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Not ready to commit to a newsletter? Am I right?
And that brings me to the point of this message.
The fear of commitment is sometimes confused with being lazy, it’s nothing of the sort. In fact it is simply that, a commitment phobia. A fear of actually setting your mind to something and giving it a go.
I have people reach out to me all the time asking for help, they know the cost (and for the record [and a shameless plug] my help is super affordable, that’s part of what I am about, being the help you can afford) they know the details, once they have asked all the questions, they then start looking for all the reasons why they can’t commit. They want to do that workshop, but they might have to feed their goldfish that day, they would love to sign up for coaching, but their partner says they should just go it alone, they want to join a coaching group, but it might take them 45 minutes to drive there… I’ve always said you need to want this more than I want it for you and that hasn’t changed, but I also recognise that some people want it but they are literally too afraid to commit.
You know all of those motivational gym memes that circulate social media? One of them strikes very true for me here, ‘You will find a way or you will find an excuse’.
Sorry, hope that doesn’t come across as harsh, but it’s a hard truth for many I suspect.
See, the thing is, you either want it or you don’t, it’s not complicated. You are just making it complicated for yourself. Ironically, people have less trouble in creating far-off big plans and goals than they have creating the small multiple steps they need to take in order to reach those goals. I mean, how easy is it to write a huge to do list, then not do anything on it? How useful was that?
Unless you commit to your to do list and make yourself accountable, it’s not going to magically happen. Yes, being an entrepreneur is all about doing things your way and having freedom, but freedom doesn’t bring you closer to your goals and nor does it pay the bills!
So, how do you make yourself accountable when you work on your own? It’s no lie when people say that being an entrepreneur is a lonely job, it is very true. However you do have lots of options and here are just a few
– Find a buddy and pair up with another entrepreneur and make each other accountable, set a regular date to report in to each other and check on progress. Document what you are going to do and when by and send it to your buddy
– Ask your partner or a family member to support you. A lot of entrepreneurs hide the details of what is involved in running their business from their closest support network. It’s possible that your significant other or a family member might love nothing more than to be involved in your business in helping you keep on track
– Create a reward system. You are never too old for a sticker reward chart, am I right? OK maybe some of you are too grown up for that, but you could set yourself a target (sell a certain $ figure, contact a certain number of potential clients, complete a certain task by a certain date) and literally reward yourself for achieving it. I have a friend that likes to shop and she goes and buys herself a nice new pair of boots or a bridle for her horse when she achieves certain goals, others might give themselves a day spa, buy a new book, spend 2 hours doing nothing at the local waterfall (that is my reward for myself), whatever floats your boat
– Join a networking group. There are lots of groups based either locally or on social networking sites and you will find that surrounding yourself with like-minded people goes a long way towards motivating you in the right direction. There are often Chamber of Commerce groups for local business, or targeted groups to specific industries, and on social media, there are too many to mention
– Find a mentor or a business coach. Typically a mentor is someone else in a business similar to yours who is prepared to give you a helping hand and support you. A business coach is someone that you pay to make you accountable, and they in turn become accountable to you. There are lots of options there too (and shameless plug number 2, I am a business coach that offers one-on-one help and also puts together networking groups local to me in WA, drop me a line to find out more. (Don’t be afraid, I am not asking for your to commit your firstborn to me, just an email from you, nothing more).
OK so you have a few ideas on accountability now but you still don’t feel like you can commit to anything? I talk to entrepreneurs a lot about committing to things, and when helping them to move forward, I often use the time-old method of asking ‘what is the worst that could happen, and what is the best that could happen’. If you think about the worst that could happen, chances are you are going to realise that actually, the world will continue to spin no matter what, and you won’t die, and in fact, just because you decide to do something now, doesn’t mean you have to do that forever, and ever, and ever. And you sure as hell have the ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going (since the chances are if you are reading this, you have some kind of horse connection and know just what hitting the dirt feels like).
Or are you just afraid to try? Do you have a fear of failure, or even more deep and meaningful and possibly a tough question, do you have a fear of success? Is it just possible that you have felt the pain of failure and did not cope with the feeling and never want to feel that again? So you just never try anything so you never have to experience failure? How is that working out for you?
A small, wrinkly and wise little guy once said ‘Do or do not. There is no try’. Yes, even Yoda understands that you are better off to do something than nothing (yes, I make no apology for the fact I am a Star Wars geek, I am glad I have an 11 year old son to make it look less geeky on my part to go and see the new movie erm, a few times in school holidays).
So moving from one wrinkly wise guy to the next, Ghandi so wisely says ‘The future depends on what you do today’.
So I ask you now, what are you going to do today?