Better late than never …

… or so they say.  I let you decide.

One of the problems of being a business owner is the lack of accountability.  Apart from customer work, if we don’t do something we’re usually only letting ourselves down, and we don’t seem to mind doing that.   So customer work always takes priority and working on our business usually gets pushed to the bottom of the pile.

I apologise if I’ve said this before, but it’s really important to find ways of being accountable to make sure things get done.

This comes to mind for me this week because of my lateness in getting this email to you. 

Many people have asked me if I actually write the emails each week and I do.  However, one of my lovely VAs, Natalie, sends the email out on a Tuesday afternoon.  I have found that, as well as relieving my work load, it actually makes me do it (9 times out of 10) because I know that if I don’t have the copy in Dropbox by a Tuesday lunch-time she’ll be chasing me for it (as she did this week).

I’m sure I’ve also mentioned before about my business buddy call every Friday afternoon – again a mechanism to make sure I do stuff as I have to report back to someone (as we would if we were employed).

The most important thing is implementation.  We can have the greatest ideas in the world, but if we don’t do stuff to make them happen, they are still just great ideas.  If you struggle to get things done then have a think about how you can put some accountability in place to ensure you do what really needs doing, not just the things that shout the loudest.

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Where do you keep your whip?

One of the biggest problems I find with working for yourself if not having a boss.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being my own boss and I’m not sure, after 8 years of working for myself, that I’m employable any more.  However, the downside of not having a boss is the lack of accountability.

I’m certain we all get our customer’s work done, we have accountability for that from our customers, but it’s the stuff we should be doing for our business that’s too easy to put to one side when it gets busy – and there’s no-one to ask us why we haven’t done it and when it will be completed.

I had a conversation with someone a couple of weeks ago about how their blog was late going out again, and how good I am at getting my email out each week.  On reflection I realised that there is, in reality, only one reason that this email comes out regularly each week.

Interestingly, it’s not because I have a boss cracking the whip, it’s because I have a VA who has time set aside each week to send this email out on a Tuesday afternoon.  There are many weeks that I don’t know what I’m going to write about and I know that if I was sending the email myself it just wouldn’t get done.  But because I have someone else involved in the process, I know that I have to get something onto Dropbox by Tuesday morning so that she can get it sent out.

I have other forms of accountability set up at a more strategic level but I’ve realised over the last couple of weeks that from a practical, getting things done point of view, having other people involved in your processes is also a really good form of accountability. 

For those of you who have teams (in-house or outsourced) I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from.  If you’re someone that’s working on your own and struggling to keep things going, I would really advocate getting someone else involved, even if it is just outsourcing some things to a VA.  It’s really helped me to keep things happening that I know from experience have fallen by the wayside in the past.

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