Friday, March 16, 2012

What Happens Without Accountability

The hard part about working alone is the lack of accountability.

With the exception of our clients, there’s nobody to say when we’re toast. Nobody to hold our feet to the fire. Nobody to care if we don’t execute. Nobody to yell if we stroll in to work at eleven. 

Nobody to bust our chops when sales decline. Nobody to give feedback on a poor performance. Nobody to offer encouragement in a time of struggle.

Nobody. It’s just us.

This causes two problems. First, there’s the issue of productivity. With nobody but us to answer to, it’s easy to get distracted, hard to stay motivated, easier to procrastinate and tempting to rationalize our way out of feeling guilty for poor work ethic.

But the deeper problem, the one we hate to confront, is that working without accountability makes us feel like we lack direction and purpose. It trains us to selfishly do whatever is most convenient to get what we want, without taking others into consideration, without keeping our eye on the bigger picture.

Fortunately for us freelancers, there’s no shortage of coworking spaces, peer networks, trade associations, artist collectives, mastermind groups and online programs to mitigate accountability issues.

Still, it’s hard.

Sometimes hiring yourself can feel like winking in the dark.

And with nobody to hold our feet to the fire, it’s not always easy to get warm.

What's your biggest accountability struggle?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

What happens when you wear a nametag all day, every day, for 4000+ days?

Strangers make fun of you, mostly.

Check out Scott's comic strip, Adventures in Nametagging!