Since our daughter was born with serious medical problems, my husband Chris and I have always referred to ourselves as “Team Bultsma: It Takes a Village.” When you endure anything long-term medical related, having a strong support system can truly make or break your life.
Owning your own business can be the same way.
Content a la mode is me–Kim Bultsma. I do all the work. I go to all of the meetings. I answer all of the emails. I do all of the billing. I deposit the checks. I make a sorry attempt at QuickBooks.
Village of one.
But this isn’t a pity party. Lots of self-employed business owners are their own village. And let’s be honest: we are all busy doing business. It’s tough to be the master of everything in terms of our business. I’m a creative–I write and design and make things pretty. I am not an accountant. But my husband is great with numbers, so he works feverishly on my QuickBooks and keeps me sane. My friend Niki is an accountant, and she answers my very pertinent questions, like which IRS form I should be filling out if I were to hire a subcontractor. I continue to learn that it’s ok to ask for help with those business aspects I just don’t know anything about.
But accountability is another story.
My friend Lisa asked me a few weeks ago if I would be interested in being in an accountability group. Being the social (and impulsive) person that I am, I quickly responded, “Yes!”, followed immediately by, “What is an accountability group?”
Accountability groups are a mix of several people who help hold you accountable for things that you do. Perhaps it’s homework. Maybe it’s losing weight or quitting smoking. For self-employed business owners, it’s a group of owners who are seeking to achieve a common goal–albeit “put all emails into my to-do list” or “write one blog post each week for my business AND post it.”
My accountability group starts tomorrow. I’m both excited and nervous. I have a fear of failure, especially when I have to answer to others. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. But I also expect that same admittance from others. I’ve been in business too long and have witnessed many-a business owner “always be right” when they were furthest from it. But I digress.
What are your experiences with accountability groups? Share them here–maybe we can start our own virtual accountability group!