What comes to mind when you think of the word entrepreneurship?
Before you answer, really think about it.
- Do you think of the freedom it has to offer?
- Do you consider the risk that’s involved?
- Do you admire the leadership that’s needed?
- Or maybe you imagine the thrill of innovation and making a dent?
Whatever it is, there’s usually one word that’s not discussed when the topic of entrepreneurship comes up, and that is accountability.
Don’t get me wrong… I get it.
Accountability is NOT sexy.
I doubt many people are searching online right now for more blog posts, or videos about how to become more accountable. But without accountability it will be nearly impossible to achieve your goals.
Let’s begin by defining what accountability is. And what accountability is not.
Having your end-goals known by people you value. There’s nothing wrong posting your goals on social media, or YouTube for the world to see, but it’s also important for the people within your inner circle to know your goals too.
A verbal commitment to your goals – this can be between you and someone else.
Owning your mistakes – yes, you will make mistakes on your road to achievement. Lots of ’em!
Having someone, or a group of people that will ask you about your goals and support you in achieving them.
Accountability is the business advantage you need, simply put.
Accountability is not…
Writing your goals down and then keeping them to yourself. It’s impossible to be accountable if you’re the only one that knows about them.
The biggest reason is that you’ll easily be able to let yourself off the hook at any time, without anyone knowing about it.
Making excuses for why you’re not able to hit your goals – let’s be honest. It’s going to be impossible to achieve your goals without making mistakes. This doesn’t mean you’ll never slip or fail, but entrepreneurs being held accountable don’t focus on the excuses.
They focus on what they can learn, and what their next step is.
Measuring your success against others: Thanks to social media!
Why Accountability Trumps Willpower
It’s easy to feel motivated at the beginning of a project.
No mistakes have been made… yet.
No challenges have been encountered… yet.
You’re still feeling the “buzz” of starting something new.
But what happens when the challenges start showing up?
How do you ‘do the work’ when the motivation has faded?
Typically this is where entrepreneurs turn to their willpower (and caffeine!) to help them power through. But that only goes so far.
What makes accountability so powerful is that your goals now have a voice. Something that people pay attention to. Something that you ‘put out there’.
This comes in the form of conversations with people in your trusted inner-circle who are allowed (and asked) to bring up your goals and ask how your progressing. This means openly sharing BOTH progress and failure with your audience and social circle.
All of which contributes to the desire of not wanting to let anyone down, and fulfilling your word.
None of which happens if you keep your goals to yourself.
This happened to me recently. I attempted to launch a high-end mastermind version of my successful Youpreneur Community. High price, private coaching, monthly commitment, etc. Even though I knew from speaking with many of my members that they wanted something like this, I was off target on what they could afford. So, the launch failed.
But, it genuinely didn’t bother me all that much. Why? Because I held held myself accountable by promising people it was coming. And, more importantly… when it failed, I talked about it – which opened up a load of brilliant conversations and feedback that has now helped me develop something new, which will be launched soon, and I know the likelihood of it ‘hitting’ this time far outweighs the changes of it ‘missing’ the target.
How To Bring Accountability into Your Life
Becoming accountable is no different than growing muscles.
It doesn’t happen by accident. You must be intentional about becoming accountable. This begins by surrounding yourself with likeminded individuals that get you, the mission that you’re on as a business builder, and will stand by you in your pursuit of business success. The perfect example is my Round Table Mastermind, or the aforementioned Youpreneur Community, which continues to grow month in, month out.
It takes resistance training. Every time you encounter a fork in the road on whether you should go in the direction of your goals, or take the easy way out – it’s an opportunity to develop your accountability.
Proper nutrition intake. Just like your body needs nutrition to grow, your ability to become more accountable is dependent on the thoughts and environment you feed yourself. Being aware of this and making the proper adjustments can be life-changing. Read. Listen to podcasts and always be learning.
So with that said, you can start today. You do this by identifying the people in your life that can hold you accountable – in turn creating the business advantage you need.
Here’s a few ideas to begin with:
A mastermind group.
A personal best friend.
A coach, or mentor.
Bruce Lee once said “As you think, so shall you become”.
Think. Put yourself out on that ledge a little.
The most important thing to remember when choosing an accountability group, or person is that you’re 100% honest with them about what you want to accomplish, share the areas of weakness in your life that will be your biggest obstacles and then remain 100% honest about your progress.
With these steps in place your business will change, your life will change, and you will become nothing less than the best version of yourself in the process.