Today we are talking about accountability partners. What an accountability partner is, why you might choose to have one, what your role is as an accountability partner and why you need one right now.
If you're an entrepreneur or business person, you always have goals. You always want to move forwards, of course, but you work by yourself it isn’t easy to keep on track.
You might have a to-do list in your head (of course you have a list), and a calendar, all kinds of ways to keep yourself accountable. These are not the same as talking to a real person.
Somebody who is not a partner in your business.
Who should be your accountability partner?
Your accountability partner wants you to reach your goals, and you want them to reach theirs.
They must be trustworthy, first of all. They need to understand what you want. For this to happen, you need to explain to them what you want out of this partnership, in detail, and vice versa. They should not be judgmental. You don't want to have anybody looking down their nose or giving you strange comments every time you don't accomplish what you set for yourself. You want to move forwards with a friend and to be able to keep your commitment to your goals.
Choose somebody who you like and trust.
You must set clear expectations. Tell them how you’d like them to react if you don't accomplish last week's goals. Do you want them to get on your case, get mad, keep a scorecard or give you gold stars?
I have an accountability partner. She is a friend, and we talk to each other once every two weeks. We get up to date with what we've been doing, and we talk to each other about our goals in the next couple of weeks. We don't have gold stars; we don't get mad at each other, we are not judgmental, and we don't want to let each other down. She is somebody who I respect, and I want her to respect me. If I consistently don't reach my goals for the following week, then I'm kind of a loser, right? I'm failing in my eyes and I'm failing in her eyes, and I don't want that.
We also use each other for idea sharing, brainstorming, and getting creative. I give her ideas; she gives me ideas. We give motivational support to each other. I admire her work, and I think she also admires mine, and it's enjoyable to talk to each other. And you know, she's my cheerleader! She’ll tell me what a great job I’m doing, and I do the same for her. We lift each other up! If we get a little overwhelmed with our work, we're just so tired, and it's too much with families and holidays and cooking and everything else that happens in our lives, then we give each other some slack.
We may have set a goal, not reached it and we're feeling down on ourselves. And she'll say to me, "it's okay, it's absolutely fine. Of course you didn't reach it. How could you? You had five big meals to do in the last two weeks. There's no way you could've done all the extra work as well."
That makes me feel a lot better than before I spoke to her.
But if she sees that I'm kind of getting a little bit lazy, then she'll say, "You really could have done that, let's find out why you didn't." And we talk about that - why did I not reach a goal or why did she not.
Now let's talk about scheduling. It's best for you to have something steady and in your calendar every week or two, or every period that you choose, something organized.
We do it about every two weeks, and that works well for us. Every week is too much - we have so many things going on already, and I have my Mastermind of course so I don't do it every week but every two weeks works out well for both of us. We like to do a Skype call, but you could just do a regular phone call, or you could even just text each other and check in. Anything that works for you. It could be emails. We like to get onto Skype calls because we just like to be with each other, like to have fun talking to each other, so that works out best for us. Make sure you have it organized.