Originally Published on February 28, 2018. Updated on August 6, 2018.
I’m a small business owner so no one tells me what to do. Sounds great, but without anyone to tell me what to do I don’t know what to do.
I am finding that the lack of accountability to someone else is one of my greatest obstacles. I set goals for myself and achieve them proudly, but are my goals the “right” goals for growing my business? Without someone else to talk to about this I get lost in my thoughts – my fears.
Having someone tell me what the expectations are for the day or week is very helpful for me. I always had a great deal of independence in my jobs, but there was always a specific goal and an understood means of accomplishing it.
Example: Goal – Help people cope with their mental illness. As a social worker I accomplished this task by working in an out patient mental health clinic as a therapist. I had a detailed job description (even if it did not detail ALL of my responsibilities), empirically tested approaches to treatment, colleagues to conference with and patients right in front of me to provide feedback on successes and failures. On top of that, I had supervisors making sure I am completing necessary paperwork and submitting them on deadlines.
These are things that irritated me when I was an employee. “I know how to do my job, leave me alone!” And I did know how to do my job – but that’s because someone taught me. Most importantly, I had other people to lean on. If I didn’t know how best to document something – I could ask someone. If I was doubting my capabilities – a coworker could set me straight.
Well, I’m the only person here. Also, I work from home so I don’t even have strangers to interact with during the day. It’s incredibly frustrating, and lonely.
I need someone to bounce ideas off of. Or at the very least, someone to blurt out ideas to in the hopes that one of us will remember that super creative idea. It’s not so much that I doubt the quality of my work – but rather that I don’t know if my efforts are getting the results I want. (To provide inspiration and support to others that are building their dreams with what they have in front of them.)
And, as the only person here I have no one to assess what tasks are priorities. Everything I do for Functional Rustic is important. What needs to be done today? What tasks need to be done first and which can be delayed?
Do I create new pieces or build up the inventory I already have? Do I write a blog about my thinking process or a DIY tutorial blog. What pictures will I need for the blog? Do those pics have the website on it yet? What are the proper tags and descriptions to put on each photo so search engines find it? How often should I be updating my Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Am I posting enough content to Facebook, DIY Projects of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Medium and YouTube? Am I linking to all my social media accounts when I write blogs? How much time should I be spending on each activity. Oh, and did I mention that I am learning all of this as I go so each task involves hours of research on how to complete it effectively?
I could go on and on.
The hope is that the Functional Rustic Blog will help me focus my energies. If I tell you, the reader, I am going to accomplish certain tasks – I will. With so many tasks to complete it is easy to not do one thing but still feel productive because I accomplished other objectives. However, that thing I didn’t do – still isn’t done. I work under the assumption that people are reading my content and that if I say I’m going to post something by the end of the week – that reader will expect to see it by the end of the week.
So, I’m putting it out there – putting myself out there. Either no one reads this – and I’m exactly where I was before writing it OR people do read it and either like or don’t like it. But at least I have feedback. AND – I now have someone to be accountable to.
Today’s Lesson: Just because you are the only employee doesn’t mean you can’t have accountability.
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Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic
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