Sitting down to a coffee with a friend recently and it wasn’t long before the obligatory question came, “How’s business?”.
I was proud to say I’ve achieved an extraordinary amount over the last few months. I’ve revamped my website and marketing kit, built an internal intranet to house all my systems and processes, and created a raft of templates to systemize what I’m doing. I’ve employed a Virtual Assistant and got them up and running, and I’ve hustled a host of work for the pipeline.
Life is demanding, business can be overwhelming, and procrastination is rife as we battle through endless To-Do lists and complex projects. But I was pleased to make enormous headway … through having an Accountability Partner.
An Accountability Partner is someone who helps you stay motivated and follow through on all those projects you’ve been postponing. They provide guidance and support to help you grow your business by holding you to your commitments.
An Accountability Partner will help you achieve more than you can on your own. Why? It’s been well documented that the likelihood of successfully meeting your goals increases dramatically when you write them down and share them with another person. Partnering with someone else can make the process seem easier and more fun.
An Accountability Buddy will help you to get specific about what you’re trying to achieve and by when. Going it alone is perfectly fine if you’re a hundred percent disciplined. But for the rest of us, an extra helping hand will help you get there so much more quickly, particularly when you’re feeling overwhelmed, constantly getting distracted, or don’t know where to start.
Here’s the thing. It can be lonely as a leader or an entrepreneur. Having an accountability partner gives you someone to help you think things through, vet your ideas and help you identify and make plans to overcome weaknesses in your business.
An Accountability Partner can help you do more than you ever could on your own.
1. . An Accountability Partner will help you stay focused on the things that need to be done and your agreed time-frames. Without someone to hold you accountable, it’s too easy to procrastinate – days, weeks or months can fly past without taking any action on your important goals.
2. . How many times have you been distracted by the next Silver Bullet that promises to shoot you to success? Bright Shiny Objects are fatal to achieving your goals – an Accountability Partner will hold these at bay and keep you focussed on the things that really are important.
3. . Sometimes tough love is essential, and an Accountability Partner will remind you of the important things when you need it most.
4. . When you’re in hot pursuit of your goals, it’s easy to forget to stop and take stock of the wins. Your Accountability Partner will help you savour the things you’ve achieved along your journey.
5. . The entrepreneurial mind is often swirling with ideas – discerning which ones are worthwhile and which belong in the trash-can can sometimes be difficult. Your Accountability Partner will help you thrash out ideas and create awareness around the problems, challenges, options and best solutions.
6. . An Accountability Partner will reflect back things you can’t see for yourself and help you get unstuck.
7. It can be useful to get another opinion, another way of looking at things to round out your own thinking and make sure you’ve considered all angles. Your ideas will be richer and you’ll be more confident in your decisions when you’ve had someone else help you crystallize your thinking.
8. . Your Accountability buddy will help you have a laugh when you need it and make working fun. They can also provide emotional support when you need it most, to keep you positive and moving forward.
9. . It can be lonely working on your business, particularly if you’re a solopreneur. Your Accountability Partner can be the human contact you need so that you don’t feel isolated.
10. . It can too easy to get bogged down in the minutiae where you can’t see the wood for the trees. This is where you can waste time and lose sight of your strategic direction. An Accountability Buddy will help keep your head above the trees, focused and moving forward on your strategic path and vision.
What do you need to look for in an Accountability Partner?
Find someone who:
- Is independent, outside of your field who can provide fresh insights
- Will be straightforward and brutally honest with you
- Holds you accountable and keeps you focused
- Connects regularly to keep you to your agreed parameters and goals.
So here’s the check question – Over the past week have you made excuses, procrastinated on important tasks or projects, or been distracted by bright shiny objects that have nothing to do with your goals? If your honest answer is yes, you may need an accountability partner.
How do you find the right Accountability Partner?
You may have a mentor, colleague or friend who has the qualities to be an effective Accountability Partner for you. Remember though, it takes time and commitment to help you, so make sure you reward them for their assistance.
- Find someone you trust. This needs to be someone who has the time, the inclination and the discipline to stay in regular touch with you, and have the honest conversations required to keep you on track. Be careful here, as many Accountability Partners start strong but soon drop by the wayside as they get caught up with their own lives and priorities.
- Set regular check-in times (this can be done by phone, Skype or even email – you don’t have to meet every time). Weekly check-ins work well.
- Discuss your goals – what you’re trying to achieve and desired time-frames.
- Create and share your Action Plan – be specific about actions you will take each week to meet your goals as well as rewards/consequences for taking or not taking them.
- Revisit your goals and strategies each month to celebrate your successes, review unfinished tasks and set a plan to make sure you stay on track.
If you don’t have someone to take on the role of Accountability Partner for you, consider AchieverNet’s Advantage Program. This is an Accountability Partner service where we help you achieve your goals. We kick off with a strategy session to understand what you’re trying to achieve and provide weekly check-ins and fortnightly reviews to keep you on track. And we also provide skills development and resources to help you along the way. Each month you can participate in a focused ‘Doing Day where we help you focus specifically on your Action plan items to build and grow your business.
You can book in for a FREE Clarity Call on 1300 402 722 to see how an Accountability Partner can help you finally achieve your key goals, and if AchieverNet is the right fit to help you grow your business.
Our goal is to help you achieve more in a day and you used to in a week, more in a week then you used to in a month, and more in a month than you used to in a year.
You can purchase a 90-day Advantage plan for less than a couple of coffees and your lunch each day. to book a or call AchieverNet on 1300 402 722 to see how an Accountability Partner can help you finally achieve your key goals.
Sharon Kaibel is founder and Principal Consultant of AchieverNet, a training and development business devoted to building a community of extraordinary achievers.