Today I’m going to share with you one of my little secrets of the past year. Something that has helped me become more successful in my life and business. This is something that has helped me through the highs and lows that this industry brings. Something that I can access just about anytime I need to day or night. Now this something isn’t an actual something but a someone. This something is my Accountability Partner. Accountability Partner? What does that mean you ask? Well, that is what we’re going to talk about today. Let’s start with some basic definitions.
Accountability by definition means: the state of being accountable. Accountable by definition means: responsible to someone or for some action; answerable
Partner by definition means: an ally or companion in an endeavor
So, about a year ago, a friend and I were talking. We had been talking on a somewhat regular basis about our businesses and what we could do to take them to the next level. We were partners in one network marketing company and had other endeavors we were working on. It was time to up our game. The two of us get along really well and had been supporting our team well together. One day I came up with the idea of and asked about being accountability partners. We agreed that we would try it and to this day we are still going strong almost a year later.
Now, having accountability partners is not a new concept. Many programs will partner you with someone for a few months or for 90 days or whatnot because when you are responsible to someone else you do better and act differently than if you were on you own. That is why leaders of a team encourage accountability partners.
I’m going to tell you what I do with my accountability partner and why it works, then I’m going to introduce you. (Some of you already know him!).
A good accountability partner relationship looks something like this:
You speak on a regularly scheduled basis – my partner and I talk every weekday morning for 20 min (10 min each) and we are available to each other via text and additional calls as needed through the day or evening. Yes, sometimes there is a melt down that needs to be curbed and they don’t always happen before the morning calls. 🙂
You use your 10 minutes and are as clear as you can be, “here’s what I did yesterday and here’s what I didn’t get to that I told you I would”. The excuse or the reason doesn’t really matter. We all have stuff. A kid gets sick. The car breaks down. We have life that takes over. “But here’s what I’m going to do next to get that fixed/done today”. Boom. Switch Places.
Now, that’s a general conversation day. Another conversation in your 20 minutes might look like this:
A quick recap in a minute or two of what was done and not the day before and a switch to “Today I want to talk about an idea I came up with while I was in the shower. Here’s the idea. What do you think?” Partner then mulls the idea over with you, points out good points, points out flaws. Switch and see what comes up from the other partner.
It doesn’t matter who goes first everyday or what is exactly said in what order other than that it has the ability to move you and your business forward. We’re isolated a lot of times as Entrepreneurs. And if you are a home based Entrepreneur versus a brick and mortar Entrepreneur with employees you’ve even more isolated as you sit at your home office desk.
My partner and I plan 20 minutes – 10 min each. This is not an hour long conversation everyday – although we do have those once in a while when we’re working on a big idea. This is meant to move fast and get you moving. And I swear sometimes my partner knocks me over the head with a 2X4 when I’m not seeing straight. This means he asks really good tough questions. And I have no problem doing the same thing back. We call each other on our flaws and hangups that we’ve learned about each other. And the “tough love: coaching comes because we both want success for each other. Now, this is a different relationship that a mentor/student relationship. This is peer to peer. It just happens we’re both coaches – so sometimes it gets really interesting in our conversations when the tough question like, “What’s holding you back from just doing it? ” come up. Darn I hate that question.
So, here’s my suggestion when looking to find an accountability partner. You want to work with someone who:
Is at a minimum the same level or a little bit more advanced than you in certain areas so you complement and learn from and help each other.
Someone who can commit to the schedule and keep it no matter what. (We do not miss a call unless one of us is really sick or on a plane or on vacation. And most of the time they happen in the car driving the kids to school but we get ’em done. I’ve even done one in the gym locker room).
Has similar values in life as you (you want someone you can relate to as this person becomes one of your closest friends).
Is someone you trust (you’re sharing your innermost business secrets and hangups and things that hold you back and that you’re scared of)
Is someone you wouldn’t mind your family getting to know. (Hubby and I have hung out with my partner and his wife when we get the chance and are in the same state).
That’s really it. Gender doesn’t matter, age doesn’t matter, geographic location doesn’t matter as long as you can commit to a common time to talk.
You then agree and know that you’ve created a safe space to learn and grow in your business. And you can always stop at anytime if it isn’t working with you. I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that if you get to know a person before you become AP’s then you’ll have enough of a feel to know if it will work out. You know when you resonate with someone or not. Its one of those things you can tell. So, look around your team or your business connections and see if this is something that will work for you.
For me, I have made more money than I thought I would and pushed myself much harder in 2011 because my AP was there to hold me accountable. I cannot wait to see what 2012 brings and what 2×4’s he knocks me upside the head with this year.
And now my friends….let me introduce you to my dear accountability partner Mr. Ken Pickard aka The Network Dad.
If you’ve been in this industry at least a little while I’m going to guess you’ve heard of him or seen him somewhere. He is one of the Founders of The Empowered Tribe and a terrific blogger and networker. He’s been online about 3-4 years now, a little longer than me, and he is a master at content syndication and getting exposure for yourself. He’s created products, he’s taught webinars, he goes to events. He walks the walk not just talks the talk.
A public thank you here to you Ken. You helped me make 2011 a terrific year in this industry. You pushed me when I needed to be pushed and you cut me slack when I needed it with family matters. It’s a balance and you do it well. I look forward to our daily calls. I am looking forward to scheming with you in 2012 to see how we can have more fun and help more people with the process of speeding up the learning curve in this wonderful industry.
Ken’s a good guy to follow if you’re not already. You can click on The Network Dad to be taken to his site. And like any good marketer he has a mission and a purpose. I’ll let you get to know him to figure out what that is for yourself. And no, you cannot have him as your AP. Sorry, you’ll have to find someone else!
Now, my task for you if you want to grow your business in 2012 is to think about what an accountability partner would mean in your life and to take a look around and see if there is someone you would want to be that person for and have them be that for you in return. This is a partnership.
Let me know if you have an accountability partner or if you find one. I’d love to hear how it is working for you.
And please, don’t forget to share this post. You just might help someone who needs to hear this message today. Have a great week!
All the best,