What is an accountability partner?
This is the person who doesn’t let you make excuses. He or she is your business peer who helps you start or grow your business, by offering feedback and holding you to commitments. It works best if this person is not in your same exact industry, but has knowledge and experience in areas that you are lacking. The relationship works both ways – you meet on a regular basis, discuss goals and challenges, offer guidance, and then re-meet to discuss progress and completion of goals. Once you say your goals out loud, it makes it more real and strengthens your commitment to doing it especially when you don’t want to let the other person down.
I was at a training to become a financial coach when I discovered my accountability partner. She is not a financial coach. She is actually the wife of a very good friend, who happened to live about 20 minutes from the training site. They had offered to let me stay with them to save the hotel costs. Throughout the week, she was very interested in hearing about my passion to coach others in finances and the lessons that I was learning from the training. I discovered that she was a real estate investor, looking to expand her real estate holdings.
The morning that I was leaving to head back home, we talked about how life gets so busy and how it was hard to be motivated to work on our business after a long, busy day at our “regular” job. It was so easy to just put things off until the “next” day. When I brought up the idea of being accountability partners, she was so excited and agreed!
Fast forward, and we have been accountability partners for less than 8 months and have had 12 meetings. I am so thankful for her insight and feedback, and have definitely seen a difference in where I was back then versus now. Back then, this was all just an idea. Now, this is a business with clients, referral partners, networking and speaking opportunities, and social media presence.
If you are thinking of starting a business or want to take your business to the next level, you need to find yourself an accountability partner.
Tips for Finding & Working with an Accountability Partner:
- Don’t have your spouse be your accountability partner. This needs to be a person who can be your cheerleader (when you need one) and your coach (aka – kick you into gear if you get behind or have doubts).
- Go to a related, industry networking event or look through your existing connections.
- Find someone who is a go-getter and believes that life is what you make of it. (*Note – I also found it helpful to have other things in common with the person so you can build a friendship and talk about other topics besides just the business.)
- Set-up regularly scheduled meetings and distribute meeting minutes including action items.
- Give honest, timely feedback.