Who Are You Accountable To?

Who Are You Accountable To?

One thing I’ve found working for myself is that I often tend to ‘slack off’ when I should be working.

The internet can be the greatest tool ever invented, but it can also be the biggest waste of your time.

When I was in college and had a part time job I had routines, schedules and deadlines. If there was a report due in by a certain time, I would make sure and have it done by then (if not earlier). And when I was at work, I knew that if I wanted to get out on time, all the work had to be done by closing.

These deadlines all gave me something to work towards, they gave me focus.

Why Being The “Boss” Can Harm Your Business

Now that I work from home and I’m technically the “Boss”, I don’t have as many deadlines to work towards.

The only ones I do have are self-imposed deadlines.

Since I’m not going to fire myself for not finishing something, it’s often easy for me to have multiple “extensions” to those deadlines and not worry too much.

But recently, I’ve noticed that in myself and am trying to take steps to solve it.

Why Making Someone Else The “Boss” Can Help Your Business

One of the best ways to make sure things get done on time is to make yourself accountable to someone else.

Working with partners on a project is a great way to do that.

If I’m working on my own project, I tend to go at my own pace … which tends to slow right down, especially after lunch!

But by working with someone else, each person has their own duties to perform by a certain deadline. And if you don’t get them done, you are letting that other person down.

It’s this human trait of NOT wanting to let someone down that gives me the “kick up the butt” I often need to just get down and work.

You can and should be doing this too!

Finding Your Accountability Partner

You don’t have to work with a partner on projects to be accountable to someone.

Often, just a public declaration of what you want to achieve is enough to spur you on to work.

Tell your spouse, parents, kids or just someone you know something like…

“By [insert date here], I will have achieved [insert goal here].”

You will naturally find that you will work harder to make sure you get the job done. Even though you are not letting anybody down (like a project partner) you still don’t want to look foolish by not achieving that goal.

It doesn’t have to be a huge goal like making a million dollars in six months (which may be somewhat unrealistic), but something simple as finishing that ebook you’ve been working on in the next 2 weeks, or writing 10 articles to submit by the end of the weekend.

The goal itself is not important.

The important thing is to publicly declare that goal and make yourself work towards achieving it.

Trust me, there is a great sense of satisfaction after creating a “To-Do List” and checking off every single item either on time or before.

What Is YOUR Goal?

Why not start now…

Use the comment box below and publicly declare your goal for all to see. Then start working towards it.

As I’ve said, it doesn’t have to be a big goal, but set some goal and a date and post it below.

You can even come back when you’ve reached your goal and comment again to show everyone how well you did :-)

So … what is your goal? And when will you reach it?


To YOUR Success


  1. Have to agree it is amazing when you have a deadline that you have publicly stated how much more efficient you get. Have been using an accountability partner for a while and knowing that someone will ask if you did what you said you would makes all the difference in keeping your focus.

    Oh and good luck with all the kids this weekend. Better you than me I am too old to handle that anymore šŸ˜‰

  2. Hey Mike,

    Thanks for commenting – great to see you here!

    I think I’ll need all the luck I can get this weekend :-)

    At least my wife and I will be doing it together so it’s not like I’ll be running after them on my own!


  3. Great post Richard! I’m guilty of wasting time on the Internet when I should be writing or setting up a new site or whatever. I tend to get more done in the morning, then I slack off in the afternoon, and then try to make up for slacking off by trying to get more things done in the evening. My accountability partner is over 200 miles away and we don’t get to chat too much during the day, so I tend to fall deeper in a hole. Though today, I have gotten a lot done.

  4. Great Post Richard! The best part of being self-employed is being self-employed. The worst part of being self-employed is being self-employed. I’m a tradesman, did my apprenticeship and boom! Started my own business 22 years ago as of this Halloween ( happy anniversary to me ! )
    I make a decent living, keep 1/2 dozen guys busy but I find myself so busy as the “Biz Guy ” I’ve gotten away from the trade that I loved and almost want to return to the ” apprentice days ” when I was learning things everyday.. However I can’t go back to those crappy wages, my lifestyle demands a certain income.
    I could sell my business in a heartbeat, the existing contracts come up for renewal at the end of December, once that is done, I have a buyer for the business. My challenge is what to do next, I don’t want boredom to overcome me.
    The internet intrigues me, I think a lot of money can be made here. I never had the benefit of education, left home at age 14, made my money through blood sweat & tears.
    Any thoughts?

