commitmentRisk is important. And failure is just as important. We’re in a new world here, folks. Fortune most definitely favors the brave. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Today, I want to write about commitment. Leadership, success, money and opportunity – all of those ideas and realities are about commitment. I’ve been in the business world ever since I was 15 years old. I was just a kid when I started out selling shoes. I loved it. It didn’t take me long to realize this was what I wanted to do. I committed to it.

Sure, some people told me at the time that I should go to college. In order to be successful, you need to go to college, they would tell me. I don’t begrudge anyone who went to school and wanted to educate him or her self that way. I didn’t go to college, but that didn’t stop me from being successful.

Why? Because I was committed.

When I realized I wanted to be in the footwear business, I committed to it. Some people told me when I was a kid that I wouldn’t amount to anything. How anyone can say that to a kid is beyond me. But, still someone – a teacher – said it to me. Thankfully, I had the support of another teacher, Mrs. Busch who told me I could do anything. Fortunately, I also had a great mom and dad who showed me what perseverance and commitment meant.

Listen, I’m not special. I’ve been successful in life and I’ve failed. But always, always, always, I’ve been committed to whatever I was doing.

I’m a tall guy. 6’4”. When I walk into a room, you notice me simply because of the physical space I occupy. But, I also talk a lot and people have said I have a big personality to go with the large frame. That’s how I lead. It works for me, but it won’t work for you because you’re not me. And, I’m not you.

I believe in going big. Even if something starts or remains small, we go big with vision. We work hard. We look to be the best. We look to have everyone know us as “number 1”. That’s the way I work with my teams. They know we’re always looking to dominate and be the best in our industry. We work with nonprofits and businesses every day and we’re always looking to provide absolute excellence.

I’m committed. My team is committed. You can’t be the best without committing 100 percent. You can’t be excellent without committing 100 percent. You can’t be a true leader without committing 100 percent.

People don’t care if you succeed. And, people don’t care if you fail, so long as you get up. What they do care about is commitment. Succeeding shows commitment. You’re willing to practice, motivate and get up every day and do it again. That’s how success comes. Success comes through failure. This is life. Success never happens without some sort of failure. Nothing’s perfect.

Work teams, customers and people want to be a part of something big. They want to be a part of a big vision or operation, even if you only have a handful of employees and never grow to become a multi-national.

When I’ve made a decision, even if it turned out to be the wrong one, I’ve committed to it. There’s been no, “Let me dip my toe in the water and see if it works.” I’ve always been about being “all-in”.

Life is to be lived with gusto. Leadership is meant to inspire. You can’t do either without a full commitment to it.

What are you committing to today?


Author of “The Rise and Fail of Charities In the 21st Century: How The Nonprofit World Is Changing And What You Can Do To Be Ready”.


© 2015 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.