Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Commitment Levels

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” Anonymous

Once your business plan is done you should have outlined just how much work is going to be involved in it. This is when you need to get everyones commitment levels locked in. This is advice I would really liked to have got for a couple of my initial ventures. It is really easy for everyone to over commit initially when things are new, exciting and full of prospect. The fact of the matter is, that being part of a startup is hard. Trust me on that one.

There is no space for excuses, lethargy or complacency at a serious startup. If you require balance or clearly defined work, home and friends time, a startup may not be the best place for you. I think this point has to be driven in really well at the beginning, especially if you are going into business with friends and family. The reason for this is that later on it is much harder to tell someone off when they are not contributing enough or their productivity levels are not at par.

Maybe I am a little harder on this fact as compared to others. Having been in partnerships where your partners don’t perform is irritating. At the same time no clear commitments were set early on so you can’t say anything as well. Tackling this problem right from the start you should:

1. Set up areas a partner is responsible for.

2. Set clear goals and milestones to be achieved.

3. Set clear time requirements which need to be dedicated.

4. Set performance reviews on a regular basis to appraise performance.

When you have a system in place where everyone is accountable for certain actions you create an environment which is result oriented. If your division isn’t hitting its goals or milestones the responsibility falls on you.

Make sure everyone signs up for as much as they can handle. Don’t say stuff like I will handle Sales & Marketing for the company. Tell everyone what your plans are for the division, how they will executed, what is required from the rest of the team and how much time you are going to dedicate to the division. Now you have a clear and measurable commitment.

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