  5. Hi Richard, Great webinar last night. I think that was the best one yet. I agree with you that the internet is a big time waster. Since I became my own boss I often find my mind wandering and then checking out something I’ve been thinking about online. Email is also a very big distraction. I finally turned the alert bell off and try to restrict myself to a couple of 10 minute breaks to check emails or whatever else I need to take care of. I find now that the weather is getting cold here on the east coast, that I have one less distraction…no more nice warm sunny weather to be out in during the day!

    Good luck with the kids this weekend and thanks again for a great course.

  6. Hi Richard,

    Sounds so familiar. I wish I can work with somebody. When I’m committed to do something I always deliver. One of the reason, I believe, that I/we can’t accomplish what we plan to do is the lack of feed back; no one to get an opinion about your “small”
    accomplishments, your ideas good or bad, etc. It is like working in the dark almost.

    By the way thank you for replying to me last comment. I’m going to do the best I can. I have another question related to your reply. Once I have an interview (if I’m that brave) and the transcripts What do I do next?.

    Now, about your weekend you are going to start practicing for when little Adam gets as older as their cousins. In any event try to have some fun.

    Best regards!

  7. Absolutely right! Deadlines must be kept even if they are self imposed. I have an online catalog that I have woefully neglected, so I set a deadline to redesign and totally revamp it for the coming holiday season. This meant 3-4 all-nighters per week for the past 3 weeks. My online store/catalog is now all ready. All I’m doing now is adding new products each day and posting the new additions on the site, which helps in making changes daily to the content.

    I have been chasing all the wrong things trying to make money and now am back on track with my online catalog. And wow! there is something to be said for checking your links. Come on by and browse around. I’m open 24/7 :-)

    Good luck with the children. You’re gonna need it. Sleep when they sleep it will help you out when you go into zombie mode lol

  8. Michael Sheward says:

    Some real food for thought, Richard. I’d propose that individuals need to make sure the goals they set are realistic and attainable. You could even add challenging, but no challenge should be proposed if it’s beyond capability or possibility.

    My career started as a reporter having to write several stories a day, always on deadline. As a result, I trained myself to write fast and write well. I now find that I do my best writing when I’m up against the clock. Otherwise, I tend to try to craft, edit and rewrite a bit too much simply because I have the time to tinker with my copy.

    Also, I agree about the feeling of satisfaction in checking off items on my to-do-list. But I find that for almost every item I checked off, the next morning I can come up with two more to replace it. Makes me wonder if I’ll ever “git it done.”

  9. All I know is that things happen that can delay whatever goals you are working on to accomplish. So I say to myself; “My work is not the boss of me, I am the boss of my work, when I get it done that’s when it will be done”
    Of course we set a time limit witha little leeway for the little obstacles that can occur. We have to be reasonable as well as accountable>

  10. I had a bit of a disaster recently when Aweber shut down my autoresponder account. I was determined to get back up and re-build.

    This goal has led me to engage another autoresponder provider and explore co-registrations and the associated processes. This has led me to create a new e-book and the outline for 3 others.

    I would not have achieved this if Aweber had not created the problem and if I had not set my goal of re-establishing my list. In this case I was accountable to myself, but I definitely see the value in having an accountability partner.

    I have publicly announced that I am working on a training program so that I will set up some accountability for myself. Great post, thanks Richard and good luck with the kids. I think I am on the roster to look after my new Grandson at some time this weekend.

  11. Hi Richard,

    Glad I am that I am not in your shoes this week-end, that sort og fun finished for me before you were born.

    At my age concentration is a bit of a problem, with 11 websites to keep up with I certainly do not get bored.

