How to stay accountable when starting your business

There will be times that you feel the road is long and you may never get things off the ground the way you want to, and do you know what - that's OK! Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your business. If you want to avoid the complete loss of motivation and drive to move things forward, it's time to get accountable. 

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This of course is easier said than done, things will go well for a while,  you'll be excited to start your new business, and then you'll hit a wall (or in my case, many walls!) and things will grind to a halt. Suddenly everything else in your life becomes important, and you sense of your business ideas  and plans just slipping away as everyday life muscles in on your time. 

So how do you make yourself accountable when you are just starting out, when it's all up to you to keep the ideas burning and the work churning?

 

1. Tell someone, tell anyone! 

Tell a friend about your plans, or someone in a group that works on similar ideas to you. Telling someone your plans means you have put it out there and are more likely to do the work.

 

2. Turn up like a PRO! 

In his book 'The War of Art', Steven Pressfield describes the difference between an amateur and a pro. The pro doesn't make excuses like the amateur, she just gets on with the job. The pro doesn't make it all about her, she just gets on with the work. The pro doesn't think her art is her baby, she creates it and lets it go. The pro turns up every day, no matter what else is going on in her life, and gets shit done. No excuses, no arguing, no wringing of the hands about how crap her life is. She does the work. This is probably one of the most important books for entrepreneurs out there. Get it.

 

3. Get an accountability buddy

Find somebody who can make you accountable for the work you do. Tell them what you plan to do each week, and call them or catch up online once a week to discuss progress. You can be their accountability buddy too, challenge each other to keep moving forward with your business goals together. If you have a bad week, own it and look at where you can improve for the following week. 

 

4. No Distractions

It's so easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of life when you are planning to make changes in your life, suddenly the kitchen floor needs cleaning when you'd promised to sit down and write a blog, or you get sucked into Facebook, YouTube or Instagram when you should be outlining ideas for a new website design. Remove all distractions when you sit down to do the work. No excuses. You're a pro. 

 

5. Put a date on it

For every task you plan during the week or month, put a time line on when it needs to be done. Make yourself accountable for the time frames in question, and get it done. It's best to stick to one task at a time, multitasking is not advised if you want to get more done in a short time. 

 

6. Schedule it

Make a date every day with yourself to discuss progress and plan for the next day in advance. If you don't schedule the tasks, they might never happen. Make that appointment with yourself just like you would if you were having a team meeting as CEO of Google or Facebook, value your time and keep planning and moving ahead with your business plans. 

 

7. Be consistent

Accountability means being consistent, whether that is sending a newsletter every week to the 5 people on your email list, or learning new ways to market your courses to future clients, it's all about turning up and doing the work.

When you are starting out, it's all about simplicity and consistency, even 10 minutes a day focusing on your business ideas will be enough, that's 1 hour a week (taking one day off for a rest!), which is 4 hours a month, which is 48 hours a year - think of what you could achieve with 2 full days of planning, strategising and creating your business starting with just 10 minutes a day! It all adds up. 

 

Accountability is the only way to get your plans in action, it makes you step up and get the work done if you know someone else knows what you are planning. Alternatively, you need to be accountable to yourself at your daily meeting when you ask yourself 'So what did I do today to move forward with my business plans?'.

Baby steps, be consistent, keep it simple, you can do it. 

 

Action Step:

So what's the one thing you are going to start with make yourself accountable today? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Lynsey Hanratty

, County Dublin,