February 2011

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


Short-Term Solution or Long-Term Strategy?

As we fast-forward into this new year full of untold promise, I find myself reminded of how important it is to have a clear vision of what we want to achieve.

Even when we are bombarded with many new opportunities, it is critical to have a desired result in mind.

This is of paramount importance now, at the beginning of the year, more than at any other time during this year's journey.

The collective voice broadcast to us from the media and our industry seem to be saying, "We are not out this yet," however, there are new frontiers being crossed and victories won that help us feel we are on our way.

Before we can move forward, we need to have a clear picture of what we want to realize in the end. If we are waiting for someone or some entity to guide us in the best direction, we will be waiting for a long time. It is important to remember how we got here in the first place. Many of us trusted that our hoped-for end result was indeed attainable in the long term, and that the powers-that-be had our best interests in mind.

After over two years of turmoil and uncertainty, the reality is that no matter how badly we want things to be the way they were, they will never be that way again. The question now is which way we turn.

Shall we seek a short-term solution? Or follow a long-term strategy? In the end, short-term solutions have limited benefits and possible negative results.

The answer is not an either, or approach; it is a question of what each solution will provide.

Sometimes, in critical or threatening situations, drastic solutions are needed immediately. However, short term problem solving needs to be coupled with a long term planning strategy in order to bring real, lasting results.

Although the short term results may be immediately gratifying, this can be potentially dangerous to your long-term plan. They can rob you of the incentive to put your long-term plan in action, eventually leading to a long-term vacuum, waiting to be filled with more short-term actions.

In contrast, the long term requires more from the individual or business, as it takes a constant and vigilant effort to keep their vision focused on the desired long-term goals. These individuals must see the measured short-term goals and successes as steps along the way to their desired long-term goals. These are the smaller components that make up the larger Big Picture.

To achieve true abundance, the larger picture cannot be compromised for short term or immediate benefit. When the focus is only on the short term, the larger picture can get lost or disappear altogether.

The brands in business and in life that are truly built to last are committed to maintaining a balance between the short term and long term. They are constantly aware of where they are, in relation to where they need to be. They are continually shifting the short term to stay in alignment with their long term desired goals. Critical to staying the course long term, are perseverance and unrelenting faith.

Many mistakenly believe that a long term grounded approach lacks the passion of the quick fix, or the creativity of the short term, fast lane view of life. Both long term and short term have different operational models and outcomes, yet they both require being in the moment, and knowing where you are at any given moment.

Utilizing short term and long-term strategies and action plans will help you stay the course toward the realization of your dreams. A desire for continued growth and abundance in all aspects of our professional and personal worlds, coupled with our willingness to "go the distance," will help us to achieve the best possible end result.

Remember, your passion to achieve your goals will always be your greatest ally.

Jerry Tyler's column Blue Highways is his "Road Less Traveled" perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. Jerry Tyler has been a stylist since 1975 serving as the former artistic director for Vidal Sassoon Academy and currently as Director of Industry Relations for Carlton Hair salons. He is also a licensed cosmetology instructor and has served as President of the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.