    Have a great time nursemaiding, my thought are with you.


  12. Hey Richard, Glad to hear from you, Must be harder than you thought
    raising a child. I know what you mean about goals and not getting them done, I have been trying to get my project done for two weeks now and still am no closer than when I started. Mainly because I had to go to work at a J.O.B. Helping a friend get his restaurant going. Havent had a day off yet! Sometimes it’s hell being the best at what you do! I will get it done though, real soon I hope.Are you going to help me put it to the world when I’m done? Have fun with the kids! Blog more,I need the knowledge!
    Timothy Millar “The Leprechaun”

  13. Hi Richard,
    Thanks to you and Eric, for the first time I believe that I can set a goal and have it accomplised. In four months I want to have my daughter’s tombstone. It is just shy of two years since I lost my precious daughter to a horrible disease. I shut myself out from everything including work. I have been reading all about you and your lovely wife before and after the birth of your child. Count each day as a blessing and live it like it was your last day. Enjoy the weekend with the kids!!!!!

  14. Great post Richard… you’re completely right on the dot with this one. When I first started in Network Marketing… that was the key idea that they’d be trying to drill into my head.

    I had just come out of a job and was going into business for myself… the daily chant was, “It’s YOUR business… no one is going to build it for you.” Which is a chant that still goes through my head every day.

    To add some value for your post… try this on for size.

    Write down your 3 & 6 month goals and make three copies. Give one to the person that you’re doing it for (i.e. your wife, daughter, son, etc.), give one to your business partner – if you have one – and keep one for yourself to review every day.

    Now the trick is to make sure that your accountabilibuddies check with you every week to make sure that you’ve made progress towards your goals… it’ll serve you well in keeping you on track.


    Free step by step resource will show you how to start from scratch and build an Automatic Lead Generation system for your business… get your copy here at: http://MasterMindNetworker.com

  15. Excellent post!

    When I was writing flight manuals and engineering manuals completion dates were a must. Now, I tend to get involved in other activities and let business needs slide.

    I started using my Day Timer again to track my business projects. Something about seeing comittments in writing that makes a completion date a reality.

    Minding someone elses children is so much more involved than minding your own. Best of luck “Uncle Richard”.

  16. Is that not the truth?

    I do have a boss.

    She’s my wife.

    She makes sure I post to my blog on a daily basis, mostly because I get caught up in my schoolwork and I don’t think about posting.

    Just saying.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    What a difference being the boss makes!! I am very easily distracted in my home “office” by almost anything – the garden, emails, the dog, the washing etc.

    I make myself my accountability partner – I write a list of 6 things I am going to accomplish each day, and tick them off as I finish. Anything left over at the end of the day, goes onto tomorrow’s list and, by the “rules”, has to be done first in the morning. The system isn’t perfect, but it mostly helps me get done what I set out to do.

    Sometimes the challenge is in deciding what needs to be done!

    Thank you for a great post, Richard; pertinent, as always.

    You’ll have a great time with the kids – good opportunity to build an uncle relationship! A fun uncle is a blessing!


  18. This is so true ! I have an e-book to complete which I’ve been putting off for weeks just because the final touchups are the most difficult. Since I started on the net I have been constantly moving from one thing to the other, its crazy. So I found out I never complete anything (and don’t really accomplish much).
    So I posted to my Ning community that I would finish the e-book by beginning of Nov. to make it available then. Now I have no choice… but to go ahead and finish it. Its realy important to be obligated in some way to another person or group to get things done.

  19. I agree, being accountable to someone is great. I will spend all day on the internet if given a chance. However I have 2.5 acres a house and 6 dogs to look after. It’s fall. Time to cut firewood, start shutting off outside waterlines (it almost froze lastnight) rake, etc etc etc… not to mention all the inside stuff that needs doing.

    I use a wipe board and have everything I need to do for the week listed. Things get added and scratched off. NOT erased.
    At least not erased until my partner see’s what I have done while she is out “earning” at her day job.

