Accountability partnerships are a great way to challenge yourself and let go of excuses. With one or two accountability partners in your life, it’s harder to ignore your goals because you “just don’t feel like getting anything done”. When you have someone you have to report to weekly, you work harder than usual because you don’t want to let your partner down.
But keeping track of each other’s goals and celebrating successes isn’t the only thing that you and your accountability partner can do together. There are many ways that solopreneurs and small business owners can help each other besides accountability.
Accountability Partners Can Help with Brainstorming
Have you ever had an idea for a great project but you just couldn’t find a name that captured it perfectly? With an accountability partner, you can try brainstorming to come up with a title that you love. Of course, your accountability partner can help you brainstorm many things besides a project name. Together, you can brainstorm domain ideas, marketing strategies, podcast episodes, and webinar content.
An Accountability Partner Can Test Your Products
Nothing’s quite as scary as launching a new product and no one understands that fear like another solopreneur or small business owner. One of the ways that accountability partners can help each other is by testing products before they’re officially released. For example, if you have a website and you set up a shopping cart, you’ll want someone to test it for you.
Your accountability partner can help by testing your cart and sharing their honest feedback. Your partner might tell you that your cart is broken or point out an area where you’re missing out on additional sales. By testing products for each other, you and your partner are making your products even better for your customers.
An Accountability Partner Can Help You Create a Joint Venture
If you have an accountability partner that you’ve clicked with, then it might be time to take the next step together—creating a joint venture. This approach works well when you have two partners that are bringing different skillsets to the table. For example, if you offer copywriting services and your accountability partner offers web design services, then you could team up to create a DIY website course.
An Accountability Partner Can Promote Your Products
Accountability partners can promote each other’s products as affiliates. This allows you to introduce your customers to your partner’s products or services. Be sure to let your subscribers know that since you’ve already been accountability partners, you can vouch for their ethics and excellent customer service.
If you’ve been accountability partners with another solopreneur or small business owner and you’ve found you enjoy working together, consider other ways you could support each other. Start by having an honest chat with your partner and telling her how you’d like to further your working relationship.
Are You Ready To Find An Accountability Partner?
An accountability partner is a great way to motivate yourself and makes it more likely that you will achieve your goals. But an accountability partner is not a magic bullet. It won’t solve all your problems or make accomplishing your goal painless. If you understand that, then you should know that having an accountability partner can make the journey toward your goals enjoyable and fun.
Here are signs that you’re ready for an accountability partner:
- You’re Willing to Motivate Yourself
If you don’t know how to motivate yourself already, then it won’t matter how many partners you have – you’ll still struggle. The best way to learn how to motivate yourself is to study projects and tasks you’ve completed previously. For example, when you created your first product, was it the pressure of a deadline that you kept you going? The daily rewards you created for yourself after you finished each task? Study what you’ve done previously. This will give you plenty of ideas on what motivates you.
- You’re Willing to Take Responsibility
You’re not ready for an accountability partner until you can take responsibility for both your successes and your failures. It’s easy to dismiss your failures as being someone else’s fault or saying that “life just got in the way”. But this kind of approach means that you lack the discipline necessary to achieve your goals.
Remember it’s not an accountability partner’s job to change your life. It’s their responsibility to keep you on task and hold you accountable.
- You’re Willing to Be Transparent
Are you willing to share your least desirable habits, reveal the action habits you’re striving to achieve, your deepest dreams and your biggest fears with someone else? Your accountability partner can’t help you unless you’re willing to be transparent. You can’t hide out from your partner if you fail to meet a big goal or if you encounter roadblocks. You have to be open and honest with your partner if you really want your partnership to succeed.
- You’re Willing to Accept Feedback
Accepting feedback about your projects and goals from someone else is never easy. It can leave you feeling uncomfortable and challenged. But that’s a good thing! If you’re too afraid to share what you’re working on or won’t talk about your goals, then don’t look for an accountability partner. An important element of having an accountability partnership is being humble enough to accept feedback. Even if you don’t always agree with what your partner says.
An accountability partnership can be a beneficial relationship for both you and the other person. But it’s important to remember that you’re making a big commitment when you agree to take on a partnership. That’s why you need to be willing and ready to help each other succeed.
Finding The “Right” Accountability Partner
As a solopreneur looking for an accountability partner, you might be worried that you won’t find someone. While it’s true that solopreneurs are a rare breed, there are plenty of other solopreneurs looking for accountability partners, too. You’re not alone in your search and it can be helpful to have someone who understands what it is like to work from home and juggle both home and business responsibilities.
Make a List
The first thing you want to do when looking for an accountability partners is to make a list of people you already know that might be a good match. You can start by thinking of solopreneurs or small business owners that offer similar services to a different audience.
You should also think about any networking groups that you participate in. Is there anyone there that you connected with and feel might be a good business match?
Of course, you don’t have to limit your search to offline networking groups. You can also look for a virtual accountability partner if you like. Make a post in Facebook or LinkedIn groups about your search. Let people you meet know you are looking for one, and what your needs are. You may get a response from someone that would love to work with you.
Look for Matching Values
Carefully consider your potential accountability partner. You want someone in your corner that shares your values. If you have conflicting values, neither of you will get the most from your accountability sessions. For example, if you value serving customers above all else, but your partner values making a buck, even at the expense of her customers then you aren’t going to enjoy your partnership very much. You can’t be supportive of each other because your values are not in alignment.
