How to hold yourself accountable

Take control of your business with these recommendations

Do you pile up excuses about why you’re not as successful a business owner as you want to be? It could be that you’re getting in your own way.

It’s not always obvious, but sometimes we tend to keep ourselves from being productive simply by not holding ourselves accountable for our actions. Here are several tips that will help you move towards greater success.

Stay on top of your to-dos

There’s absolutely no reason why any task should fall through the cracks in this modern age of digital calendars and smartphones. Yet many of us miss deadlines or opportunities. Here’s my advice: the second you discover a task you need to take care of—even if it’s just following up on an email you sent—make a note on your digital calendar. Set it as an alarm and forget about it…until your calendar reminds you.

Keep your business compliant

If you’re running a corporation or LLC, there is paperwork you need to file annually to remain compliant and legal in the eyes of your Secretary of State. Typically, you’re sent a reminder about filing your annual report or meeting minutes, but in the event that you move your business to a new location, you can’t rely on the mail service to find you in time. You can set reminders on your calendar or use a service that will automatically remind you when a legal document needs to be filed.

This is something to keep in mind now, because the end of the year is rapidly approaching. If your business runs on a calendar year, it’s time to make sure those documents are filled out and filed today.


You don’t have to be responsible for every action in your business, but you have to be willing to hand over some of the work on your desk to other team members. Decide what is absolutely imperative for you to do, like business strategy, and hand other tasks to someone more qualified to take them on. Set deadlines and stay in touch to ensure those tasks get done successfully.

Stop putting off starting that business

If you haven’t started the business you’ve always wanted, it’s time to stop dreaming and start doing. Nothing happens without work and planning, so start building a plan to launch your new business in the new year. Make a list of everything you need to do to start a business, make sure you’ve got funds enough to do so, and then build out your timeline.

Set goals and work towards them

One area entrepreneurs tend to shy away from accountability in is setting goals. Sure, you want your business to grow. But if you haven’t defined how you want it to grow, you can’t get upset if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

When you set goals, be super-specific: How much do you want to increase sales? What revenue number will you aim for next year? Then, detail out how you will achieve those goals. Who needs to be involved? What steps do you need to take to accomplish them? The more you plan out your goals and steps to reaching them, the more you will actually succeed.

Deal with not getting what you want

Are you frustrated that things didn’t go your way with a business deal? Rather than stomping your foot and taking a negative attitude about it, change your mindset. Look for that silver lining and find a way to be okay with the results. You won’t always have things go your way, and in these cases, all you can do is change how you react.

Ask for what you want

If you’re not crystal clear about setting intentions, you can’t get upset with anyone but yourself if you don’t get the results you want. It takes a bit of confidence building, especially if you’re not assertive right now. But as soon as you start to vocalize your desires, you’ll start to see dramatic results. That, in turn, will propel you and your business forward.

Ultimately, you are the one responsible for the success of your business. So before you tell yourself that you can’t improve, start taking responsibility for your actions and move towards making positive changes.

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