.  I wanted that payoff and that success now not in 20 years like the national franchises put in to get it.

I was naive and impatient which ultimately hurt my speed of growth.  Focusing on the short term payoffs did not allow me the patience, vision, and insight to play the long game.

I was blinded, distracted, and lead of course by the need for immediate satisfaction.

I did not put in the necessary practice and repetitions on the football field to earn a starting spot, ever, and thus was forever a backup.

In business, it took me ten years to open up a second location when it could have taken half that if I had focused on the long game instead of the short.

Bill Gates is quoted as saying…

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”


Once I started playing the long game, practicing patience, and of course, implementing results sped up.

Counterintuitive? Maybe, but true.

Yes, we have to put in the work now.

Yes, we have to implement like a madman now.

Yes, we have to have deadlines in the immediate future.

And all of those things should be figured into a long game approach for maximum effect.


Brett Denton