Who are you accountable to?

One of the primary reasons entrepreneurs and independent business owners will fail is that they are not accountable to anyone! This is also one of the most overlooked reasons when they’re looking for someone or something to blame.

Many entrepreneurs and business owners come from the ranks of corporate and at some point, decide that they don’t want to “work for the man” anymore so decide they will go it on their own. They believe that they will have the freedom to do anything they want when they want. They believe that all they have to do is to raise some money, build their idea, work 15 hours a week and live the good life. But, rarely do they consider what being an entrepreneur or business owner really entails. Now I’ve written quite a lot about the necessary mindset of an entrepreneur/business owner, but we almost never talk about the differences in what you have with one and not with the other. As we all know; most corporate jobs have layer upon layer of accountability. Top down or bottom up there are layers of built in accountability. Even the CEO has a board of directors to be accountable to. But when you move from an intense accountability environment to owning your own business and having a low or no accountability environment, then bad things can happen. Many will think that one of the perks of business ownership is that you don’t have to be accountable to anyone, but only a fool would believe they can build a successful business with that attitude. I guarantee that it will soon bite you in the butt.

Every successful business owner has created an accountability structure for themselves as part of their strategic success plan. They know it’s imperative that they have someone who will honestly hold them accountable for their decisions and actions or in many cases, lack of action. This could be a business partner; a fellow business owner; a business coach or a spouse. It can be a very formal process or in my case, life just dictated accountability. Early on in my entrepreneurial journey I was a straight commission sales person. For those unfamiliar with the term, it just means that if you didn’t sell something you didn’t get paid and if you don’t get paid you don’t eat. So, my accountability system was my wife meeting me at the front door, with two babies in tow, asking me if I sold anything that day because we needed diapers and groceries. That my friends is accountability in its most basic form.

Sometimes, in my job as a business coach, my #1 coaching challenge is in holding clients accountable to creating and following a business plan or acting on strategies and tactics that we’ve agreed upon. Honestly, sometimes we all just need a good kick in the pants or someone to look you straight in the eye and ask why you didn’t do what you said you would do.

It’s easy to get lazy when no one is holding you accountable. It’s easy not to do a priority work plan for tomorrow. It’s easy not to read your goals every day. It’s easy to procrastinate writing that proposal that’s due in a couple of days. It’s simply easy to fail and it’s hard to succeed! Your first and most important step toward business success just might be establishing an accountability process for yourself, your team and your business. And then having the guts to deal with it, learn from it and reduce your mistakes and grow.

You just might be surprised at how much more you can succeed and how fast you can do it!

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