Ep118 Playing the long game of business


Business is filled with challenges and complex decisions. Playing the long game means sometimes having to give up some of the benefit now, in order to receive more later.

One of my favourite business quotes is “You need to do the things now that most people won’t, in order to live the rest of your life like most people can’t”.

In this episode I am talking about the benefit of playing the long game and looking after future you.

In this episode, you will learn: 

  • Consistency, persistency & doing all the things will pay off over time
  • Business is filled with the need to ignore the short game.

  • If you do what the average person does, you're going to get average results.

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Show Transcription: 

Hey friends, today I'm talking about playing the long game in business because sometimes we have to ask ourselves the question, how badly do you want to be successful? And what are you willing to give up in order to achieve it. And so I'm going to be running through the different things and the things that people don't talk about all that often that contribute to your success as an entrepreneur. Let's do it.


Hello, I'm Tina Tower, and you're listening to her Empire Builder. For my first decade of business, I thought grinding and hustling and working harder than everyone else was my path to success. It was pretty successful by a lot of measures, but it led to burnout and adrenal fatigue. Then when I travelled around the world, on my family gap year, I discovered the simplicity and the reach of online business. And I completely fell in love. You have so much knowledge and expertise that's within, and I want to help you to package that. So you can also help to lift others up. So how do you build a thriving million dollar business based on everything that's in your mind,

this is her Empire Builder, the podcast.


Hello, and welcome to Episode 118 of her Empire Builder. It is so great to have you here today. Thank you for listening when you have 10s of millions of podcast to choose from to listen to. And I'll give you a bit of a warning. Today, when I talk about things like this, I have a tendency to get a little ranty if you're in the mood for that for a little bit of a kick up the but today is going to be a good episode for you, if not click over to one of my more technical instructional podcasts. Because today, I'm talking about playing the long game in business and the part of entrepreneurship that not many people seem to be talking about anymore.


So business is filled with challenges and complex decisions, you know, this, this is your life. Playing the long game means sometimes having to give up some of the benefit now, in order to receive more later, one of my favourite business quotes is you need to do the things now that most people won't, in order to live the rest of your life like most people can't. I love that quote, because it always blows my mind. In going. You see, I've been in business for 17 years now. So quite a while I know I'm really old. You see people come and go in that time, like people come in. Not many businesses last past the year mark even fewer last past three years. And the percentage that last past 10 years is like between 1% and 3%. It's very, very low. And the reason that there's this is, is most people aren't willing to do the things now that most people won't



But what happens is you get on the other side. And most people they're like what, look at the life they get to lead, they’re so lucky. Or, you know, like there's jealousy that will come up all different things. But still, the average person isn't willing to put in the work and do the things that need to be done in order to get that beautiful green grass over the other side. So what I want to tell you today is if you do what the average person does, you're going to get average results. That's just going to be how it happens. I don't want to give you a bum steer, I want to give you the truth of entrepreneurship. So take kajabi for example. Right? So kajabi is your if you're a regular listener, you know very well what kajabi is. But for those of you who don't know, it is the software programme that I use to house my website and all my online courses. And so a lot of course creators use kajabi it's the most fabulous, beautiful software, I'm very in love with it. But as an example, in the Facebook group at the moment, at the time that I record this, there's 25,000 users on them. So obviously there's more than that. But it's in the Facebook group 25,000 users in the kajabi facebook group. Now kajabi have hero levels. So when you make your first $1,000 you're $1,000 kajabi hero, and then it goes to what does it go to then like $10,000 $50,000 $100,000 250 500 and then a million. When you get to the 100,000 there is a separate Facebook group for $100,000 heroes because it's kind of like you know what, you're not a dabbler anymore. You're a serious business owner. You can now go into this next group. What is interesting is there is 25,000 users in the big Facebook group. In the $100,000 group. There is 829, out of 25,000. Now I look at that and go, what are the other 24,000 doing? They're all trying like they're all coming in and trying. What is happening is most are trying to come in and rise fast. They're trying to rise overnight. They're playing the short game, not the long game. And so the question that I want you to answer for yourself is, do you want to make a quick buck? Or do you want a career that's going to last a lifetime. And here is the kind of thing that you know what a mentor said it to me once years and years and years ago, and it sums it up beautifully. A boring business is a profitable business. And it's one of those lines that I've repeated to myself over and over and over again, because, you know, we can be really seduced by the sexiness of business. One of the things that I saw come out, you know, when clubhouse came out, and everyone went on there, man, that thing is so time consuming.

