Long Term Thinking — Making Hard Decisions in the PresentThe other day, I decided to make one of those really hard business decisions.
The other day, I decided to make one of those really hard business decisions.
Over the past few months, quietly, I have been building a (now pretty successful) freelance content business. Basically, I would write content for brands/agencies/etc. This was not something I was particularly passionate about — but I really needed a means to make money.
So I hustled. I stayed up late at night writing for clients. And slowly the business grew. Actually, it moved quite quickly. (I got the business to generate 5 figures plus in monthly profits).
But the other day, I quit.
And this is not meant to be a “look at me,” douchey blog post. Please do not take it as such. This was a really hard decision. It was one of those decisions where I quite literally turned down lots of money. Money that is important to me, my education, my family, etc.
I did this to actually optimize for the long term. I learned a ton from making this decision. I am writing about this because I think this was a unique circumstance and something others could gain insight from about me.
I realized that over the past few months, as I was building this business, I was not improving my long term ability. I was merely optimizing for the short run. I was making money (and a good amount). But I was not moving the needle.
I realized that I was not any happier. I did not enjoy writing for other people. I did not want to be a journalist. And that this did not accelerate my long term vision of how I want to impact the world.
I did not want this to be my legacy.
I figure this was a prime example of an opportunity where the short term incentives seem amazing, but the long term ceiling is actually quite low. I have read stories about this before — “chasing the money over your passion” — but I feel like that is often romanticized and not the reality.
Well…that is exactly the reality that happened to me. In a matter of months, I got so caught up in a business that was generating tons of revenue that I failed to look at the long term consequences. Hell, I stopped even looking at the short term consequences.
I had stopped building projects. I had stopped having challenging conversations. I stopped reading books.
I stopped thinking in the present.
It is for these reasons, among many others, that I am stopping writing for other people.
Originally published at gonen.blog.
Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.