“I will call you tomorrow!” She told me. And I waited. And waited.
She was ‘selling’ me on her services – graphics – and I was open to hearing her.
But no call, email or smoke signal ever followed those comments. It’s been weeks and I’ve since given the work ( and my money) to someone else.
Incidentally, the person I hired to do the work was quite different. I sent her an email asking about her services.
Do you see it?
The first woman might have as good or better graphic artist. She might have earned repeat business from me and had another source of revenue for years to come.
But she couldn’t do that one thing. The one thing that is an instant disqualifier to me.
She didn’t do what she said.
It was that I needed a response within minutes. It’s that she told me something, and didn’t do it.
So, I didn’t even have the chance to tell her about the work. She lost her opportunity, and more important, she lost my trust – and little chance for future work.
There are no little commitments.
Perhaps you think I’m being tough on her. Besides, you might think, it was just about a phone call, it wasn’t something ‘really important.’
“Crap!” I say.
There are no little commitments. You either have a habit of doing what you say, or you don’t. Either it’s important to you, or it’s incidental conversation.
You see, what I have learned is that your word matters – no matter how big or small you think something is – your word is on the line.
And more importantly, I learned that when I don’t follow through on my word, I lose trust with myself – and that’s worse. It affects self-esteem and my belief in my own abilities.
I’m very careful with my language so I remain very clear. I use ‘qualifiers’ most of the time. I am very careful not to make too many commitments, because when I commit, I follow through.
So, saying “I’ll call you tomorrow” is no different than saying “I promise.” Now, had she said, “I’m booked solid tomorrow, but I’ll do my best to call you. If I don’t, when is another good time to call?”
That would have been very different.
But she didn’t. She lost my trust. She lost my business.
No matter how big or small. Do what you say you’re going to do. Be careful with your language. Don’t over commit.
Once you have a few successful commitments, you’ll start seeing your self-esteem skyrocket. And your business? It will take off. When people know they can count on you. Good things start flowing your way.
PS – The Power Module has a great piece on developing rock-solid commitments. And it’s fun to do. Click here to learn more.