It’s personal accountability.
Accountability can be defined as an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.
Personal accountability is all about holding yourself accountable for the actions that you know you should be taking to achieve desired outcomes. It’s about avoiding procrastination and working on the right things. It’s nothing more than you doing what you are supposed to do, when you are supposed to do it.
When we are young, we really don’t have to be personally accountable for much, most things are done for us and little is expected. As we age, we gain more independence, but society conditions us to take actions based on the needs or requirements of others. Most kids do their homework because they are told to or required to, not because they think it will help them reach a goal they set.
As an online marketer, it is really easy to slack or work on things that are not that important in moving you towards your goals. If you work alone in this industry, it is even more difficult to maintain a high level of personal accountability. You need to hold yourself accountable. Writing ads when you don’t want to, working instead of playing COD, whatever.
So how is that done? How do you become more accountable to yourself? It starts by being aware of what is happening. Think about your goals and actions, are they aligned? Do the actions you take move you toward your goals in the time frame that they should?
Here is how you can be better at being personally accountable.
- Consciously decide that starting today and everyday hereafter; It is up to you, to know what you should be doing and to do it. Know that ultimately it is up to you, you can decide to do this, or you can “not” decide which is almost as bad as deciding not to be accountable, because typically nothing happens.
- Know your goals – fitness, financial, family, whatever. Hard to get to the right place if you don’t know where you are going. Keep them in a list and review them often.
- Know your responsibilities – Balancing your checkbook, being on time, doing what you said you would do. These are a baseline, you have to do these, but you need to make sure you have them covered.
- Be aware of your actions and choices – How you spend your time, how you communicate with others, your attitude and thoughts. This is where the magic happens; your actions and choices can make or break personal accountability. This is where goals and responsibilities get taken care of. Become fully aware as often as possible of how you are spending your time, are you being accountable to yourself? If not, alter your actions immediately. Also, keep a prioritized to-do list; it’s a great way to keep you on track.
I’ve talked with a few people lately about personal accountability and I believe it is one of the most important ingredients of success in this industry (and most really).
So what else can you do besides the internal commitment and control? Set up your external influences to help you be personally accountable. Find an accountability partner or mastermind that you can communicate with, fairly openly, and help each other remain accountable to each individual’s goals. Share goals and help each other focus daily or weekly. Ask if the others are doing what they said they would do. This is like exercising your accountability muscles, the more you use them, the better they will work.
I also recommend joining groups, going to meetups and taking part in forums. Anywhere you can communicate with like minded individuals who know what you are going through is a benefit. I personally like to hear about successes and help with questions in the IMGrind forum, it keeps me motivated and I am more accountable to myself. You can also form business relationships when you take part, which can also help you be more personally accountable.