Blockers to Finishing Your Online Course

#8 No Accountability

I am fiercely independent – and in the case of putting together online courses, this was absolutely to my detriment! I didn’t like the thought of being accountable to anyone – especially after leaving a corporate career for the freedom of freelancing. Why would I go back to having someone question what I was doing?!

Of course, this was a ridiculous strategy – as you can tell from my hugely successful Networking Ninja online course (Nobody? Yep. Never published. Don’t think I’ve even got the videos any more.). While I’m pretty good at getting things done, I’m also very much a last minute dot com kinda gal.

Michelle Five Day WorksAs soon as I realised that the world didn’t explode when I didn’t get the online course finished, my productivity slowed considerably. What did it matter if I got this finished tonight, or tomorrow morning, or even the next day? No-one was queuing up in expectation because it was coming (another hindsight mistake), so there was no-one to justify myself to!

This was ironically in stark contrast to how the rest of my business (at the time) was dealt with. While I was being supported by doing face-to-face work, there was no burning platform for the online stuff. Now that I’m mainly online, I’m less effective at chasing the face-to-face leads …

Two things made the biggest difference for me: recognising that my passion is with online and being involved with two accountability groups. I’d had the option before, but the groups available didn’t feel right – and I wasn’t in the right headspace to search for the right groups. If only I’d known then what I know now of course!

So here are some tips for you to find and make best use of an accountability group, so that you get that course online:


Not all groups are created equal. What works for me is that I am in one group that is very small and we share being on the same online programme together; my other group is larger and consists of people who are also trainers, but brought together originally by request of the group leader for a common purpose. I hear of other groups, some with a networking bias, some with a geographical bias, but I don’t see the benefit to me because those things (physical networking and local contacts) are not fundamental to my business success.


Be honest and clear with where you are. If you don’t feel that you can be honest, the group probably isn’t right for you. The best accountability groups are ones where you can lay yourself metaphorically bare to get the best and most actionable advice for how to move forward.


Stick to your meeting schedule as much as possible. With my first group, we meet online every Monday evening at 7.30pm and we’ve only missed one week over Christmas and changed the day of the week twice in almost a year of meeting up. Sometimes it’s tough after a long day, but the reward (as I’m reminded weekly) is absolutely worth it. We are able to ask each other pertinent and direct questions, because we have made a commitment to keep each other on track.


Recognise that it’s ok to take more than you give sometimes and for others to do the same. As humans we feel a natural sense of reciprocity, so to take more than we receive can make us feel uncomfortable. A great accountability group recognises when one or more of its number needs a little extra boost.


Build relationships in the group by treating other members as you would your most loyal and valuable clients. If the group is right for you, the snowball effect can be extraordinary in helping you to achieve more than you could possibly achieve alone. I can absolutely testify to this one!


Are you in a great accountability group? What makes it special and worth it for you? Tell me more: