What is accountability?
The pure definition of accountability is to accept responsibility. When you start your business you have to accept responsibility for every element of your business and the amount of responsibility you place on yourself is your choice. Do you stay in bed and watch the full Game of Thrones Boxset, do you think ‘I will just do the housework and then I will get down to it or do you decide I am going to spend the day getting real shit done? The basic question is how successful do you want your business to be? Or how much accountability are you willing to take on for your business?
There is a caveat to that. I am fully aware that when you start your business or if you make a decision to change the direction of your business you can sometimes feel like you are on a spinning wheel. Your head turns in every direction with all the things you need to do and all the ideas you want to execute.
A lot of the time you can end up being very busy doing not very much. So sometimes it can be difficult to know what needs to be the top priority to be accountable to complete and actually what doesn’t move your business forward very much.
Where to start?
Get an accountability coach
I always come at these blogs from a business perspective, but accountability comes at you from every element of your life. If you are trying to get healthy or organise your home or finances you could use the services of an accountability coach.
One of my amazing clients Sandie Fredriksson, The Healthy Habits Coach, bases her Method on changing your habits and one of the key steps in her Method, if you sign up with her, is that you are held accountable at every step of the way.
Sandie helps her clients to bed in new healthy habits and each client has to send her daily updates on their progress. Whilst many of her clients resist this at the beginning, in the end, this is one of the elements of the programme they really come to appreciate and cite for moving them forward and changing their habits, their health and therefore their lives.
If you invest in the services of a business coach (which I recommend you all do) they should help you to set targets and guide you in the right direction and most importantly hold you accountable for completing actions between each session and during the overall coaching programme.
When I completed Daniel Priestley’s KPI course, on day one the table you sat at was the table that became your accountability group for the 9 months of the programme and we were held accountable for making the groups work. Some groups did not work their accountability groups and they suffered because of it, others really worked and used the group and the difference in success was noticeable.
Accountability tests you but stay with it?
I have to tell you, it is not one of my favourite parts of my life. I have had to work at being held accountable as the worst part of being a control freak can rear its ugly head. However, I had to work on myself and learn to accept the concept of accountability.
It can be hard because you have to face your own excuses when someone holds you accountable.
So brace yourself because your shit can come up when you are really held accountable. A good coach or a good accountability friend will really make sure you do what you say you are going to do it.
Shit can get real some days but it pushes you outside your comfort zones so stick with it.
Get yourself an AFF
Whether you are not ready to get a coach (although I suggest you push yourself) or actually it might not be the type of coach you have (again people get coaches for many reasons) or you may have a coach that holds you accountable but may feel you need a little extra or different help in certain areas you may want to get yourself an Accountability Friend Forever.
Mine is the amazing @londonwebgirl Cheryl Laidlaw. Ours actually came about by accident because about once a month Cheryl and I meet up and learn together and we signed up to do a particular online course where each module was released each week.
So every week Cheryl and I would Skype and watch the module together and we started to hold each other accountable to achieve the actions set in the course. We found that we really enjoyed it. So we have carried it on and every week we meet over Skype and talk about our business and check in with each other and kick each other if we are not doing what we have agreed what we said we would do.
Unlike a mastermind group, I would keep your accountability group small, one to one works really well.
Set a time and stick to it. Whether you do an hour a week or meet for breakfast once a month. No messing with the time. If your AFF is not prepared to stick to a time then they are not going to be the best as an AFF to hold you accountable.
Agree how tough you are going to be with each other. I suggest tough.
Be prepared to hold your AFF accountable. Be prepared to be tough with them if they have not done what they have agreed to do.
Be prepared to take it back. You have to be able to take what you are.
Do the right thing at the right time
It is hard to when you spend days on your own feeling like you are trying to work out which way is up and you need to do what you can to achieve what you want and the power of accountability is one of the best ways to do it.
Running your business is not about being busy all the time, it is about being smart and creating processes and working on the right thing at the right time. That is an important part of the accountability process.
Do you have an AFF in mind?
Well in this blog I am going to hold you accountable to find and approach your AFF and set your own rules in place.