Get All Access for $5/mo

An Accountability Partner Makes You Vastly More Likely to Succeed Simply explaining what you're doing to someone you respect is a powerful way to staying on track and avoiding impulsive decisions.

By Barrett Wissman Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

Entrepreneurs, when left unbridled by proper governance, often run their businesses right off the rails. Many have done it. They often squander their venture capital funding before building a working prototype, hire too many employees without considering the impact on overhead and take a company in a different direction without first considering the market demand for what they are now pitching.

Despite the challenges, it is possible to increase one's chances for success to a 95 percent rate. The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65 percent likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success increase to 95 percent when they build in ongoing meetings with their partners to check in on their progress.

Related: Will Your Business Still Be Around a Decade From Now?

For any entrepreneur who wants to succeed, accountability is crucial. The key to success is to find the type of accountability that speaks to a particular style of communication and personality.

Peer networks.

Peer-to-peer networks focused on entrepreneurs offer two-way communication that enable founders to learn from each other and share their own experiences. These groups bring together entrepreneurs with like-minded perspectives and goals. They often offer tools and resources to help further each other's ventures.

One large-scale example is EO, a global network for entrepreneurs that fosters peer-to-peer learning and provides connections for its members. EO hosts chapter-led forums and experiential events to further its mission of engaging leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow. It also recognizes that entrepreneurs are busy and therefore offers webinars, virtual courses and podcasts to make it easier for founders on the go to have digital access to the right training materials wherever they are.

Related: 4 Questions to Ask About Networking Mentors


Some entrepreneurs prefer to be held accountable on a more personal level, establishing a one-on-one relationship with a person who is experienced in a particular field and has achieved a high level of success. Ninty-three percent of small and mid-sized business owners said mentoring was helpful to their success.

Finding the right mentor can be the most difficult part of developing an accountability partnership. A mentor could be an investor, someone with a strong track record who runs a company similar in scope or a boss from an old job or institution that one admires. These are all people who are well-positioned for a mentor role, and many are flattered to be asked or to be introduced.

Related: When You're a Leader, Everything You Do Has an Impact


Some entrepreneurs work best in a competitive setting. Apps create the kind of "leaderboard" experience they're looking for. An app makes tracking numbers and the ruthless data these entrepreneurs crave easy.

Different accountability apps provide different experiences. Some, like StickK, motivate you by pledging money to a cause you despise if you fail to reach your goal. matches you with a leadership coach in an area where you need development. Things has been designed to not only show you what's on your plate, but to also show you a visual diagram of how close you are to the completion of a goal.

Entrepreneurs can easily lose sight of their goals and take their businesses in a completely different direction than they intended. The right kind of accountability can provide the insight they need to make themselves and their businesses better. Who's holding you accountable?

Barrett Wissman

Chairman of IMG Artists and Principal in Two Pillar Management

Barrett Wissman is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and concert pianist. He is chairman of IMG Artists, a performing-and-cultural arts entertainment business, and a principal in Two Pillar Management, which represents and partners with social media brands, influencers and celebrities.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.


Taylor Swift Has a Lucky Number. And She's Not the Only High Performer Who Leans Into Superstitions to Boost Confidence.

Even megastars like Swift need a little extra something to get them in the right mindset when it is game time.


SEO Trends You Need to Be Aware of Right Now, According to a Seasoned Pro

Navigate the future of search engine optimization to elevate your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.