Category: Strategy

Should you be committed? Oh wait, perhaps I need to rephrase this question. Do you have the commitment necessary to grow your small business into the business you see in your dreams?

I want to be clear: everyone’s vision of the future of their business is different. Although, there are certain themes I hear repeatedly:

  • I want to grow it into a large business that may or may not run itself or that I desire to sell off so I can start my next business.
  • I want to grow it larger, but always retain control and work actively within it.
  • The size of my business is great and I would really like to make more money without having to become larger.
  • I would like to make the same or more money while simultaneously downsizing the size and / or my time involvement.

Whether you goal is similar to one above or uniquely your own, the question still remains: Do you have the commitment necessary to grow your small business into the business of your dreams?

How do you create this commitment? Robert Bradford, a strategic planning expert, says it well:

“Direction requires clarity.
Clarity requires focus.
Focus requires commitment.”

Commitment begins with becoming crystal clear about what direction you are headed and what you desire to achieve. You should be able to clearly articulate this goal in just a few words. In addition, when you talk or think about it you should feel something: excitement, anticipation, or maybe that squiggly feeling in your gut that is hard to tell whether it’s passion or downright fear.

Once you have clarity of direction, to achieve your goals you will need to move past distractions and focus single-mindedly on what you intend to achieve.  For many people, this step is their biggest obstacle to overcome. Are you like the many small business owners I meet with who are easily distracted by shiny baubles?

A shiny bauble is any distraction that looks like an opportunity. And truly they may be an opportunity for you, but just not at this moment. That is what makes shiny baubles so hard to avoid. Yet, it is crucial to stay clear of shiny baubles as they will quickly eat up your time, money and energy.

I have found that clarifying questions are a great tool to assist you in quickly and easily identifying your shiny baubles. Briefly, a clarifying question is a simple and pointed question that can be answered with a yes or no. For example, “Will this activity enable me to increase the sales of my internal branding services?” If the answer is yes, then it is a true opportunity; if no, then it is a shiny bauble.

Once you are focused, you will require commitment to reach your ultimate vision. Commitment can be challenging because it needs to be renewed on a daily basis. It means maintaining the passion and focus and clarity on an on-going basis.

Remember, commitment is not just about what you are committed to. Commitment is also about what you commit to say “No!” to. And discerning the right things to resist and actually saying “No!” can be much more challenging than actually committing to the big goal in the first place.

So what are you committed to achieving? Are you clear in what this looks and feels like? Are you focused like a laser beam? And are you renewing your commitment to achieve your goal on a daily basis? If you answered yes to the above questions then I am certain that you will eventually achieve your goal.