Tuesday, December 1, 2009

COMMITMENT

Why are we afraid of commitment?
This week, I taught the social media for business class to 4 students. Although I received e-mails from at least 15 people saying they were going to attend. The 4 students who came had pre-registered for the class months in advance unlike the 15 who just sent an email. Why are we afraid of commitment? As I pondered this question, I looked up the word in the merriam websters dictionary - Commitment is an act of TRUST. Ok, so that is why we are afraid. It is hard to put faith in the future. But for business ownership, failure to plan for the future is akin to being caught in complacency. There is no standing still in business, if we are not moving forward, we are moving backward.

It is running that taught me how to be in training mode and plan for the future. Today is the first day to register for the SheROX triathlon on August 22nd, 2010. Though I don't know how to swim and haven't rode a bike in years, I am registering and making a financial and time commitment in this future activity. It is time to stretch myself and move to the next level so I can lift the lid on my personal leadership skills (John C. Maxwell - Leadership 101 and Sulaiman Rahman) and help more businesses navigate the road blocks in business ownership.

I found a great little article in my google search and it laid everything out in this one statement - "The most important single factor in individual success is COMMITMENT." Commitment requires practicing your beliefs consistently and fully adhere to those beliefs with your actions. My mentor, Sulaiman Rahman, likes to say that you have to practice little commitments to get to the big commitments. My business partner and I have an accountability call every single day. This is our journal of what we need to do for the day and it was her idea to add this activity to the schedule (Thanks Tara!). I am committed to running 4 times a week which translates in to the business commitment of creating a weekly (what is the schedule and what needs to get done), monthly (close the accounting cycle and publish the newsletters) and yearly (how many employees will we have, who are the strategic partners, what certifications do we need) list of what my business has to do to move forward. Sulaiman, I agree it is those little commitments not just saying the words but doing the action which builds belief into completing bigger goals.

The article also states that commitment is demonstrated by a combination of two actions - supporting and improving. "Genuine support develops a commitment in the minds and hearts of others. This is accomplished by focusing on what is important and leading by example." It is my hope to show this by using and supporting businesses in the network and uncovering opportunities and new avenues to market their businesses with cost-effective marketing solutions. The second action is improving. "Improving stretches our commitment to an even higher level. Commitment means a willingness to look for a better way and learn from the process." Though it was my dream to complete a triathlon, it started with a commitment to walk 1000 steps a day use what I learned to walk 10 miles a week ; use what I learned to complete a 5K race which has lead me to register for the tri. Though we can never stop improving, this is where the fun is! My lifetime is not long enough to learn everything so we must use our networks to shorten the learning curve and learn from each other!

That is why I am not afraid of commitment, I TRUST that I don't know everything and would be honored to learn from YOU! I will see the next group of students at the social media for business class part II and COMMIT that the coffee is on me!

Also - women business owners commit to a 3 day conference to learn from your network of like minded businesses who are working together to move to the next level at the 1st annual relax and learn conference at the 4 star Heldrich Hotel and Spa from 4/23/10 - 4/25/10! 100 deposit due now!

2 comments:

Ian N. said...

Great article......made me REALLY think about some things and it makes me challenge myself more than I am doing. Please continue to do what you do.....you NEVER know who will read from it, take it and apply it.

John Gaynard's Creativity and Innovation Blog said...

I totally agree with you. Commitment is everything. As you show, commitment is based on a situation in which there is choice and free will. People can either choose to commit or not. Personal commitment is strongest when it is voiced in front of other people because then the person who has committed is aware of the social consequences of not following through. Committing to an action in front of other people is often the first step to finding unknown resources within one's self that will help to meet the challenge. Shying away from commitment, like shying away from class, just means that no learning gets done. That is why teachers sometimes have to enforce student presence through assessment strategies in order, in Shakespeare's words, to "be cruel in order to be kind,lest bad begins and worse remains behind"
Keep up the good work.
John