And I may eat my words, it may end up being ginormous, and like, take over Instagram, who knows.

But often, all of these big, shiny things come up, and we'd like we need to do this, we need to do that we need to do this, we need to do that we're all over the place. We're doing all the different things. And we're like, we're not getting any results. I'm doing all the things that I'm so tired and well, a boring business is a profitable business. Doing the things consistently, that get results over time, are the things that are going to work like old adage, like doing a podcast once a week, writing articles showing up on social media, doing speaking, entering awards, getting third party media, like all of the different things that you know you need to do, they're the things that are going to get the results. And yet I see so many people spend time on all these other things, because they’re fun. And they're enticing, but they're not necessarily going to get results. So with things that kind of pay off in the long run, you don't see massive day to day results. But over years, the gap widens hugely. So for the people that are kind of stuck at it stayed the course over the course of like that one to two years, you can tell the gap widening between someone that may have started at the same time, but is going after all the quick fixes and going after all the bright shiny objects. So if you stay the course, and you stay committed to doing the things that are going to move the needle the most over the long run, that is going to deliver you better results. But it's all delayed gratification, which is hard. So the short game is attractive, and enticing. And sounds so sexy. You know, like when you say you go, you know overnight success and quick wins and do this course and I will show you how to 10x your spend in Facebook advertising or do this five day course. And I will give you sold out webinars. I mean, what's a sold out webinar, there is no sold out webinars, webinars don't sell out, you can have a gazillion people on there, you know. So it's all of these enticing things that a lot of people are trying to get these quick when the truth is a boring business is a profitable business, going slow and steady serving people who are high quality showing up for that one person at a time. That's what's going to pay off in the long run. But it sounds so boring. So you know, some will say they're selling an overnight success. But look at the results of the people trying to get it you know, look at those 24,000 Is that real? The short game is putting off anything that seems hard for doing something that seems easy or fun. Business is field jam packed, filled with the need to ignore the short game. I just I can't I can't stress this enough. Doing the easy fun things will take you completely off course they will be distractions, they will slow you down in the long run because you're constantly doing hard things. If you're running business the right way, and you're trying to level up and make more money. What that means is that you're doing things you've never done before. Which means you're pushing yourself out of the out of your comfort zone, which is hard. It's not easy doing things you've never done before. You can sure try and find the easy way to do it and work on your mindset to make it more joyful and to make it more flowy. But the way that you get to where you haven't been before is by doing things that you haven't done before. And the way you get to the level that not many people are at is by doing the things that most people aren't willing to do. So you are constantly sacrificing In order to have a better future, and it's not easy, or everyone would do it, and there wouldn't be such a small percentage of people who make it past the 100k, let alone the $1 million. And that's what I want for you. My mission is to have 100 women in my mastermind by 2025, who are making a million dollars a year. And for that, we need to consistently show up and do the things we need to do day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. It's not like all the new fandangled stuff. It's stuff like like, this month in my mastermind, I taught systems and automation, man, that's not sexy. I mean, I find a really good system like super sexy, but for most people, it's not. But let me tell you, having systems and having things automated in your business is going to make such an incredible difference to your profit level, it's going to enable you to make more money in less time with less staff and less stress. So that is like a win win that most people don't stop and systemize and automate, because they're so busy making gorgeous graphics on Canva, or playing in clubhouse or doing all the things that give you those, those quick wins. And that that fun feeling, but really disappear in the day and don't make a difference to your bottom line. And so that's what I want you to be able to work on is doing the things that are going to make a difference long term. So like I said before, I don't want to give you a bumsteer and have you sitting there feeling friction in your business and going Gosh, I'm looking around, and this is hard, and everyone else seems to be doing it so easily. And then what I find is people think that they're doing something wrong. And you're not, you're not doing anything wrong, it is hard. Of course it's hard. You know, of course it is hard.

