How to Stick to Commitment
Learning how to stick to commitment is vital to entrepreneurial success.
Without it all you have is a variable level of interest. You’ll get discouraged and distracted. You’ll leave things undone. Your results will be minimal, and you will give up.
You’ll surrender your dream and fall back into the meat grinder of your “normal” 9 to 5 hell.
It’s probably the most important trait that new entrepreneurs can master.
The entrepreneurs of old new this already:
Henry Ford had an idea to develop a motorized coach. He thought the idea would revolutionize the way the average person traveled. He ate, slept, and breathed this idea 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
His close friend and contemporary, Thomas Edison, thought the idea was ludicrous. He thought this useless idea was a waste of Ford’s enormous talents. Edison doggedly tried to convince Ford to abandon the Motor Coach idea and come to New Jersey to work for him.
He had committed to making his idea a reality.
A few years later Ford’s Motor Car did indeed revolutionize travel.
That is an example of the power of commitment.
And because of Ford’s commitment to his dream, the world was forever changed.
But you don’t have to change the world to benefit from commitment.
Learning how to stick to commitment will also support your personal growth in the following ways.
Benefits of Committing to a Course of Action
- Silences the doubting voices
We all have dreams, and often those dreams are drowned in their infancy by the voice of doubt that dwells inside our head.
The power of true commitment puts a gag order on self-doubt.
You’re too busy in your unrelenting march toward your destiny to listen.
- Obliterates Excuses
When you have a level of interest in something without being totally committed you leave openings in your defenses for excuses to sneak through.
Making a true commitment is like planting a mine field, constructing perimeter walls, and hiring machine gun toting velociraptors to protect your goal.
Excuses had better think twice about trying to penetrate those defenses.
- Things start to go your way
When you commit you will begin to notice that life somehow intervenes on your behalf to assist you on your way. You find that suddenly you meet people or discover things or stumble upon something that helps you, even if ever so slightly.
I’m not a big believer in the supernatural or and type of magic.
And I certainly am not going to attempt to explain this.
It reminds me of the words from W. M. Murray in his book, The British Himalayan Expedition.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way.”
I’m not a big believer in the “woo-woo”, but I have experienced this in my own life.
Once you are committed to a plan of action you will find that it…
- Helps to strengthen integrity
There is no worse feeling than somebody calling you out on something you said you would do, but didn’t.
There are few better feelings than having somebody doubt you when you say you’ll do something, then actually doing it.
Regardless of what people say, everybody’s keeping score.
Say what you mean and then follow through on it.
This in turn will…
- Build self esteem
Knowing that you actually do thing that you commit to makes it easy to hold your head high and look people straight in the eye.
You’ll gain a reputation as a straight shooter and somebody to be trusted.
This kind of social credit is invaluable.
- Teaches to accept accountability
By now you’re seeing that a lot of these benefits intertwine and build off one another.
Accountability is a mindset that every successful entrepreneur must possess.
As the leader and visionary it is you who is steering the ship.
You are making the big decisions.
You are doing the work.
And the only one that you have to answer to…is Y-O-U.
Felling accountable yet?
- Builds reputation
All of the above traits result in a rock-solid reputation.
You’ll be trusted, depended on, and respected.
These are not small benefits, by any means.
Okay, so we know why we should learn how to stick to commitment.
Now we need to learn how…
The nuts and bolts of commitment
- COMMITMENT IS AN ATTITUDE
The first thing to realize is that commitment is not an external thing you make. It’s an internal attitude about a thing.
When I commit to something, I am taking the attitude that this thing is more important than most of the other things in my life.
It’s really about prioritizing.
Which is why…
- There is one degree of commitment; everything else is interest
Commitment is binary.
You’re either in, or you’re out.
Be careful to consider all of the ramifications before deciding.
Because commitment requires…
In order to make an honest commitment, you must be willing to sacrifice.
Committing to something means you place the importance of this above all other things.
It’s not to be taken lightly. As mentioned above, you’re very reputation is at stake.
Some people throw around commitment like its confetti. They use the word to make others feel good in the moment. But when it’s time show up and clean up after the party, they’re nowhere to be found.
These people are not trustworthy, and will never be successful at anything.
Don’t you be one of them. Honor your commitments.
And don’t shy away from the…
- Hard Work
Commitment to anything is hard work. You’ve given your word, your bond, that you will accept no excuses and do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Expecting success in any commitment without doing the hard work is like trying to harvest crops where you didn’t plant any seeds.
Commitment to excellence, or anything for that matter, isn’t for the squeamish.
Other things to consider before you commit to becoming an entrepreneur:
- Be clear about the end result
Have an idea of what you’re striving toward. Is it a sum of money, a level of income, the ability to do something?
It’s impossible to commit to something if you don’t know what it is.
You should also understand that the fruits of your commitment will be reaped at some future date.
