What separates the really successful people from the okay successful people? Now you may be, like me, a solopreneur who works from home. Or you could be a business owner or maybe you work for somebody else, but this is geared more towards solopreneurs and business owners.
The people I've seen who have been the most successful have three main traits. Number one, they're very organized. Number two, they're very prioritized, they know what they want to get done. Number three, they have some accountability. So, organization, prioritization, and accountability.
Finish What You Start
Now, I wrote my first book back in 2013. From that time, I've since created a bunch of training products. I train people face-to-face, but I also train them online. I've created a lot of courses. These courses have been on everything… I think the first one I did was social media secrets, then I've done them on productivity, Google analytics, LinkedIn, all kinds of things.
I sell these through webinars, and through affiliate marketing, where other people bring their list to me, and I give a webinar. Then people purchase these programs and they have lifetime access to it. Over the course of that time, I've noticed some trends. One of the trends is this: a lot of people buy products and never open them.
Books — how many books have you ever bought that you've never finished? So, that's a common trend. I would say maybe about 20% of the people who purchase those self-paced learning tools actually make it through it. Then they feel like they've accomplished something and they've stopped.
Now, less than 10% of that 20% of those people that actually go through it will go back and check it again. I can see the logs. So, people generally don't go back and use that as a reference tool. Why is that? Well, I think the one thing that's really missing is the accountability piece. People need to have some kind of accountability in order to want to execute what's going on.
It Starts With Organization
So, let's dive into the three things I mentioned before, and then we'll spend the vast majority of time on the accountability piece. So the first one is organization. I am an organizational junkie. If you could see my email program, I've got folders on top of folders on top of folders. Every email that comes in into my inbox has one of three actions done with it. Number one, it's trashed, it's junk. Number two, it's filed. Number three, it's acted upon.
Every week, usually on Sunday night, I go through and I clean out my inbox. Sometimes I'll do it during the middle of the week, but I always break it down into those three things. That's part of my productivity course and things that I teach. Organization is incredibly important. As a matter of fact, one of my tools that I love to use, which I'll be teaching soon, is Evernote. I was interviewed by Evernote for their blog. Click here to read the article, Popular Marketing Guru Does More with Evernote. The reason that they interviewed me is because of the way I organize things inside of Evernote.
The next thing is prioritization. As most of you do, I've got my to-do list. I do a to-do list every single night. I put them into three categories, money-making activities, business-making activities, and customer maintenance activities. I try to focus on the money-making ones first and then the business-making ones or marketing second, and then customer maintenance third. I try to allocate time throughout the day to get those things done. But I'm really good at organizing and prioritizing. Check out my page The Productivity Bundle for more details about how I categorize and manage projects and tasks that saves me at least 1-2 hours a day over just shooting from the hip.
Now we get down to the third piece of the puzzle, which is the hardest part of that, and that's accountability. A lot of people ask me, “You work from home? I could never do that. I need somebody to keep me in line. I could be watching TV, eating Bon-Bons, talking on the phone, spending time on Facebook.” I do all of those. No, I'm kidding. I do some of them, but I always organize my time so that I can get these things done. But it doesn't necessarily mean that I could do it all on my own. I, too, need some accountability in order to be successful.
Now, the most successful people out there I know are the ones who are willing to pay for that accountability. You don't always have to, but it helps. So let me tell you about the three different ways I've used accountability in the past. After I wrote my book, the first thing I did was hire a speaking and book marketing coach. That person, Felicia Slattery, has been on this podcast before. Felicia really helped me get my book out there and use it as a promotional tool to get in front of audiences so I could draw them in and get them on my email lists, get them to follow me on social media and everything else. So I had to hire somebody to guide me through the process and keep me accountable every single week, because she had a weekly phone call. That was huge.
When I started this podcast, I belonged to a podcast accountability group. Now, Scott Smith was the guy who ran that, and I actually met him at one of the speaking gigs. Since then I've had different coaches who have held me accountable for different things: creating my systems, building up my marketing, learning tools, all of those kind of things.
Investing In Yourself
The one thing I could say is, from my perspective, it's been an incredible investment. But the other thing I can do is flip the coin. The other side of the coin is that I coach people one-on-one. I also have other accountability options, but I do one-on-one coaching and for the people that I coach one-on-one, we do a weekly call. That weekly call keeps them focused, in line, and gives them some reason to be accountable. Guess what? They achieve their goals faster and better.
The second thing that you can do is get an accountability partner. Now, there are all different kinds of ways to do that, but generally, I had one friend who wanted to do an accountability thing and we called every single week. Those conversations are like, “What's happening in your world? What are you going to get done?”
It went great for a while, but then eventually the other person kind of fell off the chain. He had some medical issues. There are a whole bunch of reasons for it, but the chain fell off the bike and it just stopped. Unfortunately, I feel like that I got more out of it than he did, because it really kept me focused on moving forward.
The third kind of accountability is masterminding. So I belong to a handful of mastermind groups and I run a bunch of mastermind groups. I know people that pay $1,000 or $2,000 a month to be in a mastermind group. Those are huge accountability partner groups. Thes include Vistage, Renaissance Executive Forums, and various industry-specific monthly or quarterly mastermind retreats.
Now, I offer a couple different things. I have my Bacon Weekly Mastermind, which is a weekly phone call where I do a little bit of training and then people get to ask questions, and there's accountability built into that.
The other one, which is my newest thing, is The Content Code, where I do weekly training on video and there's accountability on that as well. So, the accountability helps keep you focused, keep you on track, and get you from Point A to Point B faster than anything else I've seen.
So my question to you is, what can you be doing to increase accountability to yourself, to your business and your team? Start with looking into Meet-Ups in your area. Get out to networking events and ask around. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce, or ask your local community college. Trust me they are out there, you just have to do some digging.
Now, get out there are start becoming more accountable to yourself and your business.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/