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There are many reasons to start a business, including pursuing a passion, setting your own hours, and making more money. However, if you are not committed to a greater purpose, all of these reasons may not be enough to make your business a success.
What is an obligation?
A commitment can be defined in three ways:
1. It gives you purpose. Let's define a commitment as a greater purpose for your life that drives you forward every day. Many studies have shown that the purpose even leads to a longer life for men and women.
2. It is never finished. An obligation is not "I want to own a successful company" because it has no lifelong purpose. A commitment will never really be completed and you will work towards it for many years.
3. It is personal. Although it is important to have a purpose in your company, your commitment is personal. This affects all areas of your life, including business, and the growth of your business.
Related: Communication purpose can create a boom in business
What is the difference between a goal and an obligation?
A goal is defined as a result that you strive for, define, plan, and then achieve. You have many short-term and long-term goals in life, but engagement goes beyond the long-term goal. It is not something that you finish, but something that you are constantly working towards.
How does an obligation help your company?
It helps you to concentrate. A lack of focus can be extremely detrimental to your business not only from day to day, but also on a larger scale. To be successful in your business and achieve the goals of each day, month and year, you need to focus more than just a long time.
Warren Buffett's "2-List" strategy for focused attention is a perfect example of focus: define your priorities and eliminate the rest. Write down your goals and then circle the top five. Then you not only prioritize them, but eliminate the rest.
Commitments help you build this list and then define your top 5. When you focus on engagement, you can focus on every project and goal in your business, as all lead to what you focus on the most. If something doesn't match your commitment, get rid of it.
Engagement helps you set goals and achieve them
A commitment is lifelong; It is something that you may never fully achieve. However, you can set goals to get closer to your commitment. The goals and success of your company depend on your commitment.
My leadership trainer, Jose Bolanos, who trains managers to make “noble commitments”, describes goals as “islands on the horizon”. Before you reach a shore, swim from island to island and focus on something closer to you on your way to the distant mainland.
These islands are steps towards your commitment and become your goals. Commitments are important to your business goals because they define what those goals will be and give them a greater purpose.
As a business owner, it is easier to develop goals for yourself and your company if you create them as part of a commitment. Rather than defining your success in terms of money, which we know can be volatile, defining it for a larger purpose helps you stay afloat in difficult times and redirect accordingly.
Commitment gives your company a higher purpose
As I said, it is important for business to have a higher purpose. Companies on purpose are more successful and outperform the stock market by 42 percent according to the 2018 Global Leadership Forecast.
Since your company should theoretically be an extension of you and your life, your personal commitment should influence the purpose of your company and contribute to success. If your commitment was: "I want to influence others", your company's commitment should reflect this and put it into practice.
Engagement makes you a better leader
The division of your life does not contribute to the success of your company. Who you are and what you do as an individual should and will influence your professional life and thus the lives of others.
A personal commitment that you combine with the purpose of your company will combine your personal development and the growth of your company. If you work on yourself as an individual, you will become a better manager because your goal is directly linked to your company's vision.
How do you find and define an obligation?
The definition of an obligation results from answering three questions:
1. What do you want? To discover your commitment, you have to define what you want. A commitment will be scary (and if not, you may be doing something wrong) and will need to change.
2. Why is that important? To return to the importance of the purpose, studies found that people who helped others felt that they had more meaning in life and therefore lived a better life. Engagement should be important to you, your community, and the world.
3. Who is it useful for? It's okay if the answer is just you for now, but you'll find that your engagement, especially if it becomes part of your management, affects many people. If it's part of your purpose to influence people, this answer is even easier.
Related: 5 ways that entrepreneurs can combine profit and purpose
Do not be tempted to make a journey of self-discovery from the search for an obligation. Your company (and you) need a commitment earlier. Instead, quickly define a commitment, work on it, and develop it further.