Posted: 11th July 2016
There are so many benefits to working for yourself: you can manage your own time, work around school hours, work at your own pace and yes, be your own boss. Perfect!
But wait! There are down sides too, and the biggest one I came up against was the self-discipline needed to work on my own business and concentrate on my own growth as a business owner. It’s all too easy to keep working on client work – after all, that’s what pays the bills, right? Before too long it’s become a habit: you’re working in your business instead of on it and hey presto! You’ve stagnated.
In April 2014 I (along with three fellow self-employed acquaintances) signed up for a mentoring group. The four of us, plus our fabulous mentor, met on a monthly basis. Our sessions consisted of some basic business housekeeping that we’d all overlooked such as measuring the value of what we were doing by the introduction of KPIs, setting goals and targets and the most valuable aspect, for me, was the monthly Peer To Peer Action Learning section, where we each in turn tabled an issue we were up against, and the issue was brainstormed, discussed and suggestions put forward for resolution.
The mentoring group came to a natural conclusion in April 2016, and not wanting to lose the momentum that the sessions had provided, two of us agreed to keep on meeting on a monthly basis by way of peer support and Action Learning.
We call ourselves Accountability Buddies. We are open and honest with each other, share ideas and best practice and most important of all, act as a sounding board/shoulder to cry on when things aren’t going tickety-boo. My Buddy, Tracey Nixon of Plumessence Therapies, is also a fellow WiRE Network Leader so we’ll often compare notes about our respective WiRE Groups and have even thought about “subbing” for one another should real life (or even holidays!) get in the way of our monthly WiRE meetings.
At the end of each monthly meeting (which lasts about 3 hours) we leave with a list of “commitments” and the promise to report back at our next meeting. This, in itself, has really helped me to get things done which otherwise I probably would have consigned to the “I can do that next week” pile on my desk, such as updating my website, introducing new packages and (deep breath) take a break when I get to boiling point.
If you work alone in your business, I really recommend that you find an Accountability Buddy and get cracking on all those pesky jobs that you keep promising to do …… “one day”!