We all like to get rewards, don’t we? Our addiction to loyalty cards and apps says it all. But are we living in an age when we prioritise flexibility and instant gratification over commitment and long-term rewards? We spoke to Elliott Rae, Founder of Musicfootballfatherhood.com about what it takes to turn a good idea into a thriving business. He should know; Elliott’s grown Musicfootballfatherhood.com from a seed of an idea into an award-winning blog reaching hundreds of dads across the UK. Here’s what he has to say.
The dip is where your commitment really counts
“We have so many choices nowadays; everything is so accessible. It’s so easy to do something and equally easy to stop doing it. As a result, our minds are all over the place. Having options is a great place to be. But we must harness it properly and this takes self-discipline and commitment.” For Elliott, the beginning of something is the easy part. “I know serial business starters–they only do it for 6 months. The first part is exciting. Everyone supports you. But when the dip comes, instead of pressing on they give up and start something new.” For Elliott, the dip is where your commitment counts. This is the time to resist the temptation to give up, to see it through and work hard.
The same is true for relationships
For Elliott, the same principle applies to relationships. Starting something new is fun and exciting, but it’s just as easy to start something as it is to give up. We easily believe the grass is greener; we open our dating apps and survey our options. But underneath, everyone has their issues. Like in business, the key to relationships is to stick it out through the harder times. He says “I hope my daughter sees my wife and I commit to each other over the years. Carrying on through the ‘downs’ and the ‘ups.’” Elliott talks about how he watched his parents over the years continuously choose commitment. “They sacrificed for each other, and now they’re reaping the benefits.”
Push through the fear of wasting time
Elliott acknowledges that there is always an element of risk in commitment. “The thing about commitment is that you don’t know that it will work. When we fear wasting our time, the temptation to give up is stronger. But making a thing work means you have to push through the fear, have faith in what you’re doing and potentially waste your time. But it really can pay off.”
Commitment is about your daily choices
When we review what we’ve done – whether in business or relationships – we can forget that the result we’re looking at comes from what we’ve put in every day. It’s easy to underestimate what we can do in a year and overestimate what we can do in a day. Elliott recommends thinking in small steps. “Each day you have choices – how much time you spend watching TV, eating chocolate, skiving off. If you can do a small bit of the thing you’ve committed to daily, even for 5 minutes, you’re doing commitment. And this is what it takes. At the end of the year, you’ll find you’ve made massive steps.”