accountability http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13912/all en-US 5 Ways to Make Yourself Accountable http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-yourself-accountable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-yourself-accountable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5805554235_4c39601e9d_z.jpg" alt="marathon" title="marathon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="189" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes motivation likes to play hide-and-go-seek, leaving you lethargically poking around, trying to find it, until you finally give up and flop onto the couch. It can be especially hard to find the motivation when there isn't an external force holding you accountable, like your boss needing work from you. If you're struggling with achieving your personal goals, whether they have to do with money, health, or something else entirely, follow these tips. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don't Want To! Secrets to Self-Motivation</a>)</p> <h3>1. Set a Deadline, and Make Changing It Beyond Your Control</h3> <p>I signed up to run a 10 mile race this morning. I'm not telling you this so I can be one of those expansive-ego people who brags about how much they run (also, the next time you're annoyed by one of those healthier-than-thou guys, remember that he probably has weird bruised toes and/or <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzwf8O4ZCKk">chafing in very delicate areas</a>). Honestly, I'm not a great runner, and while I like to be healthy, running is not my top priority. But I know that if I've spent the money on registering for a race, I'm going to follow my darn training schedule and be able to run 10 miles by early October, because I am not wasting cash on a race fee.</p> <h3>2. Share Your Goals and Plans With Others</h3> <p>There are those who believe that <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_goals_to_yourself.html">you shouldn't share your goals</a> because the feel-good social acknowledgment will actually make you less likely to achieve them. But in some cases, telling other people that you're going to do something can be a powerful motivator to get it done &mdash; even if you're the only person affected by it (hey, you don't want to be a disappointment!). You can even start a blog or twitter account to track your progress.</p> <h3>3. Partner With Someone With Similar Goals</h3> <p>If you have a bicycling buddy, it's going to be a lot harder to cancel a bike ride with a friend than it would be to just tell yourself &quot;I'm not going out today.&quot;</p> <h3>4. Sign Up for a Site Like StickK</h3> <p>The website StickK is a more formalized version of number two above &mdash; not only does it help you share goals, but you can also put money on the line. You designate the recipient of the money if you don't achieve your goal &mdash; it could be a friend, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-to-charity-is-great-but-how-do-you-pick-one">a charity you like</a>, or perhaps most deviously, a charity you hate.</p> <h3>5. Reward Yourself for Reaching Goals</h3> <p>Simply giving yourself a random <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">reward for achieving a goal</a> isn't the same thing as being accountable. But if you designate a reward that you're not allowed to have until you complete your task, that can help. You can also designate things you'll deny yourself if not successful.</p> <p><em>How do you keep yourself accountable? Share in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-yourself-accountable">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">How to Do Things That Scare You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-ways-to-make-a-big-financial-change">21 Ways to Make a Big Financial Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stick-to-personal-deadlines">How to Stick to Personal Deadlines</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andbreathe-become-more-patient-in-9-easy-steps">And...Breathe: Become More Patient in 9 Easy Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development accountability acheiving goals getting things done Mon, 03 Sep 2012 10:24:42 +0000 Meg Favreau 952527 at http://www.wisebread.com Can Your Business Use a Board of Directors? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000002895236Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many small business owners don't want to have outsiders on their board &quot;overseeing&quot; them, and that's understandable.</p> <p>If your small business is incorporated, you were required to form a Board of Directors when you formed your corporation, but chances are very good that the founders, management, and the Board are all the same people. If your small business is unincorporated, you haven't had to deal with the question of a Board of Directors at all. But a Board of Directors serves a very important purpose &ndash; to provide oversight, accountability, and expertise to management.</p> <p>Of course, part of the reason that many of us start our own businesses is that we want to &ldquo;be our own boss.&quot; But sometimes you will hear people say (usually to someone who never asks for advice and tries to do everything themselves), &quot;Don't be the Lone Ranger.&quot;</p> <p>Now, putting aside the fact that the Lone Ranger did not actually work alone (Remember Tonto?), most people understand this to mean, &quot;get someone else to help you, don't go it alone.&quot;</p> <h3>Great Advice</h3> <p>Interestingly, this is one of the areas where I find that the small &quot;for profit&quot; businesses that I work with can really learn a lot from the non-profits. In the non-profit world, there is a legal requirement for a formal Board of Directors, which is usually composed of smart, caring, committed people who volunteer their time to:</p> <ul> <li>Understand and support the vision and mission of the organization;</li> <li>Provide guidance in their respective areas of expertise;</li> <li>Help expose the good work of the organization to the community;</li> <li>Be a sounding board for the people running the organization on a day-to-day basis.</li> </ul> <p>Legally, a Board of Directors also exists to:</p> <ul> <li>Make major organizational decisions;</li> <li>Provide oversight (the executive director or CEO of the organization reports to the board);</li> <li>Ensure the continuity of the organization.</li> </ul> <p>So, how do you get the outside help you need, without giving up your autonomy? There are three major ways that work well.</p> <ul> <li>Join a peer based advisory group. These groups can be pricey but they&rsquo;re popular for a reason &ndash; they work.</li> <li>Hire a business coach and some good consultants.</li> <li>Form an advisory board.</li> </ul> <p>Businesses are inevitably more successful when their owners bring in the right horsepower when it's needed. But let's face it &hellip; you don't always know what you don't know, and different people with different backgrounds will always bring more perspective to an opportunity or issue. The job of an advisory board in the &quot;for profit&quot; world of small business is to:</p> <ul> <li>Understand and support the vision and mission of your small business;</li> <li>Provide guidance in their respective areas of expertise;</li> <li>Be a sounding board for you and provide you with accountability.</li> </ul> <p>Accountability and expertise are the most important.</p> <h3>Accountability</h3> <p>The truth is, most of us need a little help in this area. When you decide to &quot;be your own boss,&quot; you're gaining a lot of freedom. You're also losing one of the things that made you a successful employee &ndash; external accountability.</p> <p>Knowing that other people know what you're supposed to be doing, what your performance goals are, and that your performance is being monitored against some standard (even if it's just showing up every day), is a powerful motivator and it keeps us on track.</p> <p>So the first function of an advisory board is to give us someone to make commitments to and share our goals with, and then continually report to them how we're doing against those goals. This keeps us on the road to success.</p> <p>Don't feel bad that you really can't do this for yourself; most people can't. That's why programs such as Weight Watchers are so much more effective than losing weight alone.</p> <h3>Expertise</h3> <p>The second major function of an advisory board is to give your small business the benefit of specialized expertise that you don't have. They are there to <i>help you make better decisions.</i> The question you will be asking them most often is:</p> <p>&quot;What do you think?&quot;</p> <p>You would be surprised how much easier it is to run your business when you have other people &ndash; people whose paycheck doesn&rsquo;t depend on your decision &ndash; to go to for help and advice. Wouldn't it be nice to have a group of people with your best interests in mind to call on?</p> <p>It sure would.</p> <p>That's the &quot;why&quot; of advisory boards. And anyone can have one!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joanne-berg">JoAnne Berg</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-small-business-mentors-you-can-access-for-nearly-free">6 Small Business Mentors You Can Access for Nearly Free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center accountability advisory board board of directors business advice small business Thu, 26 May 2011 22:44:51 +0000 JoAnne Berg 545047 at http://www.wisebread.com