Accountability makes all the difference between quitting and success. There are three types of accountability I use to stay on task in my small business. Accountability to self, a mentor and peers. When you hold yourself accountable on multiple levels, it’s REALLY hard to fail. Having layers of accountability helps me see plans through to completion and keeps me grounded. And most often, the things I create are MUCH better than anything I could do solo.
Accountability to Self
I read and listen to a lot about accountability and rarely hear people talk about being accountable to your highest self. But this type of accountability has been the biggest driving force for me.
When work or life gets tough and chaotic, it’s really difficult to make good decisions in the moment. When you’re struggling, it’s easy for your animal brain to kick in, rather than making progress and living fully. Knowing ahead of time what you value and how the best version of you would make decisions is HUGE!
I am a person who likes organization, systems and clarity. When I have those things in place, I feel really free to create things and work hard. So naturally, in order to stay accountable to myself, I created a system.
When I was going through a rough patch in a not-so-great relationship, I made a list of my top values as a human: curiosity, mindfulness, health, integrity, connection and ease. When I get in a rut or start to feel apathetic, tense or just have a bad day, my go-to move is to ask myself if I’m living out my values. When I remember to do this, I’m able to course correct if needed, take a break or reach out to a friend to become more connected to the version of myself I want to be.
Now it’s your turn to create a plan. What’s important to you? How would the best version of you act under stress? What do you value? Write it out and post it somewhere you see every day. Seriously. Before reading the next section, put down your phone or computer and write that shit down. Put it in your wallet, on your mirror, save it as your phone background...just make sure you see it ALL the time so that it becomes the default.
Accountability to a Mentor
There will always be people who are more experienced or more knowledgeable than you are. And there are two ways to look at that: either we fall into the inferiority trap or we get curious and learn as much from them as possible. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of the latter.
And the cool thing is...people LOVE giving advice. People LOVE being helpful. People LOVE being generous.
When you ask for help from someone a little further along, a couple of things happen. First, you’re going to learn hard lessons the easy way. You’ll have someone that can foresee obsticals in your path and have your back when hard things happen. Secondly, if you’re anything like me, you add some spark to your own inner drive to impress.
You will run into snags and roadblocks on your way to your goal. That’s just part of doing great work. But when you have a mentor who’s been there, those roadblocks seem much smaller and you are more equipped to tackle them well. Learn from those who’ve done similar things and who may have the knowledge or skill set to help you get you to the finish line.
Contact one or two people who may be suitable mentors for your particular project or for your larger vision. Often times there are local organizations that even offer mentorship at no cost!
Accountability to Peers
Surround yourself with people who are in a similar spot or trying to accomplish similar things. It’s so helpful, when tackling a big idea, to know you’re not alone and to have the support of your community. This may come in the form of a professional organization, online group, or accountability buddy. If you’re going through the Academy I highly encourage you to participate in the private Facebook group and pair up with somebody at the same stage of this process. Here are my two favorite ways to get this type of accountability.
My friend Michelle is incredible. We both own small businesses and met when those businesses were in the same building. She’s a chiropractor and I‘m a movement coach. We’re both body nerds, have similar offices and struggle with a lot of the same feelings of fear and insecurity as we navigate small business ownership. So we meet every Monday to chat about it and support each other. I have no doubt that each of us is more successful having made time for these meetings.
While Michelle is a dear friend, we are careful to compartmentalize our meeting time for business-related topics. I would not recommend practicing this type of accountability on your couch with your BFF and a bottle of wine. This time is best spent discussing your goals, struggles, tasks and plans. It feels so great to make real progress and offer support at the same time. Bonus points if you can make it a regularly scheduled part of your week, even if it’s a phone call or video chat!
There’s nothing like the energy of a group of people who are all moving in the same direction. Mob mentality is real. So let’s use it for good! Find professional organizations or groups who are heading where you want to go. Find your people. Seek it out. Be a part of something bigger than yourself.
Every first Friday of the month, I head to F Bomb Breakfast Club where I drink coffee and listen to women business owners talk about everything from failure to finding investors. I leave feeling invigorated and have more momentum.
If you’re a part of the 1 Month Website Academy, the private Facebook group was created for just this reason. It’s a place for you to collaborate, get reenergized and feed off of the group energy. You may even find an accountability buddy while you’re there!
Find an accountability buddy or mastermind to join forces with! Seek out peer support and build energy together.
Let me know how you're doing!
Drop a comment about how you’re holding yourself accountable and what your big goal is! Let me know what you’re struggling with and how I can support you. Keep up the good work!