Commitment is a willingness to give your time and energy to something you believe in. Business owners that are committed truly believe that their business is important, and they show up, follow through, and stick with it. Another trait of a committed person is one who does not take discouragement seriously.
Commitment happens when you have a vision you believe in and are willing to take the action steps necessary to succeed. I also believe that it helps to develop a habit to make commitment a reality.
I spent the day today listening to 18 small business owners present a “Pitch Deck” about their businesses in hopes of getting either new funding or additional funding for their businesses. As one of the judges in this process I looked for the commitment over and above their request for funding.
“The Ask”, the amount of money they needed, ranged from $5,000 to over $1.5 million. I was disappointed to see that for some, the action items for future growth were totally dependent upon getting working capital. Very few said “receiving this money will help us get to market faster, but if we don’t get the funds, we believe in our business enough to know that we will persevere and reach our vision.”
Another factor I took into consideration was their enthusiasm during their five minute allotted presentation time. Those that had a well-defined vision and a well thought out plan of action were much more excited about their future prospects, and that came through in their voice and body language. After their five minute presentations, as judges, we were allowed an additional five minutes to ask questions regarding the presentation. Most knew their product/service, but a few were not able to discuss their business model for achieving profitability.
The last critical part of my decision making process was the validation of their product/service. Validation meant that these business owners had tested their potential market and found out that there was a need. A few were able to obtain endorsements and even purchase commitments based on certain criteria.
Commitment to a vision is a critical factor for not only surviving, but for achieving profitability and sustainability. It has to be more than an 8 to 5 time commitment or an attitude that sends out messages that this is “just a job.”
Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.
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