Have you ever thought, or said, any of the following?

“I just need someone to hold me accountable.”

“If only there was a community where I could get advice…”

“Let me tell you my plan…” 

And then…

Failed to execute your plan, or take action on the advice you received, or be accountable?

…Yeah. I thought so.

Well, you’re in good company. I spent the better part of a decade always talking and never doing.

That’s what I was doing before Twistori, before Freckle, before JavaScript Performance Rocks! — I talked about the business I would build, some day. The software I would design, some day.

I talked BIG. I had HUGE dreams.

I was always looking around for something that would make me do it.

And I learned: There’s no such thing.

There is no force on earth that can make you do something. Really — nothing.

Even if a moustachio’d highwayman held you at gunpoint and demanded “YOUR LAUNCH DATE OR YOUR LIFE,” you would still choosing between consequences: Do I ship? Or do I take the bullet? You get to choose.

That’s the problem with:

  • accountability groups
  • entrepreneurship forums & mailing lists
  • talking big plans

No matter how many you accumulate, or how good they are, they can’t change you. No more than buying a fancy pair of sneakers will turn you into a runner.

In fact, the very act of buying those sneakers can prevent you from ever becoming a runner. Somehow, the act of buying the sneakers releases the pressure inside you that would impel you to act.

It feels like you did the work. It feels like you took the first step. It feels like the pressure to act is off, because hey, you did something that feels like work! 

And that’s when your motive force fizzles out like a dying balloon:


Your aspirations flop to earth, a sad, empty piece of colored latex.

That’s what really happens when you flip the incredibly alluring release valve of buying the sneakers, and any time you look for outside force to make you take action.

(And yup, this is backed up by research.)


Well, for one, I’ve been there… over & over. Like I said, I talked big plans for years, and did nothing. Only once I stopped talking, and looking for control or power or forces outside myself, did I start doing.

So, if you recognize yourself in that bulleted list, I am in no position to judge, and I hope you’ll take the my advice to heart:

  1. Stop talking, start doing.
  2. Stop looking for an outside power to hold you accountable — instead, explicitly choose to accept the consequences of your inaction, or choose to act.
  3. Stop buying sneakers, and start showing up to walk. Then, later, run.

And if you feel yourself slipping - I recorded this ‘lil 4 minute pep-talk designed to give you a swift kick in the ass!  Give it a listen now, or book mark it any time you need a reminder you that if you want to be in charge, you have to be in charge.  

Stacking the Bricks Podcast EP20 - Swift Kick in the Ass (Accountability)
4 min

Add our podcast to your favorite podcast app (iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify) by searching “Stacking the Bricks” and then download episode 20 so it’s at your fingertips anytime you need it!

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