The Power of Long-Term Thinking in Life and Business

power of long-term thinking

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Morning all,

Thu 25 Mar

I wanted to discuss something that has come up in conversations with my good friend Amir (of Elevano) over the past couple of days – and I’m seeing it repeated in many other aspects of my life

This is the power of thinking long-term is something that I’m really only beginning to appreciate more – the longer I’m in business.

Certainly, as I look at the Pearl Lemon journey I more than ever appreciate how critical it is to think longer-term than I appreciated when it comes to building businesses.

I thought in the first 1-3 years Pearl Lemon could grow massively.

The truth is – especially as a new business owner, the first 12-24 months are spent figuring out exactly what you are doing.

This will involve pivots, activities that come to nothing, trying to identify your core team, and getting involved in various exploits that don’t come to anything.

Through my 20s I had this expectation that 1-2 years was long-term. My whole perception was skewed based upon a number of factors:

  • How long I’d literally been alive for. When you’re 25 and you’re thinking about the idea of something being successful (and what is ‘success’ anyway?) over a couple of years – that’s a significant proportion of your life
  • Reading the tabloids and looking at ‘overnight sensations’ – which of course is the interesting stuff that people like to read about – gave me the impression that things would happen faster than they did.

This over the years has led me to fair amount of pain and heartache. Even in the last couple of years.

Wordpigeon – an app I built has come to nothing because the time it needed to be successful was not given proper consideration. My co-founder and I weren’t in alignment when it came to recognising the time needed to make the app a success.

Word Pigeon

This was also partly because I didn’t appreciate the time needed.

So again – we come to understand the power of long-term thinking.

Humans are wired to think short-term

Short- Term

So this is, of course, the inherent problem when it comes to long-term thinking. Because of our finely tuned survival instincts – we’re pretty much hard-wired to think about immediate and present danger.

If we consider the impact that a speeding baseball would have coming towards your head – you would have no problems with getting out of the way.

But if the speeding baseball slowed down 100,000x and then the impact of that baseball would be felt in decades from now – we’d probably forget all about it until it was ‘upon us’.

This works inversely when it comes to that which we push towards and in the manner above with things that could potentially harm us.

To give you a few examples:

Yesterday I sat down for pretty much 12-14 hours straight minus one walk around the block. This is really not good for my health at all – but it pretty much becoming the rule rather than the exception.

It makes no difference to my health today; nor my health tomorrow. But in one year it will definitely make a significant difference.

I measured my body fat recently and it’s already hit the highest % it’s even been at 19%

(In fact, that’s a good reminder to do 100 press-ups, 100 squats, and 100 situps today – if I don’t do it I’ll send one of my friends £100 – that’s the best way to do this).

That growth in body fat is insidious and will end up harming me significantly over time so it’s critical that I do something about this.

My Long-Term Relationship Growth

Long- Term

When I think about my relationship with Strawberry – that’s certainly been a journey to success.

Over the years I suffered from many relationship issues that I thought could be resolved by realising ‘in that moment’ that a mistake had been made.

However, all the big changes I’ve made have come from steady and consistent work with therapists, reading books, and trying to take action.

It’s been a 5-8 year journey to really make progress.

And I always hoped it would come quicker than it did but in truth it’s taken the time it’s needed to take.

Thinking Long-Term with Pearl Lemon

Thinking Long-Term

Seeing the growth of Pearl Lemon via organic rankings has really been powerful for us. That has definitely been a long-term journey over a course of years and I can see how being patient and watching the growth compound over time can help create long-term success.

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Where we are today (March 25th 2021) compared to 3 years ago in terms of our revenue, pipeline, and stability as a business is really night and day.

Again the progress has been slower than I would like – but I’m committed to seeing this out for several years to come.

I remember reading in a Sujan Patel blog that when you start SEO – expect nothing to happen for the first 2 years – and this pretty much mimics what’s happened with two of our websites.

Pearl Lemon and Pearl Lemon Leads. It’s only been after 24-months that you start to see significant inroads when it comes to seeing leads being generated.

And even now, end of year 3, I still think we can push further forward with the changes we’re making this year.

It really underlines the adage that we all overestimate what we can do in one year, but underestimate what’s possible in 10.

Given ranking sites on Google and running B2B lead generation are becoming core skills of mine – leaning upon these to replicate further success seems a solid way to move.

How To Think Long-Term Then?

Think Long-term

That’s a challenging question to answer because hindsight is 20-20.

However, what I can say is to look towards things you are proud to have accomplished in your life – and then to think carefully about how you got there?

It will almost certainly have taken time, energy, and effort to be successful?

And when you identify these spaces (many many examples in my head come to mind) in your life that you’re currently working on again with a view to being successful – I find tracing these patterns to be powerful.

A couple of examples that come to mind for me:

I’m going to give all of these businesses at least 2 years before I even consider them as ‘proper projects’.

The way I think about them now as being long-term is the following:

  • Work on them slowly and consistently
  • Expect nothing from them for 24 months but time energy and investment
  • Expect to start seeing a modicum of return in Y3
  • Expect bigger returns to come from Y3-Y5

Don’t Forget About Compounding


The blog I’ve written about compounding goes hand in hand with thinking long-term.

The effect of doing something consistently on a daily basis over a matter of days, months and then years is huge.

Over time it can equate to incredible returns – and it all begins with thinking in this manner – doing a little of the ‘same thing’ every day…again and again and again.

Final Thoughts


As I’m getting involved in different projects – I’m thinking more and more about the long-term upside rather than any short-term victory – and it’s been interesting to see my thinking transition.

I highly advocate you follow the same path and truly start thinking long-term about the journey you’re on – whether professional and personal – and ask yourself…

What action can I take today that will have a huge upside for me in 5 years from now?

Whatever that is – get after it.

Of course – the journey will test you and take everything you have.

But the rewards are more than worth it 😛