Before you agree to jump into an accountability partnership with someone, take time to do your research. Look at their blog, website, and social media posts. Are they always complaining about their customers? Do they share negative news constantly? Do you cringe when their name shows up in your news feed?
These are all warning signs that you may not be a good match with this other solopreneur.
Keep It Short Term in the Beginning
When you find someone that you think might make a good accountability partner, make sure to keep things casual at first. You want to agree to a limited trial time of six weeks to three months. After this time frame, you can evaluate your partnership and decide if you’d like to continue it.
For the first meeting, you’ll want to plan for an hour or so. This gives you and your partner time to talk about your core values, your goals, and your business principles. It can be exciting to get to know your accountability partner so take your time and don’t rush your first session together.
Consider Paid Options
Sometimes, you need more help than one or two partners can offer. In that case, you may want to consider paying to join an accountability group or business mastermind. These groups gives you a chance to meet regularly online and talk with other solopreneurs and small business owners. If this kind of support still isn’t enough, consider hiring a business coach to guide you through this season of your business.
It can take some time to find an accountability partner that you connect with. Just keep patiently searching and you’ll eventually discover a solopreneur that’s a great fit for you.
Reach More Goals With An Accountability Partner
You’re not where you want to be in your business or your life. You have goals, but you’re inching toward them. It feels like every step is a struggle and you’re just not seeing the results you want. You don’t feel motivated. You feel stuck and helpless to change.
You’re not alone in this feeling. Many people experience feelings of being stuck with their goals. You probably started out with plenty of energy but within a few days or a few weeks, your energy fizzled out. Weeks and maybe even months have passed and you’re not any closer to achieving your goals.
A Partner for Accountability Might Be The Answer for You
An accountability relationship is a simple way to get back into gear and start moving toward your goals. It’s easy to set a goal and make no progress when no one is looking over your shoulder. But when you have an accountability partner slacking off is much harder. This is because we usually work harder to honor commitments we made to other people than we do the commitments we make to ourselves.
Think of Weight Watchers. It’s a weight loss program with accountability built right in. From the weigh ins to the weekly meetings, members are accountable to each other. The meetings are filled with people that support each other in the goal to better their health and fitness.
Accountability Partners Will Help You Shape Your Goals
An accountability partner can help you shape your goals so you set ones that are achievable. For example, you could set goals to go back to school for your degree, start a side business, and spend more time with loved ones. An accountability partner would gently point out that those are good goals but will be difficult to achieve at the same time.
An Accountability Partner Will Help You Breakdown Your Goals
It’s good to set ambitious goals, ones that force you out of your comfort zone and make you grow. But ambitious goals have to be broken down into smaller steps. That’s where an accountability partner comes in. A smart partner can help you focus on taking one step at a time until you reach your big goals.
An Accountability Partner Will Help You Deal with Roadblocks
Everyone encounters roadblocks at some point when they go after their goals. But an accountability partner can help you brainstorm ways to get around your obstacles and find success. For example, if your goal is to launch an online business but the tech stuff has you feeling confused, then your partner could offer both moral support and fresh solutions.
With the support of an accountability partner, you’ll be able to escape the rut you’re in. You’ll also feel more energize and be able to tackle your goals once again.
What To Chat About With Your Accountability Partner
If you’ve never had an accountability partner and are new to the idea, you may wonder how to handle this new relationship and what to discuss. Don’t fret – here’s how to get started with your accountability relationship.
Decide How and When You’ll Meet
You need to be having regular meetings with your accountability partner. These sessions might be in person at a local coffee shop or if you’re virtual accountability partners, then these meetings might be held on Skype or Google Hangouts. It doesn’t matter if you use technology to meet up or not, you need to have a regular meeting place.
How often you meet should come down to what works for you. It can be helpful to start meeting two to four times a month. This allows you both time to report on progress or setbacks as you encounter them.
But keep in mind that it’s OK to change your meeting place or time, depending on what’s going on in your life or your accountability partner’s life. For example, if you become accountability partners with another solopreneur during the summer months, then you may find that you need to adjust your meetings during the school year so that you can spend more time with your kids.
This is a normal part of a partnership. So don’t be afraid to periodically review your schedules to see if another time slot would work better for both you and your accountability partner.
Talk About Your Goals
During your first session, you’ll want to talk about your values and goals with your partner. You’ll probably have a mix of short-term and long-term goals for your business or your life.
Your accountability partner can help you break down your long-term goals into easy, manageable steps. For example if your long-term goal is to publish a Kindle book on your niche, then your short-term action steps would be items like ‘outline my Kindle book’ or ‘contact a designer to create my book cover’.
Follow Up with Your Partner
In follow up meetings, you’ll want to talk about what steps you took since your last session together. Did you complete all your action steps? Did you forget something or run into a problem that prevented you from completing one of your action steps? Can your accountability partner come up with ways to try to overcome this roadblock?
Don’t just talk about the hard stuff either. Be sure to celebrate when either one of you meets a milestone or accomplishes a goal. Celebrating accomplishments can be simple—like going out for dessert together or if you’re virtual accountability partners, send your friend a small Starbucks card. By celebrating your success together, you make it more likely that you’ll achieve even bigger goals.
Be patient with yourself and your new accountability partner as you learn how to navigate this new partnership. If something isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for what you need. I hope this information has been helpful to you, and I’d love to hear your comments, questions, and feedback.
I’m Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my training on how to sell yourself at Sell Yourself and Your Stuff and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.