Long before I heard business people talking about accountability I had a system that I created which worked well for me. Today a lot of entrepreneurs go to workshops and online to learn about the things they already have been doing but maybe didn’t look at it from a business perspective.
Even as a student, I had to find a way to do things and complete my tasks. I was supporting myself so there was no parent who I had to report to, but I did have to tell somebody.
For a long while I was doing it on my own, at least those daily things. Even then, I had to make a deal with myself that I would finish this list of tasks and reward myself afterwards. So in a way I didn’t have a person who I was accountable to, but myself. But now when I look back, it wasn’t just me.
Accountability brings rewards
This is how I functioned most of the time. I would make plans with friends to go out, do or see something. This in my head was a reward and they were the people I was accountable to. Even though they didn’t know it. I was determined to finish what I said I would by the time I had to meet them. Most of the times I would even tell them what I was doing and what I accomplished. This might sound weird and selfish in a way but I killed two birds with one stone. I caught up with them, telling them what is current, they are my friends after all and I like for them to know what I do. On the other hand, I also confirmed with myself, out loud, that I did those things and checked whether I was on a good path. This is what worked until recently.
What happened once I went into action to start my own business?
This is when I discovered a whole new level of accountability. I wanted to continue using my system, but an error happened.
Discovering my accountability partner
There was an overload. I just couldn’t keep up and became more frustrated. I still haven’t figured out why, but something was telling me that it had to do with a much faster pace. Things were happening all the time. My learning curve was distorted. I was everywhere, networking events, researching, testing, speaking with potential collaborators, supporters, all at once. I needed to find someone who could keep me in check. Would that be an online tool, a partner, a group, a coach, a mentor? How would I go about finding one? It is not like you go shopping for accountability partner.
This is where I got introduced to the Personal Accountability Tracker with the Entrepreneur Academy. John was my mentor (and still is) and he got me to plan long and short term. Even though I was accountable to my own plan in a way, the structure was very helpful. I also got support from a group of other people who were in the same boat so that was an added value.
Interestingly enough, I now formed a group of entrepreneur friends and we keep each other in check.
So what system do you use to get things done?