The life of a small business owner can be almost intoxicating in its power. But if you luxuriate in the sense of being bulletproof too long, your business will begin to show the ill effects. In order to keep your baby on a profitable upward track, a small business CEO would do well to learn how to hold themselves accountable for decisions, strategy, and operations.

Written goals are one important way to measure if we’re making progress or not. A small business owner is no different. Take the extra step to actually write a list of personal and business goals. Make the time frame as short or long as you like but make it at least a year including monthly breakdowns. Yes, include personal goals also. Often, a small business owner’s personal life is intrinsically tied to the business.


Owning a business can insulate you from others.   Don’t be afraid to break the pattern of always talking to the same people when issues arise. Tony the barber or Kathy the nail technician might offer a willing ear to bounce an idea off now and then. A fresh perspective can do wonders in providing feedback for your performance. Try it. Talk to someone different for a change.


You need someone with more experience and knowledge than yourself to evaluate your performance over time. This needn’t be a high-dollar expense either. Comb your network of friends and acquaintances. There’s probably someone who would be glad to push you to succeed for no more compensation than a nice lunch now and then.


Always Be Learning (ABL). A stagnant mind is an unaccountable and probably uninspiring mind. Discipline yourself to spend a certain amount of time each year exploring new ideas and techniques related to your industry. There’s always a cutting edge of thought, even if you’re just selling pens.  Make it your responsibility to stay ahead of the curve.  It doesn’t have to be a book. It could be a YouTube video or conference.


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“A wealthy person is simply someone who has learned how to make money when they’re not working.” – Robert Kiyosaki