Is Accountability An Inside Job?

Is Accountability An Inside Job?

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

In this blog, I’m going to talk about accountability. As a coach, it’s a topic that comes up often when I am talking to potential and existing clients, which has prompted me to really think about the role of accountability in the work I do and in the success of my clients. I’d like to share my thoughts on the topic with you, in the hope that they are helpful.

Years ago, when talking to potential clients, if they seemed too focused on needing a coach for accountability purposes (i.e. someone to keep them on track with their goals), I saw this as a red flag. Why? Because it always concerned me when people were too fixated on something external for their success. It was my firm belief that accountability was an inside job. I’ve softened on this over the years, because I’ve seen in my own business journey, how powerful some external forms of accountability can be.

In my recent musings on the subject, however, I’ve come to the realisation that internal accountability — our ability to keep our promises to ourselves — is crucial, if we are to have any chance of using other forms of accountability successfully. For example, it’s no good hiring a coach or joining a mastermind, if you consistently fail to take any action between the calls.

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners, some who with a little guidance and strategic direction, dive right in, get the work done and enjoy success as a result and others who with the same, consistently fail to take action and struggle to move forward. As a coach, I’ve been obsessed with understanding why this is for as long as I can remember. What I now know is that without some level of internal accountability, no amount of external structure or support can truly help. When we can get ourselves to a place where there is self-trust, a commitment to something important and a willingness to show up for ourselves and the work that matters, with just a few additional support structures, we’re able to achieve things we might have previously thought impossible.

That’s how it’s been for me anyway. I haven’t always been good at follow through. In fact, in my twenties, I was terrible at it, so much so that people rarely paid attention to my lofty goals, because they knew that while I talked a good game, I rarely backed it up with action. Now in my mid-forties, I’m fairly confident that no matter what I set my mind to I’ll achieve it and most of the people who know me well would say the same.

So what changed? Well first and foremost, I healed my relationship with myself. Unfortunately there is no quick fix to this one, my journey included years of therapy, various trainings, lots of yoga and meditation, many healing modalities, hundreds of books and several years of coaching.

What was central to all the work I did, was learning to love myself. It was changing my internal dialogue from one of criticism and hate to one of support and love. When I was younger I used to joke that I was my own worst enemy. Now I can’t believe that I ever thought that was something to laugh about.

Once I moved into a much healthier relationship with myself, I noticed how much easier it was to stick to my promises to myself and others. It became easier to face my fears and do things that previously, I could never have imagined possible, it became easier to focus on deep work and spend time creating things that mattered to me. These days it’s not uncommon for me to hear comments from people like: “I just don’t know how you do everything you do!”, people (friends, colleagues, clients) regularly make comments on my ability to get things done. And the best part is that I’m not working crazy hours or killing myself to do it. I only work 6 hours a day, 5 days a week and I don’t work evenings or weekends. I even manage to enjoy a long two hour lunch with my boys in the middle of my working day and (for the most part) call-free Fridays.

Structures for success

When I sat down to really think about why this is, it became apparent just how many structures for success I have in place — check out this article for 10 such structures I have in place to support my weekly writing habit. Structures for success is the name I give to anything that helps me to succeed in achieving the results I want. I thought it might be helpful to share some of these with you.

A plan, goal or vision

I’m a perpetual planner, as a former project and program manager, I knew only too well how important a solid and well thought out plan is to the success of any project. Without a plan, we have no idea what we’re trying to achieve, what is required to achieve it or when and how those things will get done. I also believe that the gold is in the planning and that once done, we can give ourselves some freedom around how we implement the plan, safe in the knowledge that we’ve thought through all of the variables.

My big why

Knowing why the work I’m doing is important to me is crucial for getting through those moments when I’d rather be doing something else. A question I like to ask myself when my why feels distant, is what’s the alternative? If I think about this question in terms of working on my business and making my business a success, then I can quickly tap into why following through on creating content for my audience or on delivering work for my clients is so important. The alternative to doing work that I love and that has an impact is going back to the life I had before, working for someone else, watching the clock and spending my days working on things that don’t truly have an impact nor give me the joy, fulfilment and financial rewards I currently enjoy.

A daily schedule

Some people get overwhelmed when they see my rather full, color coded schedule but having clarity about what needs to get done each day and when I’m going to do that work is precisely what stops me from getting overwhelmed. As my business has grown and I’ve taken on more and more clients, I’ve had to get super organised with my schedule. This never feels restrictive, instead the opposite, I have a schedule that tells me what to do and when, so that I get everything I need to get done to keep my business running without having to work overtime or sacrifice quality time with my family. Without that schedule, for sure I’d be operating in a state of chaos and overwhelm, constantly trying to catch up.


