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You just can’t commit. Am I right, guys?
“…But baby, I just want to be able to do whatever I want.”
Entrepreneurs and leather clad, Harley riding badasses have more in common than they realize.
Like that tattoo covered bad boy, the entrepreneur won’t commit. The desire for freedom pushes you towards an unstructured, carefree lifestyle… even though you know you need to eventually lock down and commit.
Above all else, entrepreneurs value freedom. That’s what motivates us to shun the status quo and fly free of the bonds of working-for-the-man employment.
Write a thousand words a day. Meet with each of your team every week. Go running every morning. Clear your inbox daily. Make ten new sales calls.
… are all things you should probably be committing to. Even when you really want to be flying free, flirting with sexy new ideas and living the playboy business-owner lifestyle.
Business success is, unfortunately, built on the put-a-ring-on-it philosophy. You have to commit to daily, weekly and monthly practices. You have to commit to getting stuff done, to relentlessly move your goals forward.
In my career, I frequently find myself advising people to make uncomfortable commitments. Lately I’ve been telling a few clients (you know who you are) to commit to a minimum number of prospecting calls each day or week. I’m also a big fan of the zero-inbox productivity system. And all wannabe bloggers and internet marketers should commit to a daily writing practice.
You’d think that small commitments like these would be common amongst the aspiring business community. In reality, it is these suggestions I receive the most resistance on. By far.
People freak out when I ask for a commitment. I can ask someone to make hundreds of sales, write a whole book and hire fifty new staff. No problem. They say “sure”. In fact, the more enormous the task is, the easier it is for them to contemplate.
Not so when a commitment is involved. When “write a book” becomes “write five hundred words a day, starting today”, people start squirming. The fear of commitment sets in.
Intangible, far-off pipe dreams are easy to contemplate. We can imagine some heroic, future manifestation of ourselves magically just making it happen. It’s like a fantasy. However, when we commit to the daily practice of micro-make-it-happen steps… the fantasy ceases to exist. It’s replaced by the cold realization that this is gonna be hard work.
Insert metaphor for marriage here.
Want big business success? Want to start making your goals happen fast?
Identify your commitment phobia. Admitting it is the first step. The second step is to make a daily or weekly commitment to banging out good hard work. It’s not glamorous and it won’t be fun. It just needs to get done.
The good news, and really the whole point of this article, is that admitting your commitment phobia can change everything. You’ve probably been nursing a secret belief that you actually loathe (or “can’t do”) genuine hard work. This isn’t true – it’s the commitment, not the work, which is the problem.
Now that you can acknowledge and face what you truly fear, you can overcome it.
To really commit, you need to seek accountability beyond yourself. When people talk about the entrepreneurial path being a lonely one, they’re right. The problem this creates is that you’re not committed to a boss, colleague or partner to take those boring and sweaty daily actions that build your future.
Go out of your way to find a commitment buddy. Find a personal trainer for your business – someone to yell at you when you don’t do your ten sales calls a day.
Here’s some ideas to inject commitment into your business:
Give the gift of commitment to one of your entrepreneurial friends – become their accountability trainer then have them do the same for you.
Explain to your spouse the importance of commitment then have them hold your accountable to your business goals. Most entrepreneurs hide their business commitments from their spouses, because they know how relentlessly kicked their ass would be. Use that power.
Create a mastermind group that aims to hold accountability for each of it’s members. These days you don’t even need to have a regular, face-to-face meet up – technology makes it easy.
How else can you commit to making more business commitments?