Eternally Curious. Writing, Learning, Building in Public. Writing about Ideas + Inspiration + Insights for creators, solopreneurs and indie hackers | Simple tips and frameworks to help you build a sustainable solo business
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Tell me this - what do you struggle with more?
I’ve spoken to hundreds of solopreneurs over the past year or so, and I’ve seen a 50:50 split among them.
And the most successful ones I’ve met are the ones who’ve solved both these aspects in their life. They’re good with strategy as well as executing on that strategy.
I mostly talk about strategy here, but today I want to talk about execution.
As a solopreneur, exectution comes down to your personal productivity, your ability to actually do what you want to do.
You can make all the plans in the world, but if you can’t put those plans in action then you will never succeed.
So how do you actually do it? How do you get shit done?
There are so many hacks, tips and tricks that I use, and I can write about more of them in the future if this topic resonates.
But today I want to talk about accountability.
I’ve found external accountability to be one of the most powerful motivators.
Just by telling someone that you are going to do something, you drastically improve your odds of actually doing the thing.
Let’s see how to apply external accountability to achieve your goals.
3 Levels of Accountability
I'm a huge believer in sharing your goals publicly.
Whether it’s on social media, in your newsletter, or even to your friends and family in real life, it’s important to let people know what you’re striving for and when you plan to achieve it.
It may seem extreme, but this can be a great way to stay accountable and get things done.
I’ve applied this a bunch of times -
Most recently, back in June 2022 I did a crazy challenge where I shipped 25 projects in 25 weeks -
This was really hard, and I would have given up mid way if I had not publicly announced the challenge like this.
There was someone asking me about the challenge almost every day, I knew people were watching, and that pushed me to keep shipping week after week.
(This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Learned a lot, few lessons captured in this thread.)
Point being - use public accountability to get shit done.
But keep in mind, this can fail if you don’t have an audience.
If you know nobody’s watching, giving up can be very easy.
This is where the 2nd strategy helps.
If you don’t have an audience, or you aren’t ready for the emotional roller coaster that public announcements bring in, then you should try out group accountability.
Gather a bunch of friends who have similar ambitions and objectives, and have everyone announce their goals to the group.
This way, you'll have a sense of public responsibility, knowing that everyone else is in the same boat as you.
There will be less scrutiny, and your peers will genuinely care about your progress.
You can be open and honest about your struggles, and use each other to stay on track to achieving your goals.
This is what we’re trying with the 30DayActionSprint inside the Indie Masterminds community.
Everyone has set goals for themselves for March, and they’re sharing daily/weekly updates about the tasks they’re doing to achieve those goals over 30 days.
Plus at the end of the month, there’s a “Demo Day” with the whole community, so everyone knows they’re building towards something over this period.
We’re just 4 days in, but feedback from members has been really good. They like the concept, and the framework is helping them take action on tasks they had been procrastinating on for months!
This is what I call “Protected” accountability.
It’s safer than public accountability, but you’ve got more at stake compared to personal accountability.
Which is what we’ll look at next.
This is where you take a bet on yourself.
You know your goals, you know your challenges, you know how to overcome them.
Write down your goals, preferably such that you can see them every day.
Writing down is key here, because then the goal is outside your head, it’s real, tangible, has a physical presence. Even if only you can read it, this is still a form of “external” accountability.
Then, make a plan to achieve the goal, and work on it every day.
There’s no better approach if you can pull this off. Personal Accountability can be more empowering than group or public accountability, because it’s so fulfilling.
Once you achieve something through this system, you start feeling like Superman, you can do anything 🦸
But it’s very hard.
Especially if you don’t have a track record of executing tasks independently.
It’s challenging because all our life we’re trained to do work in social settings - in schools, universities, offices. Where we are surrounded by peers doing similar work, or bosses/teachers giving us goals and tracking our progress.
But when it comes to building a solo business, there are no peers to pressure us, no teachers to give us goals and no bosses to track our progress.
That’s why when we start out, we find it so hard to meet our own goals with our side hustles and passion projects.
This is why I advise the other 2 approaches early on in everyone’s journey.
As you gain more experience, you can start relying on self discipline and personal accountability to get stuff done.
Now, all of this is useless if you can’t actually apply any of the methods mentioned above.
So do this today -
- Take a piece of paper, write down your goal for the next 30 days
- Make a step by step plan to achieve it.
- Share it with a few friends/ or a group/ or post it on social media.
- Get to work
- Share updates every day.
I’m sure you will see great results.
This is the best way to get yourself to do work that moves the needle.
That’s it for today.
Hope this helped a little.
📢 Reccomendations and Shoutouts
- Looking to market your SaaS to freedom in 2023? My friend and SaaS Marketer Ricky shares marketing tactics and channel strategies for SaaS products in his weekly newsletter 'Write your SaaS Growth'! Join 185+ founders.
- Get advice from no-code experts and community builders, over a 1:1 video call to know what you don’t know. Sign-up for free, it only takes 2 min. Start the conversation. Learn and grow. Built by my friend and awesome founder Sneha.
🔗 Super Links
Useful links you don't want to miss -
- If you’re thinking of giving up, do take a look at this picture. Thanks Roohi for sharing.
- Such a cool mix of storytelling and data. Thanks Safwan for sharing.
- If you have a Mac, then this is the only AI tool you should be using.
- Watch this Reel if you’re looking for inspiration. Smart way to use AI to make up for limited resources. Thanks Axel for sharing.
- If you’re a chronic overthinker (like me), then do read this fantastic piece by Rainar.
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🤗 How can I help?
Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you -
- 🧠 Solopreneurship is hard, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. I’m creating the most action focused community for creators and founders. Where you can learn and grow alongside like minded peers from across the world. Deep dive workshops, monthly sprints, meetups, book clubs and lots more. Come join us.
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