It's a challenge. And you've got to love the challenge, you've got to live for the challenge and your problem solving ability. If not, you're in the wrong game. I've got an helicopter flying over my head. So when it comes to hard and when it comes to challenge, this is where I think because you know, you've got to find the joy in life. It's a long game, and we are here to enjoy it and find the fun and do all of that. But you've got to be able to find the fun in the challenge. So if you're constantly everyday coming up against stumbling blocks and roadblocks and challenges and complex problems and big decisions, and you're kind of going every time one of these hit, you're going, Oh, I don't want to deal with this. Why do I always have all these problems coming up and again, and again, again, then I would say and I don't want to be rude when I say this, but I just get a job. You know. Because if you want to have a successful business, you have to find the joy in that you have to find the joy in the struggle, you have to be able to say a challenge, give it a bit of a wink and go, I'm coming for you baby, look at my problem solving skills. because let me tell you, when you have these big challenges, and you're like, Okay, okay, I can do this. I've done hard things before, I'm confident in my problem solving ability, or let's see, let's dance. And then you can work it out. And then you finally get that problem solved, get that kind of thing done. And it's like a computer game. It's like deadly league next level unlocked. And then you get to go up and you're like, Okay, what is the problem on this level. So when you get to different levels, what I find is a lot of people like once I get to here, like all my problems will be solved. No, they won't, you'll just have new level harder, bigger problems. That's why you got to find the joy in it. Because it's never going to get to the level where you like, it's smooth sailing now until retirement day, you know, and then you can just live happily, but then you'd be probably pretty bored, especially if you're a problem solver. And so, if you don't like doing that you're in the wrong game, you've got to be able to have your problem solving. And that's the entrepreneur. That's the kind of side of entrepreneurship that I think not many people talk about anymore. Because I find a lot of people when they think, you know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna give it up. I just, it's too hard. It's not like, of course, it's hard. It's not that you're doing something wrong. It's just hard. That's why so few people become really, really successful is most people don't master the problem solving. And that's really what the whole thing is the whole thing. Anyway, say I told you I was gonna get a bit ranty today.


Okay, let me talk about different things that you can do to play the long game. So you'll change businesses and the shape of what you do throughout your lifetime. You know, like the, the the state of the world that we're in now, what you're doing right now won't be the same thing as you doing in five years. So I don't mean by saying play the long game. I don't mean by committing to this is what I do, and this is who I am and I'm never going to change like this is static and this is what I'm doing that will change but the Legacy and the reputation that you build that will be forever. And so you can go into super different careers, different iterations of what you're doing. But the personal brand that you build will be with you for your entire life. So the long game allows you to pivot what you do, but not what you're about. And so it's really important to know why you're in business. And this is a thing if you know why, and you are focused on that long game, everything is worthwhile. So like, one of my biggest goals in life, is I want to be, there's three different things, I want to be the world's greatest grandma. Like, that's, that's like, I literally, when my grandkids are asked about my grandma, she's the world's greatest grandma. That's what I want to be. Now in order to do that, and have the vision of the grandma that I want to be, I gotta like, have the most cool house like I've got like boards, Pinterest boards of like bunk rooms that also stay in like secret tunnels that go up into the roof of the house, and, and like it's gonna be a frickin Wonderland at my house. And so that's what I'm building towards, it also requires a lot of time, I want to be able to be really involved and do that. And so I'm going to need to create a lot of wealth in order for me to have a beautiful back end of life. So at the moment, I'm 37. And so I'll be a grandma by about mid 50s, late, late 50s, baby, somewhere around that point. So then I've still got, hopefully, my goal is to live to 104.

