What’s the one of the best things about owning your own business? According to Stephen Key of Entrepreneur Magazine in his article “The Good and the Bad of Being an Entrepreneur“, the #1 thing is “Making your own decisions.” Other people call it being your own boss, or the freedom to take your business in any direction you want. And I agree with that wholeheartedly…that freedom rocks.
But the flip side of that coin is…what happens with lots of freedom? When we give our teenagers the freedom to go off to college, they don’t always make the best decisions, right at first. (I know I didn’t.) But why is that? They’ve been taught what’s right & wrong, and they’re basically good, smart kids, or they wouldn’t have made it into college. I believe that it’s because they’re no longer “accountable” to someone on a regular basis, except maybe to their professors for their grade. No one to tell them to eat their veggies, bathe regularly, don’t stay out too late, don’t hang w/the bad crowd, etc. They have to figure that out all on their own.
When I was college, the best thing that ever happened to me, was that I joined a sorority, and instantly had a group of people who cared about me and supported me, but also held me accountable, since there were requirements to stay in the group. Those of you who have played sports or been on any kind of team understand that same type of accountability. Anytime you are a part of a group of like-minded people, you become part of something bigger than just you. You reach for new goals together, and at the same time, you are now ACCOUNTABLE to each other.
So my challenge to you is…who holds you accountable in your business? Is it your staff? They just want to please you. Is it your customers? They just want you to take care of them. Is it your partner or spouse? Maybe, but they may be too close to the situation to help challenge, push & guide you in new directions. How about joining an Accountability Group? Some are called lead generators, referral networks, or mastermind groups. No matter what you call it, how they help you grow your business is all that matters.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” As an entrepreneur, you do have freedom, and that’s awesome. But with that freedom, comes responsibility…not just to your customers, staff or family, but to yourself & your business goals. You should be always pushing yourself to the next right thing for your business. So do this…find the right accountability group for you and take your business to the next level of success. Why do it alone?