One of the big struggles when it comes to transitioning from a side hustle to being self-employed full time, is the sudden loss of accountability. When you work for someone else, you have no choice but to do all of the work. When you start working for yourself full time, however, this changes. Technically, yes, you still have to do the work. But that’s easier said than done!
Before I left my full time job, I was working from home already, so I knew that I would be disciplined enough to continue waking up early (ish) to get to my desk. But what I wasn’t prepared for, was the procrastination that followed whenever I wanted to bring a new idea to life. Sure, I got the client work done, but whenever I would begin working on something new and scary, I would quickly find a thousand reasons why I couldn’t do it. I don’t have time right now, I’m not good enough, what will other people think, I’ll do it next week, next month, next year.
When you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, it’s easy to fall into this trap. You panic, over analyse, worry and ultimately, you don’t act on your ideas because it feels too damn scary. That’s where accountability can really help you. What do I mean by accountability? There’s a few ways in which you can choose to keep yourself accountable for all the things you say you’re going to do.
How to stay accountable
In the most basic of ways, you might want to write down your goals and check in on a monthly basis to see where you’re at. By writing your goals down, you already begin the process of committing to doing those things. Another way - and one which I use quite often, is by posting about your idea online. It might be as simple as saying you’re going to do a Live one evening. By announcing it to others, you are more likely to do it, because you won’t want to flake out and disappoint your followers. Although I’ve made my peace with Instagram stories, Lives are a whole different beast. I get super nervous and subsequently I’ve only done a couple of lives, because the fear simply gets in the way. I know that doing lives will help me in being more visible online, so it’s just another thing I need to get used to! That’s why I made sure to announce the live to my followers, so that I would follow through on that promise.
So, how do you truly stay accountable? Here’s a few ways that could work for you:
Start an accountability thread - we sometimes post accountability threads inside the Fearless Hustle Collective FB group at the beginning of the week, to help us stay on track. We check in again at the beginning of the following week, to update how much of our to do list we have achieved. It’s a nice and simple way to help you stay on track, especially when you feel like you might need that extra encouragement to get going.
Find a co-mentor - This is something that I have loosely, unofficially done with a couple of good business buddies. I’ve only just come across the term co-mentoring through Charlie and Frankie’s podcast, Friends with Business Benefits. They’ve been co-mentoring for months now, and have found it really useful in keeping each other accountable. I mean, it makes total sense. Having that one person that checks in with you every now and then can be super motivating. I’d recommend finding someone you already have a good relationship with, who is always cheering you on.
Work with a coach - Something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, and will hopefully be doing this coming year (you can keep me accountable to that!). Time and time again, I hear people say how valuable coaching can be for your business. Dedicating time to fully concentrate on your business, your goals, your struggles, and not only that, but having someone there to listen to it all, can be hugely helpful. One of the reasons why people choose to get a coach is to stay accountable, keeping your goals on track. I appreciate that coaching isn’t for everyone, and, especially when you’re starting out, it might not be an option.
Accountability is one of the things that will feature heavily in the Fearless Beginnings Members Club, with weekly check ins to cheer you on, keep you motivated, and if you get stuck, we’ll be there to help too! If you’re curious about the Members Club, you can find out more here.
How do you encourage accountability in your business? Maybe you do something entirely different to keep yourself accountable? I’d love to know. Join the conversation on Instagram!