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Entrepreneur Diaries: Accountability for productivity

Accountability for productivity

Barry Lee Cummings discovers how a mentor can kick entrepreneurs into action.

September 19, 2013 1:03 by

This month has been particularly interesting for me. As many entrepreneurs or ‘business gurus’ might tell you, one of the keys to success is focus and I wholeheartedly agree with that.

I, myself, have, many times, fallen into the trap of losing focus. It usually happens because opportunities raise their head and you have to spend time evaluating whether or not they have potential.

But sometimes it’s because things aren’t necessarily going according to plan. Interestingly, I find that it’s at these times that focus is even more essential. At the same time, you can’t become so blinkered that opportunities you are seeking pass you by.

Recently I have been very focused on building some aspects of my business that will allow me to offer greater services to my customers in a systemised manner. This is a time-consuming activity and, as with every project I take on, involved planning what I wanted to achieve, setting my goals and objectives, and then going after them.

One of the things that really helped me with the workload this month was the presence of a mentor.

As a small business owner with employees in different geographies, it can be a little lonely sometimes. And while most of us are pretty self-disciplined, sometimes we all need a kick up the rear end. During the last quarter I had two mentors and I asked both of them to hold me accountable.

I hadn’t realised just how valuable a request like this would be. Making myself accountable to someone has moved a number of my projects along at a pace I have needed to go up to for a while. It has enabled me to finish off a project that has been hanging over me for nearly eight months. The delay was ridiculous, when I look back on it, as all that was needed to finish it equated to three hours worth of concentration.

This process has also allowed me to get some of my personal projects moving again – projects that always seem to be pushed to the bottom of the list. Having my mentor meetings scheduled has allowed me to maintain balance; and with balance, opportunity knocks.

The opportunity has come for me to look at other projects that will expand my company’s portfolio, allowing me to use my expertise and knowledge of the digital marketing arena to penetrate new markets, ones that are not necessarily directly associated with my core business focus.

So this month I would heartily recommend anyone with their own business to look into getting some accountability – even if you’re the most self-disciplined entrepreneur out there. Get someone to hold you accountable, whether it’s a friend, partner, mentor, mother or father. Regardless of how you are doing now, accountability will help you move up a level, that I can promise.


Barry Lee Cummings is the owner and digital strategist at Maximum Net Gain. He helps companies understand and implement digital strategy to get the most out of their web presence.

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