This is a guest post by Deanna Lohnes, one of our Play-at-Home members.
There. I admitted it.
I avoid making long-range plans because “I don’t know where I’m going to be then.” I twitch when I sign a year lease. My mortgage? Forget it. My lawyer thought I was going to pass out when we passed papers. I like quick fixes, magic bullets and one-simple-tweaks. I panic at the thought of things not changing. I’ve never been married. I love the idea of Gwynnie Bee, Netflix and anything else impermanent. I want the option of changing my mind.
It should come as no surprise then that I resisted the idea of commitment in business. I looked for quick fixes. I read lots of sales pages promising magic bullets. I wanted to believe in overnight success. I looked for shortcuts. I tried all the one-simple-tweaks I could find.
Skip ahead to the end of 2012. Everything is going along OK. Not brilliantly, but OK. Passably well. Reasonable. But no one wants things to be passably OK. I want brilliant. I have a list of dreams and big goals.
Then it hit me, I need to commit. Commit to doing the work. Commit to bringing my vision to life. (After all, there’s a reason “Commitment and Follow Through” are part of the Prosperity’s Kitchen Manifesto.) 2013 will be my Year of Commitment.
This year, instead of vaguely half-assing my quarterly financial goals, I sat down with a calendar and wrote it all out. This year, I wrote out my marketing calendar on an actual calendar instead of just scribbling “April: launch” in a notebook.
How ’bout you?
You might be a closet commitment-phobe if…
- You avoid writing down your goals. Writing things down feels too set-in-stone for those of us who don’t want to be fenced in or tied down.
- You avoid making a three- to five-year plan. I can hear all the commitment-phobes from here, “But anything can happen in three years.” That’s true. What I’m finally learning to accept is that the most likely outcome is no outcome if I don’t commit to making something happen.
- You like to wing it, play it by ear or keep it loose. Commitment and discipline are good for you and good for your business. That’s a bitter pill for me. PLAN is a four letter word. If I have a plan, I have to follow through. I have to commit to execution. Not easy for me.
Committing to one course of action means eliminating other courses of action. What’s that old proverb about the man who chases two rabbits catches none? I’ve been trying to beat that most of my life.
I’m like Wile E. Coyote in the desert with my Acme contraptions determined to get both those rabbits and prove the proverb wrong.
Here’s the good news, fellow commitment-phobes. You can’t keep all your options open all the time, but you CAN change your mind. If committing to one course doesn’t work, you can try another course of action. Committing doesn’t have to be a rigid, monotonous drag. I can commit to a course of action. I can do the work AND I can still have fun. Commitment is not synonymous with dull and tedious.
The year is still new and my commitment to committing is still fresh. I’ll let you know at the end of the year if I’m fully reformed. What I do know is that the difference commitment makes is nothing short of miraculous. Changes are already happening. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get married this year.
Your turn. Tell me in the comments where a struggle with commitment shows up in your business.
And if you need some help with planning, accountability and moving forward, might we recommend our Play-at-Home membership? You commit to doing the work, and we’ll commit to helping you make your big dreams come true.
About the Author
Deanna is the founder of Parlance Media, a marketing and copywriting company specializing in non-traditional businesses. She just released Marketing Your Square Peg Business to a Round Hole World (and she’s committed to seeing it flourish!).