What Everyone Needs, And No One Wants

This post was written by Charlie Paparelli. He founded and leads the Angel Lounge for angel investors and serves as a Mentor at Atlanta Tech Village. For more startup advice, subscribe to Charlie’s blog here.

If you are an entrepreneur that bootstrapped your company then I bet you lack any real accountability. Part of the reason you got into your own business is probably to enjoy this independence. But I am telling you it is not healthy. I know because I did it myself.

As an angel investor for the last 14 years, I operated on my own, answering to no one most of the time. This was when I was the solo-outside investor in a business. Then there were the times when I co-invested with other partners in a business. This forced accountability. As I look back, it was these deals that provided superior returns.

We all know we need accountability but who really wants it? This all came clear to me recently as I met with an entrepreneur who has bootstrapped his company for the last two years. He is in debt. Missed his goals by 50% last year and is having trouble with a key partner.

After meeting for a couple of hours, he walked away with a short-term plan to gain relief and he reset his goals and his attitude. I offered to meet with him on a monthly basis to help him and hold him accountable to his goals. He jumped on this.

It is a lonely world out there for you bootstrap entrepreneurs. Invite people or at least one person you trust to meet with you regularly and hold you accountable. At a minimum it is a sanity check. At best it will get you where you want to go faster.

Business is all about personal relationships and it starts at the top – with you.