Making a Change? Get an Accountability Partner
About six months ago, I was faced with the challenge of how to grow my business through social media. I had just walked out of an inspiring seminar armed with information on Facebook pages, Twitter handles and LinkedIn profiles…I was ready to get to work! But a few weeks later, I had not made any progress toward my goal. I flipped back through my notes from the seminar and found a scrawled notation in the margin: “get an accountability partner!” An accountability partner is someone to whom you are accountable for staying on track toward your goal. They are equally accountable to you for progress toward their goal. This simple exchange ignites a collaborative process toward mutual success…a win-win! So far, this has been the most valuable suggestion to come from the seminar. My accountability partner has become a huge asset in the growth of my business giving me that extra push I needed to get into action.
How does it work?
To begin, each partner needs a goal and some basic steps to reaching that goal. If you need help generating these steps, best practices or a growth strategy, a professional coach can also be helpful. Each week you email or meet with your accountability partner to exchange your to-do list for the week. You may give and receive feedback on these steps as necessary. At the end of the week, you may exchange a summary of what was completed or just move those items over to the next week’s email exchange.
Accountability partners can also help with strategy, networking opportunities and are there to listen when the roadblocks appear. In-person meetings are excellent forums for creating strategy or kicking around new ideas. You can meet anywhere you can communicate effectively, i.e. a coffee meeting, park bench or a hike! If you can’t meet in person, then a Skype, Facetime or Ichat call works well.
Working as a solopreneur can get lonely at times. Connecting with someone who understands this environment can be very helpful. Who you choose for your accountability partner is an extremely important part of the process. Here are some general rules of thumb:
An Accountability Partner:
- Has a goal
- Is a professional, engaged and responsible person
- Is invested in your success
- Will tell you the truth
- Gives quality feedback in a timely fashion
- Inspires or challenges you
An Accountability Partner is NOT:
- Your spouse or family member
- Your business partner
- Someone to blame for your inaction
- A sounding board for all of the problems in your life
Once you find the right partner, you will look forward to crossing items off of your list. For me, it helps to have someone who is counting on me to get things done. There is a satisfaction that I get from finishing things and putting new opportunities out there for review. In the past six months I have reworked my website, updated my LinkedIn profile, completed a few articles and finally got an online bookkeeping system in place! You all probably know someone who is a highly developed taskmaster. He or she skillfully and seemingly easily creates forward progress. For the rest of us, try finding an accountability partner; you’ll be happy that you did!
Meet my accountability partner:
Chalita Photikoe, MSTCM, L.Ac., is a nationally and California board licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and the owner of Tamalpais Community Acupuncture. She has the passion, experience and commitment to help people like you live a more balanced and healthy life. Chalita successfully treats pain, fertility, stress related syndromes, mood disorders, and immune system deficiencies. Chalita lives in San Rafael, CA with her husband and two young children.