So I've got like 50 years of life, where work will take a backseat. And so I need to have built my wealth by them, that's going to give me this beautiful life for another 50 years. So to me, it's worth doing all the things in my 20s. And in my 30s that I've done, because I'm so into that vision. So that's one of them. The other one is to give an address at the UN General Assembly, which I'm working on. And the other one is to pay for girls schooling. And so at the moment, we have a scholarship programme in Kenya and being able to do that all of these things require time and money. And so I know why I'm in business, I want to be able to do those things, I also want to be able to change the shape of the economy for women. Because if there's a small percentage of people at the top that is successful, the percentage of women is even smaller. And that is because often we don't get to play the long game, because the game is friggin interrupted by all of the family things when we're young. And often the long game, it compounds with the things that you do through your 20s and 30s, and 40s. And a lot of women are coming in to start the game in their 40s and 50s, which isn't too late, of course. But you've missed a lot of the time on the field. And I'm going nuts with the smart sports analogy. But you get what I mean. And so you need to know why you're doing it. Because then once you know your why all of your decisions about future direction and made so much clearer and so much easier. So it's much easier to make a decision that you know is going to pay off in the long run, but he's going to do your bit of a disservice is going to be a little bit hard for the next month or two. Because when you're sitting there, like I know when I'm in my backyard, and I've got Well, probably not as many grandkids as I would like because you know, I only had two kids. So hopefully I live long enough now grandkids and then have like this, this whole thing of kids running everywhere anyway. But when I'm sitting back there, and I'm in my comfy chair, and I'm hearing laughter and pools splashing and all the fun things, I'm not going to be thinking about the six months that I really sacrificed and showed up and served and did all of the hard things and got out of my comfort zone because it was worth it. And so once you know your why it makes it super, super easy to actually deliver. So we've got to be able to do all of that sort of thing. Now, when you're playing the long game in business, know that customers will come around years later. So you've got to be able to serve everybody, even when you think it's not going to be worth it. Because they may not buy now. But they may in three years time, if you continue to show up and serve. That might not be the perfect timing for them now. But when you stick with it, it's amazing how much people come back. Like I have people that a part of my programmes that I've known in business for 10 plus years. delayed gratification is something that you just you'll learn to master. So when you have one person on that first course you know you've launched a course you've gone out there, one person's joined, you're incredibly devastated. You're feeling like a failure present immaculately for that one person. Because for that one person you show up and serve, they're going to tell other people and it's going to grow from there. If you give up after that one person Then you're out of the game. So you've got a sacrifice, show that one person, what you made of what you can do, and then learn from it and go again, do the webinar for whoever shows up. I know some people that I've worked with, and they've gone, you know, only five people showed up on the webinar. So I could barely be bothered, it wasn't even worth my time. Oh, no. Like, once I ran a webinar, and no one showed up. And I still ran the webinar, because one, I wanted the recording. But two, I needed the practice. And so do all these things. Like if you're committed, commit to it, and do the things that not many people are willing to do, because in time, it's all gonna be worth it. So don't get FOMO. When you look around, and you see what others are doing, because it's really hard to see everything they're doing in the background. So often people will look like they're kicking goals left, right and centre, oh my god, I'm so into the Sports. Today, I'm sticking with it, kicking goals, you're you're looking go, oh my gosh, like they're doing this, they're doing that they're doing this. But you're not seeing the whole picture. You're not seeing how hard people are working in the background.


