What’s Your Responsibility as a Business Owner?

This podcast episode covers a topic that came up recently during a call inside The Bold Profit Academy about responsibility as business owners. There is so much pressure which can lead to burnout and fatigue. The pressure stems from a good place, like the fear of not getting people you care about results or someone having a bad experience with your program. But there will always be good and bad reviews of businesses because our society is hyper-connected. So how responsible do business owners need to be for their clients successfully utilizing the product? 

I’ve spent much time unpacking this for myself, so I want to share my exercise with you that has helped. Grab a piece of paper and fold it down the middle. On one side, write down, “What is my responsibility?” and on the other half, write down, “What is not my responsibility?” Then you’ll answer those questions repeatedly, week after week. Answer it on a piece of paper until you come up with the clarity you need. Let’s dive deeper into this conversation with some examples.

What’s My Responsibility?

I will use myself as an example and share with you what I’ve written on my paper. These are true for most of us, so it will give you a great place to start. My responsibilities include being honest about my knowledge and credentials, being explicit about who I can help and how I can help them, demonstrating my work using examples, and telling you I can help you and ask for the sale. 

As a business owner, the most important responsibility is to bring in revenue. You are a commissioned salesperson. If you don’t make sales, you don’t get paid. Sales are your job. Ask for the sale and set up a legally binding contract protecting you and your customer. And then deliver. 

Have a process for work that is repeatable and happens the way it’s supposed to. It’s important for me to price my services in a way that allows me to show up and deliver in an energized manner. I need to stay excited about the work we are doing together. It’s my responsibility to communicate how it works and what is expected of my clients. 

I am responsible for showing up with integrity and delivering on what I’ve said. I need to communicate my company’s values, but the client is responsible for ensuring they align with those values. I have to be consistent with my message and my values. For example, if I’m running a system that says to pay yourself 40-50% of your business’ revenue, I need to pay myself 40-50%. Everything we cover in The Bold Profit Academy is used in my business daily. Each tool and template in the program is filled out by me on a regular basis as well. 

What’s Not My Responsibility?

On the other half of the sheet of paper, document the items that are not your responsibility. Making sure my clients show up is not my responsibility. Making sure people do the work and wanting results more than my clients is not my responsibility. 

In my programs, I’m generous with support and have set up my business in a way that allows me to give powerfully, but you have to ask. You don’t have to participate in calls. You can post in the group instead if you don’t like to post, put in a support ticket. We have removed all the excuses for you not to show up. It’s my responsibility to create a container inclusive of different learning styles, but it’s not my responsibility to offer support outside that container. I always say, “I make recommendations, you make decisions.” 

Many people enter the program, and it takes time to get results. It could be 90 days, six months, or more. Be consistent and show up, and it will begin to compound. Some people get too antsy and impatient and don’t think it’s working fast enough. When those people get distracted and buy something else, that’s not my responsibility. The client’s mental health and physical health are not my responsibility. 

Clients’ decisions about their time and money are not my responsibility. I provide a framework and will answer every question about money, but it’s up to them to go and implement. Other systems and education might contradict the system and process I’ve mapped out, which is not my responsibility. 

There are free courses all over the place, and many business owners try and take the pieces of those courses and put them together, but that doesn’t usually work. There needs to be accountability for the thing that actually gets results, which is a daily action for a long period of time. 

I always remind people that work takes time. I’m honest when setting expectations, but what you do with that information is not my responsibility. It’s not my responsibility to get someone to follow my program continuously. It consists of fundamentals that you will need to stick with year after year. I’m still implementing these strategies eight years in, and I know it works. It’s not my responsibility to decide how much you want to get out of a program. 

My Recent Example of Outlining Responsibilities

Work on defining your responsibilities as a business owner first. Once you have written on the two halves of the paper over and over again, make some decisions about how you want to help boost your business going forward. If you are ready to sign up for a program, determine the top three things you want to get out of a program when you join. It’s your responsibility to define what you want to take from the program.

In my business, I let clients schedule one-on-one sessions on my calendar. Many people don’t schedule them, and I often have no idea how much capacity I have to take on new work. This year, I’m monitoring revenue closely because sales are slower. I need to understand how much capacity I have, so even though we remind people over and over to schedule, I had to communicate my responsibilities clearly. Here is the email I sent out:

Hey, private clients. If you have not scheduled your sessions with me for the year, please make sure you schedule them by March 1st. It’s okay if something comes up and we need to reschedule. It’s understood that man plans and God laughs, so there’s always a session or two that needs to shuffle. By not booking your sessions in advance, the following problem occurs: I don’t know what my capacity is for new clients because I see open slots that I can be selling.

How it’s been: I’ve always been overly flexible. What’s changing? I can no longer be flexible if you aren’t booking your sessions in advance. What’s at risk? If you don’t book your spots in advance, I can’t guarantee you will get the best times for you.

More details: The booking link for you to schedule is here. Need some schedule accommodation? Now is the time to ask. Kendra is the keeper of the schedule. Contact her with all scheduled questions, issues, and concerns. Please don’t message me directly. This is your one and only reminder to get this done by March 1st. If you have an assistant, forward them this message and let them assist you.

There will not be an opportunity to rush and get sessions in before the end of the year. Please reply to this email with “You got it, boss” to let me know you received it. Very much looking forward to creating profit and wealth with you this year.

With gratitude, Tara.

I used this email to clearly outline my responsibility versus the responsibilities of my clients and what happens if they don’t take responsibility. 

Closing Thoughts on Defining Your Responsibility

I hope this information helps you in your business. Do the exercise and define your responsibility. If you like the email I shared, this is just one example of the templates inside of the Bold Profit Academy. I appreciate transparency and try to share as much information as possible about my business.