Why You Should Fully Commit to Your Business
Friends, we need to talk about commitment.
And not just committing to an idea for a business; that’s the easy part! It’s thrilling to revel in the dream, spending weeks or months plotting and planning while slowly falling in love with your hypothetical yoga studio or sound healing practice. What’s harder is staying true to that business through those first few months, through the hiccups and false starts, through the dips in income and challenging client feedback. Everyday, across every industry, people give up on their nascent enterprises at the first sign of trouble, barely giving their ideas a foothold before abandoning them. And that short-sightedness dooms them to fail again and again.
To create and grow the impactful and profitable business of your dreams, you must be willing to commit. And today, we’ll share some strategies for staying on track with your entrepreneurial dreams.
How to commit to your growing business
The first—and potentially most important—step is to fully embrace the long view. Yes, some businesses skyrocket to the top just one month after launch. Yes, some videos go viral and lead to staggering success for their creators. But there’s no way to plan for or execute that kind of accelerated trajectory; You can’t manifest it and you can’t control it.
Becoming an overnight success is not up to you, so don’t expect it. Instead, prepare for the scenic journey that most business owners get to experience.We know exactly how crucial this slow-burn mindset is because we’ve implemented it ourselves! Some of the things we’ve done to lay the groundwork for Namastream’s success took a year or more to implement, but eventually, our daily actions began to pay off.
Take this blog as an example. In its first few months, we had zero readers, no community interaction, and no real impact on our bottom line. But after almost two years, this blog has become an essential part of our business model.
We recognized that a useful blog packed with posts that reflected our values and supported our customers would build community and draw people further into the Namastream community.
There were plenty of weeks when our well of ideas ran dry and we wondered if anyone would really notice if we just didn’t post … but we’d committed to the blog as part of our larger business plan. So we racked our brains, polled our audience, drafted up posts, and stayed consistent. And we’re so glad we did! Seeing this blog grow into a robust resource has been incredibly rewarding, and serves as evidence that strategic planning can work for small businesses, online businesses, and virtually any business model you can imagine.
Take a page out of our book, and set your intention by pairing commitment with consistency. If you say, “I’ll do X for Y length of time,” but don’t keep your word to yourself, your team, or your company, that doesn’t just affect your immediate goal; It affects how you show up in the world. But when you truly commit, the universe conspires to help you.
Read on for more concrete tactics to help you dive deep, even if you can’t predict the outcome, and follow through with passion and commitment.
Mental shifts that will help you commit fully to your business
Accept that there is risk in what you’re doing. If you don’t allot a significant amount of time to let the tough times run their course—and figure out smart, strategic ways to deal with them in the moment—you’re setting yourself up for failure. Every business hits walls and slams into roadblocks.
The ones that see those momentary setbacks as part of a long-term, organic process are the ones with the best chance at success. Of course, some roadblocks cannot be overcome: Chronic illness, natural disasters, or sudden shifts in stability may arise and make it impossible to proceed. But those occur outside your business model. Challenges like dips in profit, fluctuating revenue, and unsuccessful new offerings are not reasons to quit; They are natural, normal bumps in the road. Being an entrepreneur means getting comfortable with risk, and accepting the outcomes when risks lead to frustration.
Acknowledge that slow growth is healthy. A few months back, a Namastream client reached out to us to share her progress, and reported that in her first three months she’d only made back half of her investment in her new online business. She was frustrated by this, but we were absolutely THRILLED! Many, many businesses may take six months, a year, or even multiple years to recoup their initial costs. Others may earn back their investment relatively quickly, but then break even for months before turning a profit.
Anyone who launches, goes viral, and immediately begins earning multiple six figures is the exception, not the rule, so don’t hold yourself to an outlandish standard of success. Growth for an online business is sometimes faster because the overhead isn’t nearly as high as it is for brick-and-mortar endeavors. But unless you have an existing following on social or a well-established email list, breaking into the online space can still be a slow-growth process. And that’s perfectly fine.
Get comfortable with highs and lows. Running your own business means navigating financial highs and lows, and emotional ones, too. Seasoned entrepreneurs are all too familiar with leading a rollercoaster existence, but it can take time for newcomers to acclimate. The highs can feel miraculous and heady, but you’ll actually learn a lot more from the lows! Keep your mindset steady when times get tough, and analyze how you can shift strategies and do better next time. Focus on how you react when you’re in a slump, because how you respond to challenges is directly related to your capacity for ongoing success. Remember that just because things are hard, doesn’t mean they’re not worth doing.
Have a reason behind your endeavor that isn’t financial. Obviously, you want to build a business that’s profitable and financially stable, but if your only reason for building that business is to make piles of money, you’ll have a hard time persevering. The best way to ensure that your commitment to your practice or company will endure is to enjoy it, believe in it, and feel driven to share your ideas or skills with the world, regardless of how rich they might make you.
Actions that will help you commit fully to your business
Set clear and reasonable expectations for yourself. Especially if you’re brand new to the online business world, don’t expect that within two months you’ll have a thriving customer base and steady income stream that can support your entire family.
You can definitely start to make money within two months, but be objective about how much money it will be. And be flexible with your income goals. Aiming to earn $5K in those first two months is a worthy goal, but if you only manage $1K, remember that you’ve still made progress. Re-set your milestones for the coming months, and keep going. And if you’re in the hole after three or six months, that’s also completely fine. Don’t decide that lack of profits at the start are a hallmark of failure. Give yourself time to grow, explore, and iterate.
Consider a partnership. If you’re someone who tends to panic in the face of adversity, doesn’t cope well with instability, or just struggles with the anxiety that entrepreneurship naturally generates, a business partner or accountability buddy can be incredibly helpful. When you’re all alone with your worries, it gets hard to tell if setbacks are as dire as they feel. A partner or empathetic sounding-board can help clear your head, and talk you down from the ledge. Try to choose someone who balances you out and complements your strengths; A partner who shares your exact personality type won’t be as effective at offering you alternate perspectives or calming your nerves.
Seek out like-minded entrepreneurs. Along those same lines, surround yourself with other business owners who know what you’re going through because they’ve been through it themselves! The community inside our Soulful MBA Facebook group is incredibly supportive, and open to all. Or if you prefer face-to-face interactions, seek out small business activities in your local community and start networking there. It’s SO much easier to stay committed when you know that others have successfully overcome the obstacles that are standing in your way.
We’re living in a society that craves quick-fix instant gratification, which means that new entrepreneurs are often impatient, anxious, and restless. They want the YouTube fame, the bestselling book, and the weekly TV spot NOW, not five years from now. What they don’t realize is that committing to your business for years to come isn’t just about “putting in your time” or grinding through the first challenging months.
The longer you work at growing your endeavor, the more savvy and knowledgeable you become. So when you DO write that bestseller or land an on-air gig, you’re actually ready to handle the scrutiny and responsibility that come along with them.
Commit to your business. Nurture it patiently over the coming months and years, and it will lift you toward phenomenal success.
For more on this topic, have a listen to Episode 75 of our podcast.