Is there an essential business activity that you’re avoiding? Maybe it’s marketing, sales, or client follow-up.

Most business owners, entrepreneurs, and salespeople manage their own activity. They pretty much decide what to do and when to do it. Being your own boss can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you get to call your own shots.

On the other hand, you may neglect certain important activities that are outside your comfort zone. The truth is: Most people will go out of their way to avoid doing things that are outside their comfort zone, even if they realize those activities are important for the business. Sometimes people will resolve to do something they don’t like because they know it’s important, but sooner or later they regress back to their old ways.

My client Jeff is a financial adviser. He hired me to help him expand his client base. Jeff is great on the technical side and loves to do research. He’s less comfortable with things like networking and social contact. Jeff knew he needed to meet new people to generate more business, but he just wasn’t doing anything about it.

When I started coaching Jeff, we set up a number of prospecting activities, such as reaching out to his clients to ask for referrals, setting up meetings with potential prospects, attending select business networking meeting, etc. Every time we met, we set up certain actions he would take before our next meeting. At the next meeting, I would hold him accountable for doing what he said he would do.

On his own, Jeff wouldn’t have done any of these prospecting activities, but because we had an accountability relationship, he did what he said he would do. And guess what? In eight short months, Jeff grew his client base almost 25 percent.

We all need accountability for certain things. By setting up an accountability relationship with someone you respect and trust—someone who will hold you to your word—you are much more likely to follow though with your intentions. Your accountability partner could be a friend, a coworker, or a business or sales coach. Be sure to choose someone who is reliable, has your best interests in mind, and will hold you to your word.

Having an accountability relationship is not a weakness. It’s a sign of self-awareness, responsibility, and strength.