I used to listen to a podcast (imagine that) in which the host would always ask the same question right off the bat – “As an entrepreneur, can you tell me – what is the ONE THING that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your successes so far?”
And the guests would do one of two things every single time. They’d either make some sort of excuse as to why business is more complicated than that and how could they ever “dumb it down” to just one thing?
Or, they’d know exactly what the biggest contributor to their success is, without blinking an eye.
This always fascinated me. I used to listen to this podcast while schlepping myself to my corporate job and back. So at the time, I had no idea what it was like to actually, by definition, be an entrepreneur.
But that didn’t stop me from trying to answer the question, of course. (Us entrepreneurs can be stubborn like that.)
Back then, I figured the biggest contributor to my success thus far in life was my high-achiever mentality. My unwillingness to stop until I had done my best work possible.
And back then, I was probably spot on.
But today, things are vastly different.
For one thing, I own a business.
I do know what it’s like to not receive a paycheck from anyone else but my own self. (Huzzah!)
And that, at least for me, changes things.
When you’re no longer dependent on an institution to pay you money every two weeks, you have to rely on yourself. There is no one else to rely on for this.
But what I’ve found is that the opposite is true for how you do your work and reach for “success.”
Within a corporate organization, I thought I had all the answers. I thought that the biggest contributor to my success was ME.
Now, outside of that corporate organization, I’ve had to realize some humility.
This is difficult to admit, as someone who has always, always leaned on herself to get the job done… but truthfully, the biggest contributor to my successes so far is completely outside of me.
The biggest contributor to my successes is the factor of accountability.
Accountability. Even as a solopreneur.
Accountability gets the job done when Brit doesn’t think she has it in herself to.
Not the kind of accountability that looks like someone checking in on you incessantly and making you do the thing.
The accountability I find most helpful is the kind where others, whom I respect and admire, simply know of my plans. And if they know of my plans, I will execute.
I can think of several times just within the past year when accountability has gotten the job done when Brit really, really wanted to throw in the towel.
In fact, I don’t know if I ever would’ve started a business had it not been for accountability.
Back in May 2016, I applied to speak at a local blogger conference. I was still at my corporate job with no actual plan to start a business, but I applied anyway, figuring I could lend my “expertise” I had gained through my job.
In June 2016, I learned that I had been selected as a speaker. And in that moment, I decided I’d show up as a Brit, owner of her own company. Not Brit, employee of someone else’s. The deadline this speaking opportunity posed on my life is truly the reason I started a business. It held me accountable to a date I couldn’t move.
On August 1, 2016, I put my four weeks notice in at my job. Take it from me, there’s nothing like willingly letting go of your stable paycheck and benefits to hold you accountable to the plans you’ve made for yourself. Absolutely nothing.
And guess what? I left my job four weeks later. And in October 2016, I stood on stage, representing my own business.
Since then, the built-in accountability of my checking and savings accounts have done a fantastic job at holding me accountable. Have to love those two. 😉
And even when money isn’t involved, I choose to weave accountability into my process so the job gets done. Like when I decided to launch a podcast in 60 days. I didn’t just put the launch date on my calendar. That would’ve never worked for me.
I jumped into a Facebook group, full of people I trusted and respected, and told them, “I’m launching a podcast on June 1, 2017. You have my word.”
And guest what? I launched a podcast on June 1, 2017.
There are a million other smaller examples of how accountability propels me forward every day.
But the writing on the wall is clear.
The biggest contributor to my success so far is the factor of accountability, purposely woven into my work.
So as I connect and engage with creative entrepreneurs every single day and come across one of them just struggling to move the needle forward… I can’t help but think, “Are they missing accountability?”
And the answer is almost always, “Yes.”
It would be a complete disservice to you if I didn’t finish this post with an offering to be your accountability partner. That’s one facet of who I am for my coaching clients.
Let’s talk if you’re needing that crucial piece of accountability in your business.