Commitment or Convenience – Which Do You Do?
Is commitment to your business slipping because your interests have changed? In recent months I've talked to a half a dozen or so of my colleagues about a big shift they see in their client base these days. The general consensus is that potential clients (or even existing clients) are not particularly committed, and are opting out of longer-term programs. Here's what we are hearing:
- I'm interested but the timing is bad.
- I don't want to commit to a year-long program.
- I'm not sure if I will have the time to do the work.
I have also seen a shift over the past year or so. I believe that some entrepreneurs who have been working at their business for a while no longer have building their business as a top priority. Call it aging or mid-life crisis or just time moving on. Call it discouragement. Whatever the reason, I see that some people just aren't hungry for having the business they once dreamed of. Their priorities have shifted. That happens – as we mature and the years go by, what we want now isn't the same as what we wanted 5 or 10 years ago.
Meet The Face of Commitment
Contrast that with a 30-year-old guy named Colin, who showed up in our driveway to detail our vehicle. Colin had agreed to meet me at 11:00 AM, after a doctor's appointment. His doctor ran late, and by the time Colin knocked on our door it was 1:30 PM. It was September, and here along the Gulf Coast of Florida it's our hottest and most humid month. I stepped outside to meet Colin and felt the blinding sun and the sticky air. The thermometer read 92 degrees but it felt like 98.
In the afternoon our driveway is in full blazing sun – no shade anywhere. Colin wanted to get started despite the sunshine and heat. He apologized at least 4 times for being late. I went back inside to work, and I could hear him running water. To make a long story very short, Colin washed, hand-waxed, and thoroughly detailed the inside of our vehicle for a total of 6 solid hours, without a break, in the boiling sun. We've never had anyone take that long and be that committed to doing the job. To say he was thorough is an understatement! He would not take a break to come in and cool off. About every half hour I went outside to check on him and offer him cold bottles of water. In 6 hours he accepted 2 bottles. Every time I saw him the sweat was running off his body in big drops. My vehicle now looks better than it did the day we bought it.
You see, Colin is hungry. He WANTS to build a mobile detailing business and hire others to work for him. On one trip outside to check on him and offer water, he started asking me about a website for his business while he hand waxed my vehicle. It was blazing hot, and I wanted to retreat back inside, but he asked me question after question as the sweat poured off his shirt. He didn't care that the heat was inconvenient. He didn't care that he had to work almost until dark and never ate or, as far as I know, even used the bathroom. He only wanted to do an extremely excellent job. He wants it. He is committed. He doesn't just do what is convenient.
Although it was not pleasant or convenient, it did Colin a lot of good to sweat in my driveway for 6 hours solid. He was there so long, and was doing such a great job, that 5 of our neighbors walked by, were impressed, and hired him on the spot to detail their cars in the coming week. Another neighbor who is heading up a charity golf event in our neighborhood came by and asked if he'd like to have his business card placed in the swag bags. Colin ended up giving her 50 cards, and no doubt he'll get business from that, too. I offered to meet up with him over coffee in the next week and help him outline his website.
Colin is at the stage of life where he is willing to do anything to make his business work. If it's not convenient or uncomfortable, he doesn't care. He is committed, totally. He holds himself to a high standard. He probably could have done half the job he did and I would have thought it was wonderful.
We've already scheduled Colin to work on Bill's vehicle. When we paid him, we gave him more than we agreed to up front. He deserved every penny of it. I went onto a local neighborhood website and wrote about him – and now 4 more neighbors are looking to hire him.
Here's Our Responsibility About Our Business
I think it's our responsibility to be very clear about where we are in life, and what we want. If we are willing to do only what is convenient, we don't need to be building a business. If our path has taken us to more inner work, let's recognize that and start living life on that path. If we still have the burn to build a financially successful business, let's do what it takes to accomplish that.
Colin's behavior made me check myself. What am I willing to do for what I want? What am I not willing to do? Am I committed, or am I just piddling around with ideas? From his actions, I know what Colin wants. What do your actions say about what you really want?
Has your perspective changed about what you really want in life? Are you more focused now on other things besides growing a business? Life definitely picks us up and sets us on different paths from time to time. If you aren't hungry for biz success right now, what are you hungry for? What are you committed to, whether it's convenient or not?
If you do want help with business issues, you're welcome to go over to my calendar and book a quick chat to see how we might work together. What you're committed to, we can do.