by Monica Shah
I woke up this morning to workout at 6:30 AM. Now for me that is quite a feat. I’m a nine hours of sleep kind of gal and it’s work for me to get in bed before midnight – there’s just too much fun to be had. But I’m learning to go to bed earlier.
And there’s only one reason this is happening. It’s not what you think. It’s not because I have a grand fitness goal. It’s not because I’m committed to my weight. Those are real reasons. But to be honest, they are not reason enough to get me up at 6:30 AM in the morning.
Here’s the reason: I committed to work out with a friend and she was waiting downstairs. I was accountable to her, and I wasn’t going to lose face – no matter how sleepy I was. I was five minutes late, because I hit the snooze button and mentally cursed my commitment. But the workout got done and it didn’t kill me.
I find that this is the missing ingredient for so many entrepreneurs – accountability. With no accountability – no one to pull us to our greatness – we will always reside within our comfort zone.
As humans we naturally gravitate to a place that is comfortable. And it takes herculean effort if we are trying to move out of our comfort zone alone.
But as Todd Henry says in the book Die Empty:
“You cannot pursue greatness and comfort at the same time…When you look back on your life, the moments you will be most proud of will likely be the ones where you stepped out of your comfort zone in pursuit of something you believe in. Don’t allow the lull of comfort to keep you trapped in a place of complacency and subpar engagement.”
Think for a moment about your greatest achievements. Most likely they didn’t happen at a time when you were totally within your comfort zone. They happened at moments when you were being pushed and often when you were being supported, mentored or coached.
I know in my own business accountability has played a huge role to help me cross the seven-figure mark this year. I am accountable to my mentor. I’m accountable to my mastermind colleagues. And I’m accountable to friends and family.
I can honestly say that without the need to “show up” for them – I wouldn’t have stepped through so many of my fears. At one point this year – I was so terrified to take a step in my business that I so dearly needed, that my mentor and I agreed that she would charge me an extra $5,000 if I didn’t meet the goal by a deadline. Yup, that put a fire under me – and yes I met that goal.
No matter where you are in your business – you need accountability. It keeps you focused, fired up and ready to face that new challenge. It also forces you to ask for help. If you don’t want to lose face, and you don’t know how to do something – you are going to tap your resources to figure it out.
How are you using accountability in your own business?
Yes, I realize that at the end of the day we are all accountable to ourselves. But there are always moments of weakness. Do you have someone to help pull you through those times when you just want to bow out?
Here are some suggestions to set up some accountability structures for yourself. They all work – see what fits for you.
1. Hire a business mentor who is willing to hold you to your goals.
The trick here is to find someone that cares more about your vision than being your friend or being liked.
Be clear with yourself – you are not in this to be friends with your mentor. You have other friends. You are here to be extraordinary. Let your coach be the one that reminds you of that goal when you forget.
2. Use group forums to create intentions. Join a group that has a common goal and is working towards it. Most groups have Facebook forums that connect people. Post what your goal is. Post your progress towards it. Let the public announcement of your intentions keep you focused and honest. Heck, you can even post your own consequences if you don’t reach your goals.
3. Join or create a group program that includes live events throughout the year. There is nothing more awesome for accountability and inspiration then watching your colleagues grow before you very eyes. It’s hard to hide behind “I can’t get this done” when you are watching other plow through their own fears.
4. Find an accountability partner of two. Work with someone each week to create goals and stick to them. Again – the key here is to find someone who is willing to give you tough love. Someone who isn’t looking for another friend – but who really wants to support your success. Another key is consistency – making sure you find someone who you can speak to each week regularly.
Take a moment and ask yourself this week:
Where am I shrinking away and not doing what I need to be doing?
How am I procrastinating?
Where am I not facing my fears?
And if the answers are longer than you might like – then it’s time for you to have more accountability in your business. You can do this. It’s just time you stopped trying to do this alone.