When you run your own business, you’re accountable for EVERYTHING. Doing the marketing and keeping up to date with social media, getting the accounts in order, managing workload and ensuring you’re hitting deadlines…oh, and doing the ACTUAL work! There is probably no doubt that you have tasks on your to do list that may have been there a week, a month or in our case, even longer (& we’re not ashamed to admit it!)
Running your own business can also be a lonely role. Some people envisage lots of meetings with coffee and cake with clients old and new but for many of us it can just be slogging away on the laptop at the dining table or sitting in a studio creating ‘things’.
2018 was the year I decided to be more accountable. When it’s your own business, you don’t have to answer to anyone which in some ways is amazing however it also means that you can suffer from ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ syndrome . Through a networking group, I found another business owner, Kate Southall of Copper & Blossom, who was like minded and also struggling to keep on top of everything. We became ‘Accountability Buddies‘ and have never looked back!
We meet up once every 6 weeks for a couple of hours to talk about what we’ve been doing, any problems we’ve experienced and what’s coming up. It’s a great place to exchanging helpful tips and resources with each other. Being a photographer, Kate’s a whizkid with photoshop and helped Emma to create the illusive business roller banner that was on the to do list for a good 3-6 months! We start by looking back at the goals from the last session and discussing what we’ve achieved or haven’t quite ticked the box on. We’ll often meet away from each others’ offices so that it’s in a good neutral place with no distractions.
Here’s run down of what we’ve learnt…
Don’t set unrealistic expectations – we generally try to set at 2-3 things that we believe are achievable within a 6 week period.
Be kind – if the other person hasn’t managed to fulfil those expectations, don’t be too hard. Discuss why those goals weren’t met and could the other person have done anything to help?
Tea and Cake is always essential – if you’re going to get your heads together for an hour or two, the least you need is a good bit of cake to help you along the way!
Increased Productivity – it’s helped both businesses become incredibly productive and follow through on all those projects we’d been postponing.
Breaking the Comfort Zone – Having an accountability buddy has definitely helped push us out of the comfort zone. Sometimes you simply need someone else to say ‘of course you can do that – why wouldn’t you want to?!’
Getting an accountability buddy has been one of the best things we’ve done in 2018. Is this something you’ve ever considered as a self-employed business owner?