This has been a game changer for me. I used to use Focusmate which I like in the main, but it has one too many things that frustrate me, not knowing who will turn up and if they will turn up, people turning up late and people not following the rules laid out by the platform. Most of the time this wasn’t the case but for the handful of times it has happened, it derailed my whole working session. Thankfully, one of my clients has created a wonderful alternative in the form of mindful coworking, where a group of us regularly meet for movement, guided meditation and deep, focused work. What I can get done in a 52 minute cabin session is double what I can do alone.


I don’t work full time with a coach these days, but when I’m struggling to move forward on something, I won’t hesitate to book a session with my business mentor to talk things through. Coaching has always been a catalyst for me and I find it really helpful to talk things out with someone who has more experience than me.

There are for sure, other things in my accountability toolkit but I’ll leave it there for now. The main purpose of this blog, for me, was to share with you the distinction between internal and external accountability and the importance of doing the work to facilitate the former before trying to use the latter.

I’d love to know what comes up for you as you read this blog. Has this been your experience? Do you find accountability useful? Or have you tried to use external forms of accountability with little success?



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

How Your Work Is Received Is Not Up To You

How Your Work Is Received Is Not Up To You

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection”

~ Mark Twain

In early 2021, I ran my first ever paid for online workshop. For the longest time, I had in one way or another been talking or thinking about offering online classes. However, until that point, I’d never sold a group class or workshop online.

But I had actually taught online a heap.

For the launch of my (now retired) Female Business Academy (FBA) back in 2017, I taught several free online workshops. Once the FBA was up and running, I taught several online classes to the members. I’ve also taught a lot of online classes to the 2020 and 2021 Conscious Business Mastermind (CBM) cohorts AND I taught free classes to huge audiences as part of the Embodiment Conference twice last year.

It’s safe to say that I have taught online regularly and I’m more than comfortable doing it.


For some reason, I’ve had huge resistance to offering regular, paid for online classes and workshops to my wider audience. Which I’ll admit baffled me for a while. Having been in business for myself in one way or another for close to a decade, I don’t usually have a problem with resistance. I felt sure that I had successfully fought and slayed the fear of failure and being more visible dragons long ago but, here I have been not wanting to offer a paid for online workshop.

I have one way to deal with resistance. I call it front-loading the fear. I take one big step to announce to the world that I am going to do the very thing I’m feeling resistance towards and then, motivated by the pressure to keep to my word, I take action. Which is exactly what I did, on the spur of the moment I decided to announce a free online class that very Friday.

I set everything up and promoted it across my social media channels and initially felt relief as people started signing up, which quickly turned to mild panic as the number rose to 40 people. It’s funny, I thought my biggest fear was that no one would show up, but it turns out that my biggest fear was a load of people turning up. Allow me to explain.

I have two core offerings, my 1:1 coaching and my Conscious Business Mastermind. For both of these, I don’t take anyone on I haven’t coached or spoken to at length first. Meaning, I get to choose who I work with. For a recovering control freak, this was more important to me than I realised. My fear of online workshops, it turns out, is that I have zero control over who turns up or how many people turn up.

Despite having a stonking headache about a half hour before the class and the fact that it was last thing on a Friday (by which time I usually pretty spent), I felt like it went okay. Because the main purpose in running the class was to practice my registration process, gain some confidence and get feedback, I told attendees at the end of the 90 minutes that should they wish to receive the recording and resource guide, they would need to complete the feedback form.

A link to the form went out 10 minutes after the call ended and I waited nervously for the first completed form to land. I didn’t have long to wait. I let out a huge sigh of relief as I read words like “It went beyond my expectations…You are a breath of fresh air.” and “not a single word was out of place.”, then the second form came in and it was just as positive.

Okay, I told myself, it looks like people liked it. When the third form came in, I had already concluded that the class had gone well, so when I read that this respondent found my delivery monotonous and that they felt they had learned nothing new in the class, I felt a wave of shame flood my body. The feeling was visceral. Another 20 forms came in over the next hour or so and they were all positive. All the other forms I received were positive, some extremely so.


Because of this one form, it took me several hours to shake off the feeling that I had seriously messed up.

Thankfully that feeling didn’t last long and with a bit of time, I was mostly just deeply grateful for the comments I received on all of the forms. In fact the one form that expressed disappointment in the class is the one form that I feel set me free.

As great as it is to get nice feedback, when the feedback we get is in the main positive, we’re much more likely to get complacent about our work and/or live in fear of the bad review, the unhappy customer or client. When the worst case happens and someone lets you know that they didn’t get much out of your offering, whilst it stings initially, with a little time and perspective, it’s actually quite liberating.

Even though I’ve always known on an intellectual level that we can’t please everybody, all of the time, I think as humans we deep down secretly try to. So when someone lets you know that what you created fell short for them, it actually bursts a bubble. A bubble in which you tell yourself that everything you put out into the world has to be perfect. Because here’s the thing.