  20. Richard,
    Great observation about who to be accountable to. I write goals, tasks, and I get a lot done so when I don’t hardly anyone notices. But, I do…

    I’ll have to figure out how to create an accountability partner when I don’t like to report to anyone! šŸ˜‰

    Good luck with the kids, I have 2 they can be a handful. But, nice of you to do it and I am sure she will deeply appreciate it having been there.

    ~ Pam Ragland

  21. Hi Richard,

    There is no question that we humans do better when we see ourselves as accountable to someone. When I ran my own lawn/handyman service I used to say that the one difference between that and working a regular job was that I got to choose my bosses! Making sure my customers were satisfied BEFORE I left their property kept me on my toes and since my work was out there for all to see, brought me even more customers. Now I spend much of my time in front of the computer, not always doing the things that would bring in the most income. I am s l o w l y learning to force myself to do the tasks that are hard for me but would be a definite boost to my efforts.

    You will do well with kids, wanting to is half the battle. Allow the kid in you to connect with the kid they are and you will have fun.

    Have a fantastic weekend

  22. Hi Richard, you are right again keeping focused is hard when you are self employed unless you have people working for you, then you have to keep things going for them.

    As far as the internet is concerned I have found keeping in touch with friends through Skype has helped me.

    I live in Australia and because of my location keeping in touch is not that easy, most of the people I know online live in the US or the UK.

    Our weekly chats will now include setting deadlines with each other.

    Thanks for another great post.

    You will have a lot of fun with your extended family this weekend but you may not get up at 0900 Hrs. on Monday.

  23. I concur with the comments made to date. My goal is to write an article or more a week for my blog and the Ezine Directory.

  24. Hi Richard,

    Have happy hours with all kids and you can feel your time spent is worth with all of them around.

    It is really good if you enjoy what you are doing whether internet marketing or going shopping or doing 9 to 5 job there is no matter like getting motivated since you love what you are doing you do not need some body shall we say “Boss” to kick your back to complete your tasks.
    But on the other hand if you start to feel you had achieved some thing then complacency factor sets in and you may tend to be bit easy going and start to lose your focus.
    As far as I am concerned I enjoy what I am doing I also do have certain goals to achieve but once I feel if I had achieved I will set new goals to reach so to keep my focus stayed on achieving new heights. There is no full stop for what you do in life.
    Life without new challenges is like rainbow without colours ,cockoo bird without beautiful singing voice and river without water, every thing becomes monotonous.
    So it is always new goals and challenges in our life are interesting and keep us busy. They are the driving forces of our life.
    You are the best judge of your deeds nobody can deliver any judgement on the outcome.

    Warm regards,

  25. Hi Richard,

    I have to agree with Nhora in more than one way. The first paragraph is me as well.

    We don’t have anyone to tell us exactly what we need. We are finding this out little by little which sets us behind. If we had someone that we knew to guide us, we would have one, our sites would be up and running while we are preparing for the next project!

    I watch your email addresses on each of the things I receive something from you and some of the other gurus and wonder if I am going to need to do that so I can be prepared when the time comes. BUT! I’m not giving up!

    As Nhora said, “Thank you” for responding to our emails and questions. It is appreciated and shows that you do care for your “subscribers”.

    As far as your weekend, all I can do is giggle. I’m sorry for giggling, but you are in for one big surprise! Enjoy the time with them, the grow way too fast. My oldest is 31 and now I’m a “Mimi” (I certainly don’t look or act like a “grandmother!)

    Have a great weekend with the babies. I’m going back to the drawing board at host gator.

    Thanks again,

  26. GUILTY AS CHARGED! I’m so bad I’m still getting ready to get started :(
    Got in on Eben Pagan’s recent 12 hours to enroll in his “WakeUp Productive” 90 day course. And I’m committed to getting the most out of the course and “doubling my productivity in 90 days” {though I must admit I haven”t figured out how I’ll double “0” šŸ˜‰ }

    Good luck with the weekend!

  27. Hello Richard, good luck with all the kids. You know what I would like to see. I hear all this talk about making this kind of money and that kind of money blogging. How about showing me what one of these “money making” blogs looks like. I would like to see an actual blog that makes someone even $5000 a month. Besides one of those that say’s, “buy my course on how to make money blogging”.

