What’s the greatest predictor of success among aspiring entrepreneurs?
That’s easy: Unwavering, undeterrable commitment.
At the heart of every great achievement, movement or masterpiece this world has seen is a spirit of uncompromising devotion.
Over and over you see this. People that are willing to do whatever it take. No Plan B, no room for compromise.
Are you hungry for the power and peace that comes from this level of commitment?
If you are, read on. I’m going to tell you how to get there, and how to slay the three dragons that stand to deter you from your quest.
First, I want to remind you that you have this power within you already. You don’t need to seek it elsewhere.
Just remember a time in your past when you knew, no matter what, that you were going to see your goal through to the end. It wasn’t a “maybe” or a “nice to daydream about” kind of endeavor.
You had a commitment to your objective deep within your bones. And because of that, you were able to give yourself completely.
Maybe it was learning to play guitar so you could impress your girlfriend, mastering riding your bike with no hands, or climbing the Willow tree in your friend’s backyard.
You knew that no matter what deterred you, no matter what obstacles attempted to thwart your efforts, you were going to get there.
There was no other outcome possible.
Now, let’s explore how to reclaim this power and harness it toward your goal of building a successful freedom business.
I’ve worked with thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs, and I can see right away who’s most likely to succeed and who’s doomed to flounder incessantly, trapped on a merry-go-round of false starts and failed investments.
And it always comes down to who’s more committed and who wants it so badly that nothing can possibly stop them. It might take them years, or decades, but they will get there.
The beauty and power of undeterrable commitment is that it will always overcome…
- Lack of time and money.
- Lack of support from family or peers.
- And lack of amazing ideas.
Because if you’re truly, wholly committed, you will find and create all of these things somehow, someway.
Of course, everyone loves to talk about how one habit, trait or skill makes entrepreneurs successful. The reality is that many things contribute to the success of every great work. But without unshakeable commitment, none of those are possible.
So the question then becomes, how does one cultivate this level of commitment, and what gets in the way of it?
There are three beasts you must slay on the road of trials if you want to win the boon and power that comes with unshakeable commitment.
- Trial #1: Fear of your own greatness and owning your value
- Trial #2: Lack of depth to your purpose
- Trial #3: Not immersing yourself completely
Let’s venture deeper onto the path and begin our journey.
Trial #1: Overcome the fear of your own greatness and start unabashedly owning your value
This is the first test.
To become embodied in your purpose, you must stop fearing your own greatness.
You have genius within you. You have immense value to give and offer to the world.
Does that mean you can stop developing your talents and become idle? Absolutely not.
You must commit to continually refining your craft, walking the path and being a living, breathing example of your gifts.
Do not let “undeveloped” skills ever stop you from owning your value. (Share)
Your skill and potential will perpetually be undeveloped. There will always be more to gain, explore and tap into. That’s inevitable when you are living a purpose that is a no end path.
Do not commit the sin of indefinitely waiting to own your value and genius until you’ve become credentialed, approved, or recognized from others.
Action: Start practicing this: When anyone asks “What do you do?” respond with “I help people ______” and “What I’m really good at is _____”.
For example: I help dads transform their bodies so they can finally have enough energy to show up fully with their families and be the Dads they know they can be. I’m really good at motivating and inspiring men to take action and stay consistent with their goals.
Trial #2: Cultivating an unquenchably deep purpose
If your purpose does not have enough depth to it, it won’t be able to fuel your action in a deeply inspiring way.
Your purpose should make you excited, energized and should include a healthy dose of Holy shit, I don’t know if I can really do this.
To accomplish this, you need a purpose that makes your spine tingle with nervousness, causes your heart to beat just a little faster and your palms to moisten with sweat.
For example, my deep purpose is to liberate others into freedom and love. My chosen expression of that purpose — and how I earn a livelihood — is to change the world of work, to create a movement where work centered in joy and purpose becomes the default, rather than the exception.
This excites me, drives me, and makes me feel slightly terrified (okay, maybe really terrified).
But it’s that living at the edge that makes me committed to this work. If I’m not on my own leading edge, I quickly get bored and lose interest. My purpose needs to be big enough to totally engulf me.
So does yours.
Action: Take the time to ask yourself “What’s a mission I could organize my life around that I could truly be proud of?”
