Get All Access for $5/mo

How to Make Your Business Successful by Focusing on the Long-Term ROI Entrepreneurs are often afraid to act because of how a decision will impact them right now. But, you need to be thinking about the future.

By Scott Oldford Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Caiaimage | Agnieszka Olek | Getty Images

The phrase I hear most from entrepreneurs is "I'm not sure it's the right time." Is it the right time for their business? Is it the right time for them and their team? Are all the pieces together and ready?

Related: The 2 Most Important Skills for Long-Term Success

Business owners struggle with this all the time, and we see it often through our work at 1MT. They often know what they have to do, and they plan to make the investment ... but first they want to get to a certain level, or tick a specific box or achieve whatever.

This is what imprisons so many entrepreneurs inside the six-figure hamster wheel.

It screws with your decision-making, but as an entrepreneur it's your decision-making that decides everything. You need to make the right decisions, at the right time, that will have the right outcome.

So, when I hear an entrepreneur say, "I'm not sure it's the right time," I clench my fists because knowing when the right time is, is how to make your business successful. This is the secret. This is the holy grail. Make the right decisions at the right time, you win -- simple as that!

But, most entrepreneurs don't know this, and it keeps them hustling and grinding for far too long.

Related: Finally Get What You Want With These 3 Success Tactics

The thing is, it isn't that you don't know when the right time is -- it's that you're blinded from seeing it. You're blinded by fear: the fear of the unknown, the fear that it won't turn out as you want, the fear of losing control, the fear your investment or decision won't work out, the fear you won't make it through till the end of the month ....

Want to know how to make your business successful?

Focus beyond the next 30 days!

All those fears mentioned above lock you in the moment. You're a human being designed to survive. We weren't put on this planet to think about tomorrow, or next month or five years from now. Our basic instincts drive us to survive, and our fear is at the steering wheel.

When I hear someone say, "I'm not sure it's the right time," what I really hear is fear: the fear of how this decision will impact them now.

But, as an entrepreneur you cannot let fear make your decisions for you. Today matters, as do the next 30 days, 60 days and 90 days. You need to think about this, and have a plan for it.

Yet, what drives your success are the decisions you make in aid of your "big picture." How will this impact you over the next 10 years? How about 40 years? Will this drive you toward your vision, and help you fulfill it? Does this create short-term pain, only to unleash massive long-term growth?

When you make a big decision, this is what you need to think about. When we work with new members at 1MT, this is what we ask them.

Related: What You Need to Know to Succeed in 2019

What impact will this have on you, your business and family?

When it comes to making a big decision (or any decision, for that matter) that makes you feel uneasy, you need to decide whether this scary new idea will be worth it in the long term. Will the pain and discomfort over the next few months be worth it for years to come? Will the cost (financial, time, etc.) to you now be worth it?

If the answer is yes, you need to overcome your fear and make it happen.

It's not about whether it's the "right time." There is no perfect time when the stars align. This is about you making the right decision (not the easy, comfortable one) that will allow you to grow and scale.

And if that big new investment or scary decisions will lead you to a better future, then the time is now.

This is what successful entrepreneurs do. It isn't that they don't have the fear or feel it, they just battle past it because they know how important it is to make decisions based on the long term. They don't "know" they will succeed. They don't "know" they are right. Nothing is guaranteed!

But, they trust in themselves, and you need to trust in yourself and believe you'll deliver the necessary results.

Related: Why a Positive Attitude Is the First Step to a Successful Career

How do you make your business successful? Make long-term decisions.

"I'm not sure it's the right time" -- this is just an excuse.

Growth (personal or business) doesn't come easy. Making the right decisions at the right time is hard. There are times you are wrong and make mistakes that cost you time and money. The fear of the unknown may keep you up at night, and create a lot of chaos in your life.

But, this is how to make your business successful.

You need to be willing to take the leap and trust yourself. This begins by knowing what your vision is and what you want from this whole entrepreneurial roller coaster. You then need to keep this "vision" in mind at all times, and base your decisions on whether it will help you achieve it or not.

If it will, the time is now. Act. Overcome the fear and do what you have to do.

If not, move on.

Take charge of the decisions you make. Most people don't. Most allow fear to make their decisions for them. If you want to become your best self and build a business that changes the world, you must overcome this fear and regain control of the wheel.

Scott Oldford

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Mentor, Advisor & Investor for Online Entrepreneurs

Scott Oldford has helped build and scale countless 6, 7 & 8-figure online businesses in the education, certification, coaching, consulting and courses niche.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business News

You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch

The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.