And let me tell you, success does not happen by accident. So if people are kicking goals and looking like they're getting wins, and they're not talking about all the things that they're doing in the background, I want you to know they're doing things in the background. Because it does not happen by accident. It does not happen with luck. It happens with doing the right things at the right time consistently and being persistent and backing yourself and getting out of your comfort zone and committing to the future. So if you're thinking that it's happening easily for someone else, I want you to rest assured, it's not, it's just as hard for them as it is for you focus on your race and doing the things that will pay off for you over time. So the law of compounding is a beautiful thing, you just need to hit that critical mass. So the hardest part is your first kind of 12 to 24 months, that is really, really hard because you've got to prove both to other people and to yourself that you can do this. But once you kind of get to these, and this is what I always find really unfair is at the beginning of the business. This is what happened to me in my previous business with franchising as well is at the start, I was so desperate, like I was just so time poor, so cash poor, I needed investments so badly, I couldn't afford more staff, I couldn't do anything. And then I was begging everybody, like begging everyone for investment and trying to pitch and do all these things. And then we hit the other side, where you know, we had runs on the board and we were like are popping away. And then I had companies coming to me offering me investment. I'm going are you kidding me? Where were you like two years ago when I was eating mince and rice and like, couldn't buy a coffee. But you just need to hit that critical mass because it's really hard at the start to get those runs on the board. And then once you do, man, it flies, and it's unstoppable. But a lot of people aren't willing to get to that point of the J curve where you kind of go up and down, down down in order to go up, up up. And a lot of people are thinking this is it, I'm going down, down down and I'm giving it up and I'm crashing. But you're not you taking that step back to take that giant leap forward. And so I want you to know that that law of compounding is a beautiful thing. And then always treat people as if this is the long game and you're building a legacy. And you're doing that because you the kindness that you show to people will come back to you and everything will feed into the success that you have. So there's different things that you may do now that you think is this going to be worth it, like, is this ever going to feed into what I'm going to do in the future? And I mean, I know I'm a teacher by trade, I did a primary teaching degree. And I started my business when I was 20. And in my second year of doing my teaching degree, and by the time I finished my degree, I knew I would never go and teach in the classroom. But I literally finished because I wanted that piece of paper. I wanted that piece of credibility, but a part of me kind of always went, man like, What a waste of time and money. Did I really need that. Now, every single role I have had every job that I've had since in running tutoring centres in training franchisees he now I am a teacher every single day that has come into place so many times it's ridiculous. everything that you're doing is going to serve you and help you in the future. Even down to events like a good friend of mine, Clint Salter, he runs Dance Studio Owners Association, and he was running a conference. What was it five or six years ago and asked if I would come and speak to his members and I love Clint, So I was like Yes, of course. Knowing on the way there you know what, these people are never going to be clients of mine. I ran a tutoring centre franchise. You know, it's just really because I had some value to share. And I wanted to be able to help them on their journey and I wanted to be a part of whatever client was Doing. And so I went and I did that, knowing that, you know, it wasn't really going to be relevant to the business that I was running now. Now, in that I met some fantastic people that I then stayed engaged with in social media. So then when I started my next business years later years, and years later, like two or three years later, and I wanted to run I ran like profit plan workshops, I called them profit plan. I've just come back from travelling around the world for a year, and I wanted to kind of go, Hey, world here, I'm back. So I went to 12 cities around Australia. And I ran full day workshops with people in how to do a strategic plan for their business and get more profit. And so when I put that out there, one of the ladies who was in the audience of dance studio Owners Association, said, Hey, can you come to Gladstone and run this for me? Now, Gladstone is like this tiny, tiny little town at the top of Australia. So I would normally never go there. But I'd like you know, what, I don't really have much better to do. And I'm all about connecting with people right now. So yes, I would love to come to Gladstone and run my workshop. So I went there. Now one of the favourite groups that I had, because there was so engaged, like you go big, big cities, like Sydney, and Melbourne. And you know, they used to having events all the time, but the smaller cities are not used to it. So they were so psyched, and so engaged, and just the most wonderful, beautiful people. And so I went and did that, again, not knowing whether that was going to actually translate into any business for me. Now, like this is two years after that happened, I run her Empire Builder, which is a mastermind, specifically, the women who have online courses on kajabi, and want to learn how to build the business behind it. So super niche. And in that four of my members have come from Gladstone from being there and doing that in profit plan. Now, let me tell you, I would never in a million years have thought that all of that happens, but everything feeds into each other, everything you're doing now, you've probably heard the saying, the universe is working for me. And I know how woo woo that can sometimes sound. But it's incredible. If you pay attention to your life, and all of the different threads, and how they all come into feeding into play. That if you look at it, kind of take that helicopter view, rise up and look at everything that you've done, and how it's prepared you for what you're doing now, how it's contributed to the human that you are and who you're serving, and how you're doing it. The long game means that you show up and you serve people impeccably, because it all feeds into each other, we're all connected in this beautiful world, it comes the same as team. So when you're choosing who to work with you and your team, if you can't see working with someone for life, then that's a sign you shouldn't even work with them for a day. So we're in it for the long game. And yes, I know, it is highly unlikely that you're going to have, excuse me that you're going to have team for a really, really long time, you know, people move on, they change, everything's gonna change. But you're going to know these people forever. And trust builds up over time. And you want to always be working with people, that you can build that trust that are onboard with you that are going to help you build the business of your dreams, and that are going to be there for you when things get hard. And often the way that we have really great businesses, if you're not trusting people, and you're they're going you know what, they're just going to come in, take all my stuff, rip it off, or this is just going to be for six months, and then they're going to move on, then you're not going to have that same level of trust that's going to build up and you're not going to get those same results. And so it's super important with everything to treat it as if you're in it for the long haul. And so sometimes that means that you need to say no, in order to make space for what you want to say yes to. And that can sometimes mean killing off a product or a service for the good of the long term. So an example of this was when COVID first hit, we were building people's kajabi sites. So we were doing that because I was working with people will really it came from I did hadn't had an online course called idea to launch, which showed people how to make their first six week course on kajabi. And a lot of people went through that course and then said, You know what, I want to do my course. But I don't want to build the site. Can you do it for me? And I'm very much the person that's like, if where there's an opportunity, I will seize it. And I was like yes, you know what, I can build that for you.


