In my last blog post, I mentioned my accountability partners and how I knew they would be on me daily to stay productive in my business. Your first reaction might be resistance to having to report in to others at your age, while you are creating a business that is all about you.
The value of accountability partners, however, is many-fold.
- First of all, you need to notice the word “partners” – they are as accountable to you as you are to them. In the exchange, you are introduced to other ideas and methods and products and teams – that is a huge horizon-broadening aspect.
- When you know you have to tell someone else what you have accomplished in a day, you tend to make sure you accomplish something each day.
- There is no rule you need to follow their suggestions. It is always advisable not to be too attached to an idea but if you feel strongly your concept is better than others’ advice, stick to it.
- When you feel you are in a rut, or something just isn’t coming together, your accountability partner (AP) will rally you and remind you just what you have accomplished. Your AP can be gentler on you than you are on yourself.
- You will end up with the skill sets of two (or more) people. Your AP will not let you struggle over something they have the skills to help you with.
- You will have a built-in test audience for any courses/trainings you create.
- You will have easily identified Joint Venture (JV) partners up the road when you are ready to expand your business.
I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce you to one of my long-term accountability partners. Prior to our accountability assignment (the match was made by a coach), Michelle and I were only barely acquainted from some training weekends we had both attended. We didn’t even live in the same country although our common time zone helped our check-in sessions. Skype and a glass of wine every Friday evening soon bonded us like glue. Although we had nothing in common, we had everything in common. We understood each other’s goals and dreams, we empathized over our perceived shortcomings, and we rallied each other when one or the other felt adrift on a slippery slope. With time we got a feel for each other’s business and abilities, and the rest is history.
Long after we were reassigned to other partners, we still reserved Friday for our continued check-ins. Despite our growing friendship, accountability was always the first order of the day and could get pretty “accountable”. Knowing the Friday night movie would not start until after the call, my small grandson would peek at my monitor in hopes of catching a glimpse of “‘shell”s dog or children, and Michelle’s children would join the call as we wound down and I became Auntie Agnes. This might be an extreme stroke of good fortune, but for me it has been a stroke of extreme good fortune.
I have done a couple of small, informal polls about accountability and the comments were always the same: “important” “on track” “focused” and I like this comment: “an accountability partner is another set of eyes and ears to ask you what the heck you are thinking!! So important”.
You may not have the same luck as I did with your first accountability partners. I have had subsequent ones that I just could not connect with and we discontinued the partnership. I have also found a few more who care about my business as much as I do (and vice versa) and as our connections expand, we regularly contemplate possibilities for future joint ventures. With successful accountability partnerships, you really do start to feel like you have the potential to grow as big as you care to without having to do all the work yourself.
There is a saying that “No man is an island entire of itself” (John Donne) and this is especially true with an on-line business. There is too much happening and developments unfold at lightning speed. If you do not find a way to bond to and communicate with trainers and other marketers, you could slide into an abyss and never know the difference. Or you end up purchasing every shiny object that presents itself and that is a time and money waster.
So… find a way to create a circle of accountability. It is hugely valuable in many ways. I’ll admit that sometimes it is like watching your neighbour parent – you discover a myriad of things you don’t want to do! An easy way to find a pool of APs is to make sure you join groups of like-minded entrepreneurs. There is a lot of great groups, coaches and mentors out there, but choose wisely – you want a good fit because we are in this for the long-term!