I want to walk the extraordinary path through life. In practice, this means I say yes to projects out of my comfort zone, set goals that seriously stretch me, and willingly dance with my fears -- every day.

The challenge is, you don't always feel 'on it'. One day you're riding high; the next you've lost the will. So how do you stay motivated to keep on moving -- even on the toughest days?

For me, customer accountability is my cheat code. It's a fundamental tool that keeps me on track, forces me to dig deep, and inspires my best. It's helped me build my business and achieve significant personal goals. If you want to hack this code, here are three ways to do so yourself:

1. Force yourself to show up.

I launched the Stay Grounded Podcast at the end of 2017. It was a passion project and I was starting from scratch, but I was committed to creating a popular show that published a new interview every week. Publicly declaring this commitment forced me to put myself into situations where I could make the connections that would secure the best guests.

I do the same with my content -- committing to new emails each week as well as members in my Facebook community. When people expect something of you, it forces you to deliver.

2. Empower customers to raise your standards.

Don't just tell customers what you're doing. Instead, provide data that proves you're sticking to your commitments.

In an age of increased environmental awareness, sustainability has become a popular buzzword driving both large and small companies to release annual sustainability reports to the public.  Consumers are asking for more information, and it is up to companies to rise to the occasion and share it.  Take Annmarie Skin Care, a small beauty product company that decided from day one, to release an annual report which created a culture focused on transparency.  When you start out holding yourself accountable, there is no going back. 

These reports release goals and data around environmental metrics, such as recycling materials and energy consumption. When you refuse to hide from your customers, you've got to go the extra mile to deliver on your promises. It's how transparency can be used as an accountability tool to drive up standards - and Annemarie is proof that you don't need to be a large corporation in order to leverage the power of a promise. 

3. Live by your mission.

Many companies create a mission, but how many actually live it out? By publishing your mission on your website and reinforcing it through your content and customer communication, you remind yourself what you stand for. Use your mission to give customers a benchmark to assess your performance and you have no choice but to step up.

JavaPresse is committed to transforming your coffee ritual into an extraordinary daily experience. We're all about spreading contagious happiness through the cup of joe that fuels your day. Because our customers expect a certain level of impact and experience, we have to deliver.

Your to-do list never shrinks when you're growing a business and with so much on your plate it's easy to drop the ball. And it's even easier to let standards slip when you think no one will notice

Accountability is the tool that doesn't let you off the hook. It forces you to stay committed to your goal by staying committed to the people you want to serve. So take a look at your business to see how you could leverage accountability in your performance strategy. This cheat code for success will take you a long way -- if you let it.

Published on: Jun 5, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.