How your work is received is not up to you.

When one person can say “It was one of the most value packed workshops I’ve been to (paid or free).” and another can say they “didn’t learn anything new.” then there is no clearer message to me that how my work is received is out of my hands and what a relief it is to let that go.

I probably don’t have to tell you why I am sharing this but just in case there is any doubt, I will.

I see amazing, smart, conscious business owners play small ALL the time, in an attempt to avoid “failing”, getting criticized or being disliked and I get it, we’re hardwired to avoid rejection. Hundreds and thousands of years ago rejection by our fellow humans would have meant death, but this isn’t the case anymore.

The truth is that failure is an inevitable and extremely important part of growth.

Had I allowed my resistance to win, I might have had a more pleasant Friday night, but I wouldn’t have given myself this opportunity to grow. That one piece of less than positive feedback helped me to look more closely at all of the feedback I received and really dig deep for any and all improvements I can make for next time.

Because of all of the feedback, my future classes will be better. Rather than resting on my laurels, I’m motivated to do even better next time — not from a striving perfectionist place but from a place of curiosity about how to make continuous improvements to my work and my offerings. Trust me when I say that coming from a place of curiosity feels infinitely better than coming from a place of perfectionism.

So how about you? What have you been putting off launching to the world?

I know there’s something because we all have something! If you feel called to share it with me, comment below, and if you feel like trying my tactic of front-loading the fear, head over to my free Facebook Group right now and announce the launch of your thing to the world!



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

4 Business Areas To Focus On In 2022

4 Business Areas To Focus On In 2022

  1. Marketing
  2. Operations
  3. Business Model

This is all about the reason your business exists and the ideas and big why upon which it is built. It’s the message you share with the world. Under purpose it’s important to explore and identify those very things that makes your business unique — it’s what separates you from others in your field and helps people to know that you are the business owner they want to work with.

  • Your core message, which I describe as the big idea behind your business. Not sure what yours is, consider what business related idea you would share if you were to give a TED talk. Mine for reference is this: When you change the way you do business, you change the world. You can read more about what I mean by this here.
  • Your point of view, which is basically your take on how to solve the problem the problems your clients have. It’s your opinion on the best possible course of action to get the results people are looking for. To read more about point of view head here.
  • Your framework, this is the how of your business, it’s your particular approach to facilitating the transformation your clients seek. What I’m sharing here in this blog is, in essence, my framework for building and growing a conscious and sustainable business.

This as an “area” to focus on can often feel huge and overwhelming, especially given how much conflicting and toxic advice there is out there on the internet. Personally, I like to keep it simple. First of all I like to reframe marketing from marketing to our audience to connecting with our audience. Often the first step we need to make is to change how we think about marketing. Click here for more on that.

  • Practice regular outreach, which essentially involves reaching out to people 1:1 and developing meaningful relationships, which over time inevitably lead to sales as well as a host of other opportunities and friendships. To watch a presentation I gave about outreach, head here.
  • Conduct audience research. I can’t tell you how many people fail to ask their audience what they think, what they are struggling and what they want. Conducting audience research is a wonderful way to build relationships, get invaluable information about how to help our ideal clients and a great source of the specific language we can use to better connect with our ideal clients and get sales. To read about different ways to do this head here.
  • Offer a generous freebie. I’m not a fan of pithy email opt-ins designed to get people on your list but I am a fan of generous freebies, such as full, pitch free gift sessions or high value free workshops (as opposed to time-wasting webinars). In my experience when you wow people with a generous freebie, both sales and loyalty are much more likely. To read more about my approach to gift sessions head here.
  • Your processes and systems. As my business has grown, I’ve had to get serious about having strong systems in place. If I didn’t it would be chaos over here. Often we think that we don’t need systems (because we’re still small) or that systems will stifle our creativity but I promise you that having solid systems in place allows you to focus on the important work of delivering your services without wasting countless hours on unnecessary admin and busy work. To access a systems checklist I use with clients, head here. (If you make a copy you’ll then be able to edit).
  • Your support system, i.e. the tools and software you use, the tasks you outsource (or could) and any people you employ and how these work together to save you valuable time.

Your business model is the way you bring money into your business and as such covers the following:

    • Pricing. This is where you’ll want consider your positioning. Are you a business that offers premium services or do you favour affordable and accessible pricing? To read my thoughts on authentic pricing head here.
    • The customer journey. Some people might call this the sales funnel, but I hate the thought of squeezing people through a funnel. I much prefer to think of the path my potential clients take to the front door of my business. You’ll also want to consider what kind of marketing you’ll need for each individual product or service. How you market a group program that happens once a year is very different to how you might need to market an ongoing membership. To read more on pathways head here.



    Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

    The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

    If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.