What’s something that you believe in and means something to you at a deep, core level you could devote your life to?
Trial #3: Choosing to go all in, even if you don’t have complete information
Lack of belief in their value keeps many people from committing to their purpose. But even greater, lack of clarity keeps most from stepping completely into their life’s mission.
There’s this myth in our culture that the heros, inventors and world-shakers had everything figured out before they started. We assume that their vision was immaculately scripted in advance like a blockbuster production.
That is completely false.
Your purpose is more like a fossil buried deeply in the earth’s crust. To unearth the entire fossil, you must commit to the full excavation before you begin digging. You wouldn’t stop halfway to your goal because you’re not sure what the fossil is or if it will really be worth it.
Your purpose is the same. You must commit to discovering it as you’re living it. Incomplete knowledge about your purpose cannot be an excuse for lack of commitment.
In fact, in most cases the only way to totally know your purpose is to follow it even when you’re not sure exactly what it is. (Share)
This was precisely the case with my purpose discovery journey. At first I just knew it had something to do with liberation and personal growth. So I followed that and begin helping others grow. Then along the way I discovered that I have other gifts I’m excited about, like helping people move past limitations and personal barriers. So I followed that and explored that path.
Then, yet again, I was gripped with insight and I felt this calling to help people break free from work that didn’t make them come alive and start doing what really mattered to them.
Now that’s the current expression of my purpose.
But even this is not final. I expect that it will continue to evolve and change as I evolve and change.
And guess what? I’m completely committed to it, even though I’m not 100% sure where I’m going next.
Action: Make a pledge, contract or commitment to yourself today to commit completely to your purpose, even if you don’t know 100% what it looks like.
The final act: Commitment must be renewed
A common mistake of naive adventurers is thinking that commitment is something that happens once at the beginning of the journey.
This is false.
Commitment to your purpose is a living, breathing energy that must be continually renewed. Neglect it even for a few days, and it will begin to wither.
So the next step is to commit to your purpose every day and take actions that demonstrate your commitment.
It’s within these actions that you prove your commitment. Words mean nothing without real demonstration of your commitment. (Share)
In the next installment in this series I’m going to share with you my personal practice for renewing my commitment every day, and the framework I use to take meaningful actions that further my purpose.
This simple practice has resulted in more growth and momentum than anything else I can think of.
Until then, what one thing will you do today to own your purpose and commitment to it? By sharing in the comments, you’ll make a public gesture that will strengthen and deepen your commitment.
Deevra Norling says
Thanks for this post. At the moment I think I sometimes fall prey to the first Trial – fearing that I am not that good at what I do and why would someone want to pay me to do it! I have a client (my first one) who has given me a brief that goes beyond what I was expecting and means it is going to stretch my skills a bit. It’s a little daunting and I am wondering if I can pull it off. It’s going to be a matter of ‘fake it till you make it!”
I used to suffer with this A LOT.
You’ve got to back yourself 100% because they will pick up on it if you approach them with this mind set. I’m sure there’s a load of great qualities that you bring to your work so just focus on these and what you CAN do for them.
Nobody, no matter how experienced, has ‘the secret to success’ so believe in yourself and you may be surprised at just how much you have to offer.
Deevra Norling says
Thank you for your encouragement. An update to my original comment. I recently wrapped up work for that client, who is so happy with my service, he has just offered to double my rate for future work! I nearly fell off my chair! :) I took the leap of faith, and it paid off!
Ruth Henry-Ovid says
Great post Jonathan,
Trial #3 really resonated with me …I don’t have everything figured out, I just know I want to turn reinvent the learning disability services around so people are celebrated for their unique talents & experiences. I will read my commitment mantra daily :) “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Ghandi
Keep up the great posts :)
Vincent Nguyen says
So well worded, Jonathan. You’re right, all those issues can be overcome with commitment because once you want it badly enough then you will actively seek resolutions to those issues! How often do we hear someone say “I have no time?” That is nonsense and most who say that don’t even attempt to make time.
I like the idea you raised at the end that says commitment must be renewed. That’s an interesting thing to realize because that basically says commitment is a commitment all in itself. Powerful.
Harsh Kedia says
This post is really inspiring. In fact I can related the whole post with my life. I really feel that I am on the brink of slaying all the three beasts. Trial#2 completely resonates with my current life. I have this idea which is like consuming me and i think about it day and night. It really gives a purpose to my life. Just after finishing college, I am going to fully devote my time to my idea.
