I have spoken about it a lot on social media. I love having an accountability partner for my business and for my private life, especially when I want to achieve something specific.
I actually only started hearing this term a few years ago. I guess I knew the word, but not that it was an official term to say and use. So, just in case you haven’t heard of it either, having an accountability partner means you appoint someone who will hold you accountable on certain things, goals you want to achieve or things you want to work on.
So that’s what it means, having someone who holds you accountable and - if agreed - you do the same in return.
For my business I started having an accountability partner about 2 years ago. I met Lisa in a Facebook group for designers, she is a WordPress website designer and we speak every two weeks online. We also WhatsApp each other whenever we reach a milestone, have a book recommendation, have a question or just want to share something nice. I have never met her in person (we are working on that), but she has become a good friend of mine over the years - which is a nice bonus.
Why having an accountability partner works
Having someone check in on you on a regular basis puts a little bit of pressure on you to actually work on the tasks you have set yourself and achieve your goals.
A very easy example is sport. If you are meeting a friend to do a gym class or go for a run together, you are many times more likely to go because you know someone is waiting for you. If it was just you, and nobody knew, it would be so easy to just stay in bed or at home in front of the TV.
Basically, it is the same with an accountability partner for your business. If you know there is someone who is waiting for results, you are so much more likely to work on these goals and consequently achieve them as well.
How to use the principle of accountability
Lisa and I set ourselves goals or things we want to work on over the next two weeks. When we speak, we first ask how the past two weeks went and then what we want to work on for the next two weeks.
This requires some good planning.
Therefore, I set myself quarterly goals and then break them down into achievable steps/tasks for two weeks. This is how I know what I need to work on in addition to my regular business. And this is what I tell Lisa and what I want her to hold me accountable for.
How to find an accountability partner
There are many different ways to find an accountability partner.
It is great however if the accountability partner is a like-minded person. Someone who understands you and actually wants to push you and help you. Someone who is as driven as you.
Here are some ideas how to find an accountability partner.
First of all you can of course pay someone to do it. Like a coach.
You can also join a paid mastermind group or membership group. This is usually also with a coach or lead person and you then hold each other accountable.
You can just ask someone to hold you accountable on a specific topic, like your spouse or a friend.
You can find someone for a specific project you want to achieve, again a friend or someone from your industry.
You can meet someone at a networking event or online
You can just write a post in a Facebook group for your industry and see if someone is interested.
You can also ask a group of other entrepreneurs in your city to meet once a month in person to hold each other accountable. This is also a great way to support each other and discuss current problems or issues that one of you might have.
And you could also announce a specific goal on social media and make everyone who listens to this your accountability partner. I promise you someone will ask and remind you. This is great for a one-time goal. For example, a sporting event like running a marathon.
How to make it work
You can agree on a timeframe you want to work together on a specific project or you can just speak to each other on a regular basis. For example, for me two weeks is always a good timeframe as it gives us enough time to actually work on a goal and finish something.
You can meet up in person. You can speak on the phone or online. You can even text each other on a regular basis. It is totally up to you. It also depends on if you have a group of people or just one person.
However, in order to get the most out of it, you need some kind of plan for your group, to agree on some guidelines maybe. If your group is organized by a coach or if you have one on one coaching, this is easy, he will do it for you. Otherwise you need to agree on a structure with your partner.
It is essential to prepare yourself for every meeting. Have the things you have worked on ready and also know what you want to achieve before the next meeting. Of course you can also prepare any questions you might have in advance. I find it always very good when I have written down what my partner wanted to work on, so I can ask her and remember. Everything else will come from there ;-) And may be also a beautiful friendship!
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