Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Forced Commitment

There is nothing like a looming deadline to get you focused and into action. Basically, if left to my own devices I will sit and play with the kids all day, go to the movies, lose myself in a book, or have endless coffee stops with friends.

Equally, in business, if I allow myself each day to just make up what I am going to do, I won't make the best use of my time. This is why I force commit myself in advance.

This idea of forced commitments works well from a personal productivity point of view. Such as schedule time with myself, schedule time to exercise, etc. The idea works equally well for the business as well.

In a practice-based business, the revenue is attached to personal energy and activities. If you don't work, you don't earn. This is not a problem because you earn a lot of money, work for 10 years, invest your income in capital growth assets and you never have to work another day in your life unless you want to. You don't need to buy into the myth of the e-myth, which is that businesses equal freedom. (Often business owners feel the exact opposite).

However, you do need to keep the commitments up. Here are some ideas for commitments.

  • Pick a date and advertise a public workshop, then work like crazy to fill it.
  • Set aside a day each week for 1-on-1 meetings, then fill up the day.
  • Commit to 2 networking events a month and to 1 showcase event every two months.
  • Schedule a 90-day luncheon, then worry about who will come, etc.
  • Commit to more staff than you need and then work like crazy to make their investment a dollar-productive one.

The business of thought leadership requires a high level of personal commitment. Stay on the ball by committing to more and then meeting the commitments.

So what are you waiting for? Commit!



  1. Hi Matt. Great post. I couldn't agree more. I use webinars as a key part of my marketing because they are a public commitment -- promote the topic and the date of the event to your list (and via alliances' lists, social media etc.), and then it's GOT to happen! Without such deadlines, it's so easy to postpone marketing because it can fall into that Quadrant 2 of Important, Not Urgent. I told my target market (accounting firms) during my first webinar to set aside lunchtime on the 1st Thursday of each month for my webinars, and now, if I am late in getting the invitation email out, many contact me and ask when they'll get the email so they can register! Gotta love that. Cheers, MC mc[at]practiceparadox.com.au

  2. Ouch! Nice timing - I've been 'planning' to run a public workshop for a few weeks. It's time to commit to a date and then make the rest happen. Thanks for the reminder ...

  3. Perfect timing, Matt. I wasn't sure what had gone 'missing' for me recently but your post confirmed it.

    Looking at the past all the best stuff I have created and greatest breakthroughs I have made have come from making a bold commitment, ready or not. Time for a whole lot more of that again - right now.

  4. Hi Matt,

    Nice post. I like to set myself deadlines but also set myself KPI's and Performance & Reward Management meetings once a month (yes - with myself). I think when you work for yourself, you need to still make sure you are responsible to yourself.

    I don't think you can take one business book and apply it to your business to solve your problems or add value to your life/business - they take a while to come to fruition from the author or in the case of the E-myth, may be decades old. There is so much wisdom out there, but individuals need to integrate this with their values and views from others. That being said, I love the principles of the E-myth and with tweaking to suit your business can still allow for creativity but freedom as well. Your prescription above is a system which aligns with E-myth principles. Much easier to be proactive with systems in place rather than reactive to the situation which is ever so tempting and often partnered with more short-term satisfaction.



  5. Hey Rockstar,

    sent out email for your suggested 'Luncheon' to list of 95 business owners yesterday at 3.40pm and have had 10 Yes, 3 maybes and 2 can't make it.


    it's gonna be a fun luncheon.

    Rock on,