Dorie Clark’s congratulates Charlie on winning the chocolate factory by playing The Long Game
“But I want it nowwwwww!!!”
I think of this abrasive chant from Veruca Salt in the 1971 version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory every time I am working on a big project for my business and it’s taking longer than I had hoped (I am the Impatient Entrepreneur, after all!).
And despite my own experience, the old adage is proven true time and again: It takes 10 years to become an overnight success.
We don’t want to believe it. In a world of same-day Amazon delivery, we want to think there’s a secret shortcut, a strategy, a way around this madness—because who wants to wait 10 years to get what they want?
Well, I have worse news (but don’t worry: it gets better afterward!). Not only does it take time to become an overnight success, but in that time you also have to be doing stuff—and smart, strategic stuff at that!
You can’t sit on your butt for 10 years and then become an overnight success.
Now for the good news: You can almost guarantee overnight success if you’re willing to consistently show up and commit to strategies that are headed in the direction of success, without always knowing what lies ahead.
And that’s what I love about Dorie Clark’s new book, The Long Game. It’s a detailed account of all the different strategies she has used over the past 10 years to take herself from an unknown theology major to a world-renowned business and leadership coach, international speaker, and author of multiple books. Dorie has also published so much authority content that when I search a question on Google, at the top of the results list I often find an article she wrote for one of many respected platforms, like Forbes and Harvard Business Review.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Dorie and following her career for six years, ever since I met her through mutual friends. And although our careers have taken their own unique turns—she built her authority from the beginning as a consultant, speaker and writer, and I started by building a done-for-you branding studio and then moved into speaking and writing—the concepts behind our work have been largely the same.
Which is why I was riveted, inspired, validated and, frankly, relieved to read her new book. In The Long Game Dorie shares the tactical strategies and mindset shifts that are necessary in order to show up consistently over the long haul. As she explains, it takes a hunger to learn, space to think and create, boundaries to protect your time, decisiveness and commitment to go forward on ideas you’re excited about AND ideas that intimidate you, and much more.
She highlights the importance of building long-term relationships with others who are playing the long game, knowing that connections can lead you to surprising opportunities. She also candidly shares how she has had to turn down opportunities, sometimes very exciting ones, because saying yes to everything leaves no time for the concentrated work necessary for playing the Long Game successfully. Instead, it leads to more frenzy and busyness.
And by laying it all out on the table, this book inspires you to open your eyes to the abundance of opportunity right in front of you, if only you can commit to looking for it and making consistent strategic moves for the long term.
On its face, The Long Game is a strategic plan for anybody who wants to lead a successful life, however you define success. But I love the deeper message of how these strategies for living a great life provide you with opportunities you can’t even see in the present.
The long game is not just about achieving success, but also experiencing the success that can only come from a life that is constantly growing and evolving. It’s not the easy path, but I would argue (and I think Dorie would agree) that the path of doing nothing and taking no action might feel easier in the moment, but it’s not easy at all. As challenging as it might be to take those first steps, and then the next ones, over and over for years to come, the continuous and exponential effect on your life is a fulfillment you cannot gain any other way.
The Long Game is out this week! You can grab it here.
I am a partner and brand strategist at Worstofall Design where we build brands that turn expertise into profit. Unlike most branding firms, we build entire brands in days
I am a partner and brand strategist at Worstofall Design where we build brands that turn expertise into profit. Unlike most branding firms, we build entire brands in days instead of months, and only work for 1-3 person service businesses. Our unique process and niche positioning has helped us to overcome the hurdles we struggled with when we were starting our business, reliably attracting a steady flow of high paying clients and allowing us to enjoy the freedom that inspired us to become entrepreneurs in the first place. At Forbes, my goal is to clarify and simplify the elusive idea of “branding,” and share practical tips and tangible steps to help businesses find their unique brand voice that leads to profit.