When short-term decisions conflict with long-term values

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

At a recent networking event, I spoke about the importance of strategic planning. How it keeps you focused on your deeper, long-term goals. The very goals that often get pushed aside when faced with conflicting temptations and urgencies of the day.

For example:

  • If you complain your kids are growing up too fast, but insist on working 14-hour days, that’s a conflict.
  • If you say you want to work with clients who pay timely, but don’t outline solid contract terms, that’s a conflict.
  • If you want to take that bucket list trip to Europe in style, but blow through your cash dining out every week, that’s a conflict.

A mortgage broker came up to me after the presentation.

She said,

I’m so glad you mentioned that conflict during the program. I work with a lot of people who are self-employed. They tend to take all the disposable cash out of the business and put it in their pocket so they won’t show a profit and have to pay taxes on it.

Problem is, when they want to buy a house, the bank sees no net income from the business. From the bank’s perspective, there’s no way the mortgage can be repaid because there’s no cash left over.

End result: The business owner can’t get a mortgage. Or, the rates and points they pay are much higher because they’re perceived as a higher risk.


Not paying taxes (short-term desire) vs. buy a home so my family can thrive (long-term vision).

How do you choose?

It’s hard to do without a strategic plan.

A plan that reminds you of your priorities and gives you clarity when you have to choose.

Otherwise, if you keep making the same short-term decisions, you’ll likely end up … exactly where you are.

Like they say, If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

Isn’t it time to make more strategic choices for your business?


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