Great Post :)
Jarrett Nicholson says
I will begin to think, speak, and act upon my purpose WITH CONVICTION and will imagine NO OTHER POSSIBILITES. I will begin to speak these words, as truth, out loud to others: “I help people take back full control of their destinies by empowering them with marketing skills, business skills, and life skills. I am really good at motivating and inspiring others to acknowledge the greatness within themselves and take consistent actions toward their dreams.”
You’ve got chops my man. I am certain this post will elevate readers to get past resistance by taking action. Everyday.
I’ve written extensively about continuing to take action independent of how we ‘feel’ on a given day, even at a given moment.
We can eventually overcome resistance by this method. But, we must battle. Everyday.
Live it LOUD!
Kevin Wood says
Boom! Powerful and actionable, I dig it.
I love the idea of acting in spite of having all the answers. Using our intuition as a compass through the fog. We’ll reach where we’re supposed to go as long as we’re using the right compass.
Today I will make the commitment to write every day. It seems I have to renew this vow a lot :)
I spent ten years of the 3 dragons and now ten years later and the 3 dragons are still talking in the form of it’s too late today, I am too busy today, something came up and now I can’t and on and on.
Thanks for the reminder
Thanks for an inspiring post! It’s a great reminder that your purpose is really all about the journey and to be agile and let it evolve! Renewing commitment is also a good one, so often we let it go stale and can be in danger of losing focus. All in!
Funny how fear of success can actually cause us to shut down as well. Then we have to take real responsibility, and sometimes that can be hard.
That’s when the commitment and purpose will pull us through. The anchor we can use to pull us out of the quicksand.
Great call and thanks for the inspiration!
Great work – keep it up!
My favourite quote from this was “The beauty and power of undeterrable commitment is that it will always overcome… lack of support from family and peers”.
I see people quit on their dreams and give up their ideas because they fear being ridiculed by their family and friends far too often.
It’s sad to see because friends and family should be the ones who support you the most. I think it takes a lot of guts to stand up to others and sometimes it’s important to take things like a grain of salt.
This was really a great reminder for me to stay committed to my own goals. Ultimately, I want to be building my own dreams – and not other people’s dreams.
Mitch Villani says
One of the best blog posts I have read in years. You have somehow expressed in words exactly how I am feeling and what is currently in my mind. Thank You!
I have committed the deadly sin of indefinitely waiting to own my value and genius until I’ve become credentialed. I have wanted to become a personal coach for close to a year now. I share a very similar purpose and passion to yourself. Everyone I come into contact with says I have a gift of encouragement and I want to live that out everyday and make a difference in the life of others. I just don’t not what vehicle to use? Or how I begin in making it a career/living?
Thank you again – I am off right now to take action on your 3 action requests.
Don Fulmer says
Trial #3 has described my life for about 20 yrs. I was afraid to commit to a business, artistic field etc. because as you said, I wanted to have everything figured out before I started. Finally, about 2 years ago I began writing poetry at age 57. I had no idea why or where I was going. I now read regularly at open mics, have a blog, and am starting a poetry reading for an organization I belong to. I still have no idea where I am going, but I actually love it.
Inspiration from other people has really helped me. Thanks Jonathan, for this new boost.
SJ Scott says
It has been about 10 years since I quit my day job and started working on my own. While I agree that all of these are absolutely essential to making a success (specifically #3) I would also say that you need to make a plan.
Now a plan should not be an excuse not to act, but honestly I have seen people who are living a pipe-dream with no real idea of what it takes.
In my mind it is the difference between a dream and a goal.
It is fine to dream. Dream of being a millionaire, sipping Mai Tai’s on a beach, whatever you want. But if that is your plan and you buy lottery tickets to get there, you are in for disappointment.
A plan with actionable steps, mini goals and a realistic timeline are also essential. You can work you ass off, but if you are not working for a specific and concrete goal , you will not gain desired traction.
Great post Jonathan
After reading it, I decided to take action for my dream. I will give 100 free coaching to help them find their path. I though I have to be perfect to do it, but I realize I wont chage the world today if I wait to be perfect.
I still have no concept where I am going, but I actually really like it.