Off Road

Driving Change: Are you committed?

Are you ready to drive change? Start by answering: Am I fully committed?

Having worked with many small business startups and entrepreneurs, I know how enticing the idea of owning your own business can be, or launching an impactful non-profit, or taking your idea of a product to market. The idea is sexy.

But the work, well, there’s not much sexy about that. Forget things like “savings,” or “vacations,” or “weekends.”

If you aren’t fully committed, then you aren’t committed at all. You might as well move on. There is no use doing anything without commitment.

Try the following experiment:

Take a plastic bag. Fill it with water. That bag has to be fully committed to holding that water in otherwise slowly but surely you get soaked. All it takes is one question, one little corner’s decision not to be that into it and before long it’s empty, wet and limp having accomplished nothing. (Never thought of a water balloon as committed before have you? You’re welcome.)

But it’s true. Think of the areas in our life we say we are committed to: our health, our companies, our relationships. We say we are committed to our health, but we cut the corner off by drinking too much caffeine or booze. We say we are committed to getting our start-ups off the ground, but spend most evenings researching the next big thing or serially “networking.” We say we are committed to our relationships, but all kinds of things slowly break them down. It all seems harmless at first; a drink or two here, a night or two on the couch there, instead of building the prototype.

It doesn’t take long for apathy to take hold.

If you are willing to cut the corner off, you can’t expect anyone else to be committed for you. Turns out it takes more effort for someone to patch it for you after you have let things go. Ever tried to put a piece of tape over a hole in a water balloon? It looks like it’s working at first, but as the water puts pressure on the patch, it starts to soak through and comes unglued.

Starting a business is no joke. It doesn’t get off the starting block with full commitment. 


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