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Commitment is the Engine of Your Business, Not Motivation

Imagine building a boat without an engine or a sail. That’s what we call a raft. You could build a gorgeous multi-million dollar 60’ cruiser, but if there is no engine, it’s still just a raft.

Imagine building a boat without an engine or a sail. That’s what we call a raft. You could build a gorgeous multi-million dollar 60’ cruiser, but if there is no engine, it’s still just a raft. And if you actually want to have some control over where you’re going, drifting around aimlessly in a raft isn’t the best way to get there. Or the fastest. Or the safest. You get the idea. You need an engine.

In 30 years of building my own businesses and in watching other people build hundreds more, I can tell you without reservation that the foundational thing that separates the successful business owner from the always-struggling business owner is commitment. The bigger their engine of commitment is, the better chance they have at getting where they want to go. And the quicker they are likely to get there.

Motivation is not Commitment.

That’s an important distinction. I’ve seen plenty of people pound their chests, do their chants and mistake “motivation” for commitment.

I’m not a big fan of motivational stuff. Motivation too often masquerades as vision, but is almost always based in emotionalism – seeing the promised land on a map, hearing the music, dancing the dance, hugging somebody, then going home and settling back into our regular routine.

So motivation is too often based on how I feel, not on whether I’m committed to really doing something. Commitment is unaffected by feeling, and only uses feelings to help understand what has already happened. After all, emotions are a much better indicator of what has already happened then what might happen in the future.

We should be responding to business more like a stream running down hill. It doesn’t need to get emotional to get moving and when it hit’s a beaver dam, it doesn’t get emotional, either. It just turns left and keeps finding a way downhill. A stream has quiet resolve.

Commitment is demonstrated not by excitement, or by spending time in the office, or even by dollars invested, but by full on abandonment to getting to the goal, and daily plodding to get there. Commitment is much closer related to steely, quiet resolve than to ginning up the “right” feelings.

Quiet resolve is committed movement in a purposeful direction.

Do you have quiet resolve to get where you want to go, no matter what you run into along the way? If you do, you’ve got a great shot at going from survival right through success to significance, both in your business and in your life.

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