The core paradox

Philip Morgan

One of the most fundamental, persistent, difficult challenges of bootstrapping a services business is that you are constantly tempted to say yes to work that has positive short-term cash value but neutral or negative long-term strategic value.This paradox of what's in your business's long-term best interest is very difficult to resolve.What has long-term strategic value? Developing exceptionally valuable expertise, and producing economically valuable outcomes for clients in a way that reinforces your expertise or your desired position.It's very often tempting to take on work that does not further those two goals.Why would you take on work that does not have long-term strategic value? Or even work that works against that long-term strategic value?Cause you need the money, like now, or very soon.The problem is, the way most of us do the "getting money now/soon" thing takes 80% or more of our time and energy, leaving little time and energy for promoting the long-term strategic vision.I wish I had a magic bullet for this paradox, but I don't. It takes courage, discipline, and a little bit of faith to resolve.If you have those ingredients, the missing one might be a bit of advice about strategy :

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