I’ve been working for myself as a writer for over two years. When I started writing full-time in 2018, I was excited to be my own boss. But there was something missing . . .
I didn’t miss the 1.5 hour-long commute. I didn’t miss having to leave the house at 7 A.M. every day to get to work on time. I didn’t miss the staff meetings, which went on for hours and never made me feel connected to our shared goals as a group.
But I really missed having coworkers and even supervisors to help me stay accountable. I’m an ambitious person. I set lofty goals for myself. Sometimes, I struggle to meet those goals. Especially when it’s just me, and I don’t have anyone to talk to about them.
Over time, I’ve learned some ways to find accountability as an entrepreneur, and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with you.
How I’m Holding Myself Accountable in My Business
Several months ago, at the beginning of the year, I met some new writer friends through a coaching program we were active in. Part of our assignment for the program was to set up weekly accountability calls. These calls served as a time for us to challenge and encourage each other to reach our goals.
While the coaching program has ended, our accountability calls continue. And I’m so glad. It’s helpful to discuss my entrepreneurial goals with someone outside my own head. I appreciate their feedback and support. They often tell me things I might not have thought of on my own.
For example, on hearing about my passion for writing case studies, one of my accountability partners recently suggested I consider ghostwriting memoirs. He said, “each chapter is basically a case study.” That’s a great way to think about memoirs, and it’s something I hadn’t considered before.
My writer friends and I also participate in “accountability sprints.” This is where we schedule a call, then call each other at the top of the hour to talk about what we’ll do during that hour. Then we end the call and each do our own thing.
At the end of the hour, we hop on another call to commiserate and celebrate each other’s challenges and victories. I love these sprints because they make me feel like I have coworkers I can check in with during the day. I feel more socially connected and motivated, knowing they’ll be there at the end of the hour expecting a report of how I did.
Steps to Finding Accountability as an Entrepreneur
- Set up a “staff meeting” of one. Yes, I’m serious. Set a date and time on your calendar, preferably once a week, to check in with yourself about your goals. Set an agenda. In other words, write down what you want to talk to yourself about. (You don’t have to talk out loud.) Write down issues you’re having and projects you’re stuck on. Then, at your “meeting”, tackle those issues.
- Find an accountability partner. This could be a friend or a coach. They each have their pros and cons. The biggest “pro” of seeking accountability from your friend is that it’s free, assuming you’re returning the favor. The con is that they might go easy on you for fear of hurting your feelings. Hiring a coach costs more, but the benefit is that you’ll get real accountability for your goals.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It takes guts to go after your dreams. With a little outside (or inside) help, you can pursue your goals with passion and purpose.