Do you keep yourself accountable to your own goals?
Do you write a list of goals and check them off? Keep measurements of success… or lack of? And how do you keep on top of that?
I have done all of the above. On my own, I’ve used paper and digital lists, posters, sticky notes, calendar reminders, spreadsheets, tracking, more tracking, hired help, more hired help, classes, and so on. All of these bits and pieces have been part of holding myself accountable. Sometimes it works and sometimes not…
But the truth is, I had been the only one who cared. Aside from family and friends who encourage and cheer you, working remotely as an entrepreneur is a singular thing. Aside from people you hire, or who hire you, there’s not a lot of other peer level, professional interaction. There’s some on social media, but still, meaningful interaction was limited.
I didn’t have the sense of partnership in the professional level of work I was doing, for problem solving, support for small losses or cheers for big wins.
Human nature is community-oriented.
Looking at this from another angle, human nature is full of interaction. And positive interaction that provides problem-solving, support and cheers. Families, towns, countries, religions, businesses – we feel more confident and protected when another person is ‘in it’ with us. So let’s use this to our business advantage.
That’s what I tried next.
Consider this: Have you ever buddied up with a colleague to hold each other accountable to specific goals? To work through issues you each face? To celebrate success?
I decided I needed my own personal community… someone other than a casual friend and running their own business too… who would have similar issues that could relate with my own, and vice versa.
I needed an ‘accountability partner’.
Define an Accountability Partnership.
My definition: Two trusted associates work together to make progress toward their respective goals. It’s a two-way relationship, where each individual supports the other’s goals in order for each to meet them. You…
- encourage, challenge and provide focus for each other.
- each want the other partner to succeed
- are dependable and committed to helping your partner, while moving yourself forward.
- communicate clearly, directly, and respectfully, asking difficult questions and offering insightful observations.
- won’t let your partner get away with excuses, or slip through success without celebration.
It’s a powerful combination of motivation and support.
What are the basics?
Once you’ve found your trusted partner:
- set up regular meetings at a pace that works for you
- introduce each other to respective goals, tracking, and relevant processes
- tweak as you go
- allow personal goals as you wish
- keep it going as long as it feels relevant
I’ve been working with my partner now for at least a year, and we’ve both grown during the process. We’ve addressed issues, both personal and business, and some that are a bit of both. We continue, and have modified our focus, meeting times and frequency once or twice.
There are only benefits. You’ll gain and you’ll give.
Partnering with someone gives you perspective and insights about your own stated goals and real accomplishments. Celebrate the wins and dust yourself off from the losses. Get pushed to grow with challenges. Brainstorm more effective processes for anything. Learn to let go of ineffective habits or systems that no longer serve you.
And vice versa, you’ll serve another professional. Witness them pursue success and transformation. Support them through changes, offer constructive feedback and wisdom to address issues, options and circumstances. There’s a lot of reward in serving another and watching their results.
For the last year, I have worked with an ‘accountability partner’ for my small business. I love it for both what I receive and what I give. It’s mutual growth with the satisfaction coming from individual actions – with a witness.
For me personally, I am more accountable to myself when I know someone else will be watching what I watch. I also have been cheered on when I was overlooking achievements. You can’t beat it!