But then when COVID hit, what accidentally happened was we became this bit of an agency so we had masses of people come in and want us to build websites for them and get them live on on kajabi. And it took a lot of time. And I never wanted to own an agency. I never wanted to be in the position where I was at the beck and call of other people when you're doing done for you work as well. And I know for a lot of people that have been in service based businesses, you know, exceeding expectations. Is impossibly hard, there is always a segment that you know, didn't understand the scope or want to push outside of the scope. And you're constantly going back and forth. And it's really, really hard to stay and make that profitable because you end up putting so much more time and effort into it to get the desired result for the customer, which we always want to get. And so we were still getting, we've developed a great reputation in this area. And we're getting loads and loads of inquiries for people building sites. But that's not the area of the business that we wanted to grow. And so we needed to say no to that for the good of the long term, so that we had the time and resources to build our mastermind programme and to build our online courses. And there's decisions that you have to make in your business all the time like that, where you going, you know, maybe at the moment you're doing done for you work, and you want to really double down on course growth. And saying no to the done for you work feels like you're shooting yourself in the foot, because you're going to say no to that income. And there's no guarantee that it's going to come over the other side. There's no guarantee for anything ever. So it all depends on what your vision is, and whether or not it's important to you to back yourself to do that. But sometimes things won't really thrive until you're totally in it. And until you're totally going, you know what I'm willing to kill off that part in order to thrive in that part. So always looking at long term, what's going to give you that result, because if you're trying to do too many things at once, then in a year's time, you're still going to not have time for that. So this is an example actually because I I closed applications to my mastermind last month. And it's amazing how many times people will inquire and then go, you know what, though, I'm just really time poor at the moment, I don't have the time to commit at the moment, I'll jump into the next intake. Like I hear that all the time. And let me tell you, if nothing changes, nothing changes. A lot of people that join a people that came to me and applied the time before and said that, and then they realise after you know what I'm never going to have any time because in six months time, I'm still going to be time poor, because I'm still trying to do all the things and not working out what are the important things and what I need to say no to in order to say yes to what's really important to me. And so if you're feeling like you don't have enough time to do the things that you really, really want to do, then that's an indication that you need to start looking at the long term, because you're doing everything for the now and it's keeping you run running ragged, and nothing's going to change until something changes for that. So life and business is just it's just this beautiful balance of living in the now and enjoying what you've got. But also setting yourself for future success and looking after future. You know, that's really what I want you to be able to do is imagine future you. What does she want? So when you're sitting there, like what's your vision where I want to sit out there and be the world's greatest grandma? What is it that you want for the back end of your life? What do you want have people say about you about the life and the legacy that you have built? What do you want that to be? And what can you do now, to help future you. It's all worthwhile and it will all make sense one day when you wake up and you realise that what you've always been building towards is now here. Playing the long game, like I said is not as seductive and as sexy as overnight success. And that short game of quick wins. But it means that you take advantage of slow, incremental, but constant compounding progress that will inevitably lead you to success. The success is yours. If you just stay true to yourself and your values. Stay in the game. That's the key. Don't give it up. You've got this stay in the game, and enjoy the journey along the way.




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