Make the Switch from Soft Commitments to Hard Commitments

I want to address the difference between a hard commitment and a soft commitment and how switching from soft to hard commitments can literally change your business, change your life, change everything for you.

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Planning vs Execution

How many times have you created a strategic plan, only to find out that you do not stick to it? For example, you create a content plan and say, “Okay, I’m going to release two videos a week and I’m going to do one webinar, etc.” You look at your plan and think, “Wow man, this is such a great plan and this will grow my business. This will really create more income and more awareness.” Then three days later, you already failed on the first step of the plan.

This happens to entrepreneurs a lot. Most of them, including myself, create a great strategic plan, which looks amazing on paper, but we wake up different every day, with different ideas and different feelings. We are not built to do the same thing every day. It is just not who we are. As a result, when we create a plan like that, often it does not work because we do not follow through.

I know a lot of people who are great planners but poor executors. I am a poor executor myself. I can create a great plan today and think, “Wow man, that’s a great plan.” However, if I have to rely on my own discipline and willpower to execute this plan on a consistent basis, I will fail and it will not get done.

If you want to create a great plan with the guarantee that you will execute it, you have to make a hard commitment.

Two Types of Commitments Explained

There are two types of commitments that you can make.

One is a soft commitment, which is feel-good thinking or positive thinking. “Today I am inspired. I’m going to do this.” Then when something happens, a headache or a bad day, you are like, “Eh, screw the plan.” That is a soft commitment and 99% of the time, it does not work.

The other is a hard commitment. A type of commitment is one that you set up in such a way that you can’t not do it. There is a system and a support plan that keeps you firm in your commitment.

Most entrepreneurs are high on willpower and low on discipline. If you give them a mountain, they will move it; but, if you give them an every day task, they will struggle to do it.

If you give an entrepreneur a hard commitment—for example, a deadline that must be met — someone is depending on it — they will get it done. They must have not only someone depending on it, but also someone on the team who is assisting in the execution of vital parts of the plan.

An example in my case: I have a three day event and I know for a fact, without a doubt, that I will be prepared before the event; but if I had to create the material for the event three months ahead rather than three days, I know for a fact I wouldn’t do it. During the event, I am going to do a webinar, so I have to finish the text for the webinar and send it to the person who is doing my planning — the person who is executing my planning and is depending on me to do my part. I do not feel like creating the copy for the webinar, but because I have another person waiting for it and he is responsible for creating the webinar, I have to do it. That is a hard commitment.

“Quite the soft commitments and start implementing hard commitments.”

The same thing goes for your health. Another example, I really love going to the gym, but I also have a business, relationships, my family, my friends, my hobbies and other things. So going to the gym is not always a priority. If I make a soft commitment to myself, “Yeah I have to go to the gym because I’ll feel great and I’ll become stronger and healthier, etc.,” I can delay it because there are other important things. However, I have a personal trainer four times a week. That is a hard commitment — I cannot not go. I will never skip a session because I am busy. It is just not who I am, and my trainer would not allow it. That is a hard commitment.

Outsource the Discipline

When I make a hard commitment, I outsource the discipline. So in the case of going to the gym, I outsource the discipline by hiring a personal trainer. It guarantees me for the next year that I will hit it hard in the gym 200 times, because he depends on me to be there.

The same thing goes for family time. In two weeks, I go to the States with my wife and my daughter. It may not fit my schedule business-wise to leave right now, in the middle of the growth we are experiencing, but we booked the tickets months in advance, so it is a hard commitment.

If you really want to be the architect of your life, you must have good times where you plan your life. Times when you think about things such as, “How do I want to be health-wise? How do I want to be family-wise? How do I want to be marketing-planning-wise?” all those things, and quit the soft commitments and make the hard commitments.

By making hard commitments, you cannot go back. That is the cool thing, being an entrepreneur. If we create something we cannot go back on, if we burn our bridges, we will always figure it out. It is what makes us thrive. It gives us a certain amount of stress, but not the bad type of stress. If you are an entrepreneur that already makes a lot of money and you want to grow as an entrepreneur, make a hard commitment part of your learning process.

Start making those hard commitments and everything will change for you. Your life be improved and will never be the same again.

If you enjoyed this article, please let me know by leaving a comment below or send me a Tweet @EelcoDeBoer. 

 

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  • 25 April 2015
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