On the rare Sunday I’m able to kick back and enjoy a bit of ‘me time’, I’m often drawn to the Sunday papers to catch up on what’s happening around me. The papers often have a few interesting feature articles, and a regular staple is the usual story about some entrepreneur on the verge of dropping out of society who has turned their last 5 cent coin into a cool $300 Million or thereabouts. The theme of the article (aside from a degree of luck) is always about hard work, putting in 1000 hours a week, and commitment to their goals. So far, I’m OK with that. Unfortunately, a lot of journos then seem tie the hard work, 1000 hours and commitment into one neat package.
It’s this concept that I don’t agree with. The things that define ‘commitment’ in small business will vary from person to person and business to business.
Does the fruit shop owner who works on and in their business 7-days a week have commitment to their business?
Does the jewellery maker who works half the week creating from home, and then sells at weekend markets and over the internet whilst raising a family, doing the afternoon footy/cricket/dance/library shuttle run have commitment to their business?
I’d suggest the answer is yes in both cases, and there would be a thousand other scenarios that also fit the definition.
Does either person in the stated scenarios have a greater commitment to their business purely on the basis of the hours invested or the amount of physical labour undertaken? I’d suggest not.
People embark on business ventures for many and varied reasons. Some chase the title of entrepreneur (and that cool $300 Million), others want a comfortable lifestyle balanced between hard work and family time, and others crave to pay their living expenses and put food on the table because of everything else swirling around them on a day to day basis.
We frame our business as part of all the things that make up our lives. For some, the business is more prominent than others, but it doesn’t mean they have any more commitment than the next business person. Whether you work 10 hours or 80 hours a week in business, commitment is defined by your focus on achieving the goals set on the first day of trading, together with hard work, effort, and diligence in providing a great product and service to customers. All of this occurs in the context of what makes up your life. Commitment is also about not giving up and picking yourself up each time the inevitable set backs occur.
This blog is not intending to wrap up the definition of commitment into a few neat words. It’s about you considering a bit more than the number of hours spent in the office/shop each week when the tough days inevitably have you reflecting on the level of commitment to your business.
Now…..leave me alone whilst I get back to that article on how to turn my 5 cents into $300 Million!
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