The Commitment Engine Inspires Small Business Growth

The Commitment Engine“What are you committed to?”

After having several of these kinds of interactions, it’s become clear to me that no one is really sure what commitment is or what it looks like.  But we are all really sure that it’s important to have commitment both in our businesses and as part of our lives.  So where does commitment come from, how do we harness it and in what ways can we generate an environment of commitment inside of our business?

These are all the questions that John Jantsch (@ducttape) answers in his latest book, The Commitment Engine: Making Work Worth It.   This book comes as a follow-up to John’s last book, The Referral Engine.   It’s interesting to see how Jantsch has taken his thought process and translated it into two powerful books.

In The Referral Engine, Jantsch gives readers dozens of examples of how “main street” small business owners have used creative referral strategies to generate new customers and grow their businesses.  The Commitment Engine takes a deeper gaze into what makes some businesses worth referring – and according to Jantsch, it’s the commitment engine that drives the success  of these businesses.

What Drives The Commitment Engine?

The book is divided up into three distinct parts:

  • The Path, where you’ll explore clarity of purpose, passion and the strategies you’ll use to bring your purpose to life in your work.
  • The Patron, you’ll learn how to become the supportive leader who pulls all these characteristics together inside your business.
  • The Promise is the section of the book where all of these elements come together to create a powerful brand where your customers experience your characteristics of commitment that contribute to customer loyalty and ultimately effortless profitability.

The Craftsmanship Meme Is A Trend To Watch

Every now and then, especially in the fall when a flurry of new books is released, I can see these patterns emerge and “craftsmanship” is a pattern to watch for in the next year.  Cal Newport talked about it in his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You and Jantsch is making the same point here in The Commitment Engine.

Jantsch gets downright spiritual in this book.  Don’t roll your eyes just yet – Jantsch isn’t waxing philosophically for no reason.  He’s done his research and he’s telling small business owners that it’s the internal stuff that counts.  Take a peek at this snippet from a section called “What I know for sure about work” where he outlines several points that talk about what he’s learned over the last 25 years of running his own business.

Here are just a few of the points:

  • Do work you’re proud to finish
  • Serve customers you respect
  • Give wins to everyone
  • Learn from challenges
  • Grow through trust
  • Hire your blind spots
  • Become and elevator
  • Throw away the scorecard
  • Understand hat culture equals brand
  • Let people help you

This book is filled with many, many more examples and stories of this kind.   Here’s how Jantsch describes the difference between his other books and The Commitment Engine:

“My first two books, Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine focused primarily on the systematic creation of marketing. In this book I’ve added my own twenty-five plus years of experience as a business owner and that of dozens of successful business owners to tackle the subject of building a fully alive business inside and out.”

In fact, you can see that The Commitment Engine is a representation of Jantsch’s commitment to craftsmanship and all the points he’s made above.  His first book “Duct Tape Marketing” spoke to the essence of so many small business marketing folks and I’d go so far to say that it launched the DIY Marketing movement (of which I’m such a fan J).

Jantsch has grown that “Duct Tape” brand into a licensed consulting system and online media publication.   Then he’s engaged the community he built into the research that has yielded both The Referral Engine and The Commitment Engine.

How Will The Commitment Engine Help You Grow Your Business?

I can imagine that you’re sitting there saying something like this to yourself:

“That’s just great, I’m all for it – but how is this going to help me build my business?”

All I can say to that is – This is a book by John Jantsch.  He’s in the business of building businesses on a budget.  He’s written two preceding books that will give you the task lists and the strategies – but The Commitment Engine gives you the heart and soul behind growing your business.

We all know that we don’t buy things – we buy promises, we buy from people we like who are like us.  And The Commitment Engine will help you identify your secret sauce – that thing that gives your business the unique flavor that sets it apart from others and makes your ideal customer choose you

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Ivana Taylor - Book Editor


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is Book Editor for Small Business Trends and publisher of DIYMarketers , where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is the President of Third Force, Inc., a marketing firm that specializes in getting your ideal customer to choose you. Ivana is the book editor for Small Business Trends and co-author of the book "Excel for Marketing Managers."

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