Interest Versus Commitment

I teach entrepreneurship across a number of institutes in India. Routinely I also conduct hands-on workshops for entrepreneurs and small business owners around the country. What I hear from both aspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs already in business is fundamentally the same thing: we are very interested in doing this or we really want to do this or we come up with number of whacky ideas, etc – basically everyone is ‘interested’ in doing something different. The aim is to get their venture off the ground and soaring. But sadly the statistics that we see from the results (facts) is almost the opposite. Most, if not all, of them, end up not taking off. In case a few do manage to get the lift off, they remain at low altitudes before falling back to the ground. What’s the problem? With all the ideas and passion for doing things why is it that they don’t take-off successfully?

The answer is the transition from the word ‘interest’ to the word ‘commitment’. What’s the difference and why is it so vital to success? The big difference is ‘interest’ results in lots of talk, plans and activity identification; but sadly for want of being prioritised with resources, they remain where they were created. No wonder that so many participants in my workshops tell me, we thought something along the lines of what you are suggesting, but!

The problem begins when your plans are not supported with resources. Who is in charge of posting the blog on the website everyday? Who is in charge of bringing fresh content everyday? Who is in charge of conducting events and bringing customers / potential customers to them every day? Who is speaking to customers / potential customers every day? The answer to many of these questions remains the same: we wanted to, we planned for it, but something more important came by! We needed to fire fight some challenge! All of us have to be prepared to handle exceptional situations, but if they happen almost everyday, something is amiss – what is it? Priorities? Commitments?

Commitment means I am investing something into the activity because I think it is too important for me as a venture. The same applies to individuals too! If interests are not supplied with commitment, they are bound to move on. Don’t be surprised if you find your competitor doing what you planned – and don’t fool yourself that he/she copied it, because ideas are free. They come to everyone. If you don’t act on it early enough, you lose your right to it. Now go to your team and ask which ‘interesting ideas’ or ‘interests’ remain unexploited, ‘commit’ yourself, your team, your resources to it. Make them see the light of day. Let the world tell you if they are good or bad. SO what if you fail, at least you have a chance to improvise it before everyone else. Additionally you will learn something that most others lost the right to – isn’t failure supposed to do that?

Think about it!

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2 thoughts on “Interest Versus Commitment

  1. Great distinction, Raj. I’m working with a client at the moment on a book for which one of the chapters talks about the need to stop talking at some point and take considered action. I think you nailed it on the head when you point to courage to exploit an opportunity and take the action to see whether something will work or not as being the deciding factor. Only with commitment is anyone going to gain new, important knowledge rather than remain ignorant of what might have worked if only they had shifted their interest up a notch.

    Sadly, in all walks of life there seem to be those who prefer to spend their time talking around a topic or idea rather than testing it with what another friend of mine calls “crafting small experiments.” We learn by doing — just watch small children in that regard, lol.

    1. Absolutely inspiring to see children. Adults especially entrepreneurial ones need to practice ‘crafting and executing small experiments’ routinely. Fear of Failure needs to be left behind. Please let your friend know i really likethis concept of “small experiments”. I do it and urge all my startup clients as well as my entrepreneurship students to keep at it.

      Happy to hear about the work on your new book. Good Luck and hope to read it soon.

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