Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Regnier Institute. The opinions expressed in this commentary are the author’s alone. Dr. Tony Mendes is a teaching professor with UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management, and a managing director for UMKC’s Regnier Institute.
You’ve probably met at least one person in your life who has said “I would really like to ____.”
Bloch VentureHub Entrepreneurial Workshop Series
Interested in learning more about how commitment affects your success in starting and growing a new business?
Join Dr. Tony Mendes May 14-15 at the UMKC Bloch VentureHub to learn and apply his research-backed framework for measuring and applying commitment as a tool for growth in your own business.
Click here for more details and to sign up:
This might be “I would really like to start my own business,” “I would really like to be my own boss,” or “I would really like to go back to school.” Maybe you’ve even found yourself saying these phrases, or some variation of them.
So what’s the difference between people who “would really like to _____” and those who actually go out and do it?
Commitment seems to have lost its importance in today’s modern, disposable, single-use society, but commitment is critical for success in many realms of life, including in starting a business.
Have you committed to something before and it didn’t work out? Do you know why? There are many ways we trick ourselves psychologically into not doing something. However, we can also take some steps to make sure that we fully commit ourselves to the goals we set — including pursuing that idea for a new business that you’ve had knocking around in your head for a few years.
Do you know the key factors that determine if your commitment to starting and growing a company will last?
One of these key factors is vision. Do you have a clear and comprehensive vision for your company?
Research shows that founders who do have a clear and comprehensive vision for what their company will become are also more likely to remain committed to launching and growing the business.
It’s also critical that this be a shared vision — the key people who are helping you start your new business, such as co-founders, should share in this vision so that they are similarly committed. Success in starting a new business doesn’t stem only from your actions — there are many people and organizations surrounding you who will be vital to your success, too. You will need to hire employees, you will need strong partnerships with distributors and retailers if you have a physical product, you will need a good and trustworthy accountant, and much more.
How can you inspire commitment in these key supporters of your new business, too?
Another key factor relates to integration. The most committed new business founders integrate their commitment across their thoughts, words, and behaviors — in short, they fully believe and act in a way that demonstrates their commitment to starting and growing their nascent business.
Dr. Tony Mendes is a teaching professor with UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management, and a managing director for UMKC’s Regnier Institute. Dr. Mendes is also the author of “Inspiring Commitment: How to Win Employee Loyalty in Chaotic Times,” a book that shows research-backed, concrete ways for how companies can improve performance through effective goal maintenance, decision-making, and team building.