CEOs spend the majority of their time on mission critical activities – developing strategies and advising team members on how to best implement them. The CEO also coaches, encourages, and reviews employees.
But, the one major challenge facing a CEO is: Where do I turn for help? Who advises me? Who reviews my performance so I know whether or not I am doing well?
Whether you work for someone else or as a self-employed small business owner, accountability can make the difference between getting stuff done and not getting it done. It can also mean the difference between succeeding and not succeeding.
Accountability is important.
But small business owners don’t have managers tracking their progress or giving them performance reviews. Accountability needs to come from within. You have to pull your own weight when you’re self-employed or you won’t meet the needs of your customers—and you won’t keep up with the myriad of administrative and operational responsibilities that come with running a business. Fall short on either of those and you’ll be headed for trouble.
So how do you hold yourself accountable? Here are a few tips for keeping yourself on track:
- Set measurable goals for accomplishing work that’s critical to moving your business forward.(e.g., number of sales calls/emails you need to make, number of blog posts to write monthly, etc.)
- Create processes so you complete work consistently and accurately. Have a defined way of doing things.
- Plan your work and set deadlines. Don’t rely on your memory alone to recall what you need to do today or the next day or the day after that. Reserve time on your calendar to work on specific client projects, make phone calls, engage on social media, etc.
- Find a mentor. Having a mentor with whom you openly share your ambitions and progress can give you that extra nudge to put your nose to the grindstone. While you might fudge on follow through when you’re your only taskmaster, you might be more motivated to accomplish what you’ll say you’ll do if you have a mentor to report to.
Accountability: It’s all you!
Staying accountable to yourself as a self-employed professional takes discipline and effort. It’s not always easy as distractions happen and motivation wanes from time to time. The key is to remember how mission critical it is to the wellness of your business. If you, as the boss, don’t demonstrate responsibility for doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done, how can you expect anyone else to do so as your business grows? Accountability is everything.
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