Identifying your commitment

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Have you made the decision to start a new business?

Now, this may seem like a silly first question but stick with me here. Most entrepreneurs I coach say they have made the decision. But how many of them have genuinely committed to doing what it takes to launch and grow their business profitably? Very few. Why? Because there’s a big difference between deciding to start a business and having the actual commitment to do what it takes to build a successful business.  

When you make a decision to start a business, and you know your commitment to be financially successful (however this looks for you), you create a momentum that will help you learn what you need to learn and expand both mentally and professionally. Now let me ask you:

What is your commitment to start a business?

You see, it’s one thing to say, “I have the best idea ever, and I’m going to start a business and make a million dollars a year”… 

It’s a whole other thing to say, “I have an idea and I’ve tested it in the market. I know who my target audience is and my product and/or service is filling a need in the marketplace that offers xx. I’m solving this need with yy because no one else is”.

Now I know you probably have tons of reasons why you believe your idea is the best ever, that it can make millions of dollars and serve many. But, I can also tell you that millions of other people have tried to launch a business and have failed miserably.  They’ve spent their life savings, found themselves in debt, given up on their dreams, and in turn go back to working for someone else to help them build their dreams. Not a pretty picture, right?

So here’s a question that will begin to help you figure out if you have not only made the decision but also the commitment to start a business:

When you think about who you are at your core, do you honestly see a self-motivated and brave leader, a risk-taker, your own cheerleader, committed and willing to remove things and people from your life that are standing in the way of you achieving success?  That all may sound harsh. But no one and I mean no one gets to the top without making some type of sacrifice to get there.  

Now don’t let the word ‘sacrifice’ scare you away from this fantastic journey.  For me, sacrifice meant less socializing, less TV and less downtime. For you, it could be something else. Giving up on those things gave me more time for my business and my children.  This was where I wanted to focus all my time when I first got started as an entrepreneur.   

It’s so important to do this self-assessment. Many people today believe it’s easy to launch and grow a business, especially online. With all the hype and supposed millionaires overnight, people have this perception that anyone can do it.  And even though there are more self-made millionaires today than ever before in history, they certainly didn’t get there without proper decision-making, commitment and a plan of doing what it takes to be successful.

Just how does one do it?

I suggest you grab coffee with those closest to you like your peers and family and ask them what they think about you, your commitment to your idea and if they feel you have what it takes.  

This will reveal a few different things. One, if they support your new direction. And two, how they see you based on your past actions.  

Now you can take this information and really hear it or ignore it. Either way, it will help you commit even harder to your decision to build a business. Or you will listen (if they say you shouldn’t) and allow them to steer you away from your unrealistic dreams. 

I can honestly say that over the years I’ve had both.  Early on in my 20’s, I had issues with having a “job.” I felt smothered and that I was not doing what I should be doing with my life.  However, my parents and friends encouraged me to stick it out because I had a young family to support and they needed the stability that comes with a J-O-B.

I did take their advice and worked a job for about 5 years, slowly suffering inside, but I needed to provide for my kids (yes, I was a single parent – we’ll talk more about that later).

I always had the knowledge that someday soon, I would figure out what I wanted to do and step out there, burning every other bridge and making it successful.  THAT was my commitment, and that’s the place you need to get to to be successful.

Remember that LIFE will happen. You will lose or leave a job, get divorced, suffer a loss and more.  But that doesn’t mean you quit or allow yourself to sacrifice your dreams or goals in life. It just means that you will need to learn how to be creative and find ways to work through issues as they come up, always knowing there will be more bumps in the road.  

Here are a few more questions that will help you identify your commitment:

  • Do you have a healthy self-confidence?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Do you know what your weaknesses are?
  • Are you prepared to hire a team or delegate specific tasks?
  • Do you have a strategy when things get tough?
  • How will you handle challenges financially, internally, externally?
  • Will you know when to pull the plug?
  • Are you committed to building the future you want?

Once you’ve answered these questions, your reasons for making the decision to commit to moving forward will become clear. When they do, write them down on a piece of paper and read what you’ve written first thing in the morning and before you go to bed at night. 

These answers will remain your guiding light, your anchor, during the journey you have now decided to begin.

So what does your commitment look like? What have you given up, moved past, or are still struggling with? I’d love to hear!

Listen… THIS journey is about US.  Not me alone and not you alone. TOGETHER we can make great things happen. So know that I’m here, that I’m a cheerleader for your success and we can all work together to make magic happen!