Sometimes far in the future.
“The struggle of today, is not altogether for today–it is for a vast future also” – Abraham Lincoln
- Be consistent
Commitment means you do it every day.
You live it.
You breathe it.
And YOU BECOME IT!
- Stokes Your Passion
Making a commitment to building your own business will fire up your passion like nothing else.
When you make the leap from casual interest to total commitment you will notice your outlook on the world has changed.
Your creativity will flow from every pore. Your excitement will vibrate through your entire being. And your passion will course through your veins like electricity.
The 3-D technicolor view of a driven and committed life is a huge divergence from the black and white TV feeling of a rat race, daily grind type of existence.
Commitment fuels ambition.
Once you accept the fact that you can commit to a course of action and actually take steps to make it so you will begin to dream a little bit bigger.
Your desire to succeed increases and you become obsessed with reaching that next level.
There are no comfort zones for the truly committed entrepreneur.
We are always striving for something more. We always want to see what the next level of the game holds for us.
I think this image says it best.
What you call obsession I call commitment
How to Forge an Iron Clad COMMITMENT
- HOW TO REINFORCE YOUR COMMITMENTS
Realize that commitment is action not words
A commitment is not a wish. It’s not a dream. It’s not even a goal.
A commitment is a vow to action. Make sure you understand this very important point before you commit to something.
- Commit to things you control (actions) not to things you can’t (results)
Don’t make the mistake of trying to commit to something that is outside of your control. For example, don’t commit to building a six-figure business. You can’t really control the outcome. Commit instead to working on building your business, period.
The commitment to process will yield results, a commitment to results will not, however, build actions.
Accomplishment is born of action, nothing else.
Which is why you should…
- Ensure that your actions are in line with what you want to accomplish
This seems pretty obvious, but some people overlook it. They commit to a plan of action that leads them nowhere close to what they want to achieve. Then they stand around wondering what went wrong.
Be sure that you are actually moving in the direction of your goals.
If you aren’t, don’t abandon the commitment, simply try a different set of actions.
And by the way, once you find actions that are effective, you should…
- Install and Nurture new habits so you will automatically perform them
“The secret of your success lies in your daily habits” – John Maxwell
Learn how to stack habits so they happen on auto pilot.
Something I do every day is get a cup of coffee and sit at the computer. To ensure that I get right to work when I do I make sure I have whatever I’m working on open already. As soon as I log on there’s my work already loaded into Microsoft Word and ready to go.
I used to spend the first 15-30 minutes checking email or surfing YouTube. By stacking this little tweak on top of an already existing habit, (coffee, sit at computer), I have created a habit that is perfectly aligned with my commitment to build my business.
It happens automatically, and my production has skyrocketed because of it.
- CREATE LEVERAGE TO KEEP YOU HONEST
Think about the consequences
Most advice suggests that you stay focused on the goal and envision positive outcomes when making commitments. And I agree with that to a degree.
But there are two sides to every coin. And the other side of the positivity attitude can be a very powerful motivator.
A good way for you to create leverage that buttresses your commitment is to keep in mind what the consequences will be if you give up.
- Be wary of OVER-COMMITTING
Don’t make the mistake of overcommitting. We know you’re awesome and everything, but you are, in fact, human.
There are only 24 hours in any day and only so much that one person can do.
Here’s a couple quick tips to help you with this particular problem:
Commit to one or two things tops
Having one primary commitment makes it easier to stick to commitments. This one trumps everything else. As an entrepreneur, that would be your business. It comes first. Before your girlfriend. Before your family. Before your friends.
(Remember that part about sacrifice? This is what it looks like in real life)
(In some cases you might be able to commit to two things at once. If they don’t conflict and you have ample time to complete both, then go for it. For example: commitment 1 build my business, commitment 2 workout and eat right 6 days a week. Just make sure that one of these is positioned as the top dog who wins conflicts by default.)
Still want to build your own business? Still willing to work to exit the rat race?
Are you still committed to your blue-collar escape?
Good, because the final tip, if you want to stick to commitment, is to…
Learn to say no
You’re one person doing an awful lot of work. Eventually you’ll learn to delegate some of this, but in the beginning it’s you against the world. You only have so much time in a day. To maximize your effectiveness in building your business and gaining your freedom, you have to say no to some things.
I’m not going to give you a laundry list. By now you have an idea of what you have to do to make your commitment to quitting the 9 to 5 grind stick.
Your primary commitment comes first, everything else comes after.
Now that you know why you should commit to building your business, and how to commit, and even how to make your commitments iron clad you have a big decision to make.
Do you commit, or do you dabble?
Will you stick with it, or will you play with it until you quit?
Are you going to fight for what you deserve, or will you surrender and accept what they determine you deserve?
Remember, to make a real commitment requires action.
SHOW THE WORLD THAT YOU MEAN BUSINESS.