  28. Hey Richard,

    great article. I agree 100 % with you, I used to spend too much time by reading emails etc. Now I have a mentor and I get much more done.

    Have a nice weekend with all the kids:)

    Urpo Salonen

  29. Many Thanx for the Invaluable Information and Sound advice.

    hope all goes well for you over the W/End.

    Guess your Sister in Law had a Broken Computer and or Television a few months ago!. LOL.

  30. Your so right about being self employed and accountability. We run a double glazing internet based business and the internet can tie up so much time without out achieving anything so you do need daily goals and targets.

  31. Anne Smith says:

    Hi Richard,

    Good ideas. Goals that are public – and lots of small ones. Trying to psyche myself up to start a blog to document my attempts to make an income on line. Wish me luck!

    Have fun with your neices / nephews – plenty of fresh air and excercise if the weather permits, then everyone will sleep well!

    Good luck.

    Anne S

  32. Nice post Richard (btw, I’ve long been a fan of your software!).

    Focusing on what produces is the key, but can be difficult to achieve with family, mass emails to plow through etc.. I set deadlines and extend only in exceptional circumstances, but it is easy to fall into the no-deadline trap if we’re not careful.

    All the best,

  33. I am setting my goal of getting my website up and running, picking Richard Legge, as MY BOSS

  34. Richard as usual you are totally correct .

    I am setting a goal of getting my website a1incomes.co.uk up and running by end of this weekend .

    Thanks again for you motivational infomation Richard


  35. Great advice Richard. Two quotes here may be applicable in goal setting “Why do today what you can leave to tomorrow” should be changed to ” Why leave until tomorrow what can be achieved today”

  36. Hello Richard,

    I know what its like to look after kids, I did over the weekend and I’m glad I can give them back to their parents at the end of the day.

    I feel that I should be accountable to myself. At the end of the day who am I doing this for. I have set a target for myself to never be poor again. Now I know why some people go through so much pain in life. I believe that pain makes you a stronger person to deal with life. I am so much stronger now than I was and I have an invincible determination to make something of my life. I want a waterfront home so that I can just sit outside and look at the whales and dolphins in the water and also set aside money to give my 2 beautiful grandchildren all that I never had the pleasure of having. I only leave my computer periodically, always searching, educating, learning about ‘how to do things differently’. I have never done Internet Marketing before, so I want to make lots of money so that I could also give back to the universe as well.

  37. Hi Richard,

    Hope you and the wife survived the weekend. More importantly, I hope your sisters kids survived you guys.

    Timely post. One of my big challenge is getting thru email. Some days I get so annoyed that I completely switch off from reading email because it takes a lot of time. The day goes by without much being done. I guess thats how I missed your mail.

    I now allocate a set time to go thru email and when the time is up I just close the mailbox.
    I have started sharing my daily goals with my wife and sons. Just last night the youngest, in grade 7, asked me to help with some Maths homework. He rounded it off by saying “I hope to get an appointment with you before your laptop does”


  38. Hi Richard,
    Contents of this post will immensely help in staying focussed which is extremely difficult for the starters/newbies/not-so-seasoned guys once they get in to net. It is quite common that people get entwined in endless loops of freebie offers, onetime offers, systems, vaults, machines bla bla. But once someone realises his accountability chances are that he will stay focussed to reach the goal without wavering. Home businesses while offering plenty of ‘freedom’ that comes with riders like accountability, responsibility and deliverability to your ownself. Richard – I have issues needing your attention – reg links you had sent in your mails – can u pl arrange to resend all those links ? Also the website building videos and issues with host u had recommended – Thankful for your response as my mails are bouncing back undelivered – hence I took this opportunity. Regards. PKP

  39. The one thing about being self employed is that your boss is very forgiving… as a self employed person I was goofing off one day. My boss showed up and fired me on the spot, But luckily he hired me back the next day. I’v respected him more ever since then LOL GREAT posts

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