What’s the #1 thing bosses do at large companies that move the business forward? They hold you accountable. Accountability could be the #1 thing holding you back from growing your business. And I will goes as far as saying without building it into your role as business owner you won’t achieve even half of what you’re dreaming of. Unless you are the small percent of creatives who don’t have 1 million ideas, are highly motivated and incredibly efficient 24/7.
So now the question is, as a solo business owner how do you build accountability into your business? Well the answer is simple. You get an accountability partner! This accountability partner will not be the boss of you or your business. But they will listen to what you say you want to accomplish and hold you to it! So much so that there will be rewards when you follow through and consequences when you don’t.
Action Step 1: Find the Right Person
You may be thinking, well this is great I know I need an accountability partner but how do I actually find one? I’m going to tell you where to find one, and what qualities they need to have before you ask them to make the commitment.
(1) Where To Find This Person
The key is to find someone who is likeminded to you and shares similar values in business and life.
Here are some places to find those people:
A meetup, especially your local Tuesday’s Together, where the mission and values are clear. That way you know the people attending believe in similar values.
There are different vibes to different groups. Find one that feels comfortable and supportive and make time for intimate 1:1 connections outside of the group.
If someone is willing to spend their time and money to go to a conference they probably have a similar mindset to yours and would make a great partner.
Same goes for courses or programs. If someone is making a commitment to a course or program you already have that in common. It could be a great starting point to holding each other accountable.
Don’t overlook the power of the people you currently know. Even if it’s someone you don’t know that well. They could be exactly who you need to step things up, so consider giving them a chance!
(2) What Qualities They Need
Now that you know where to find these people you want to go a bit deeper and make sure they are the right fit. You won’t know any of these things right off the bat in the first conversation with the person. So if you get a good vibe from someone and feel like they could be a good fit spend a bit more time with them (in person or virtually) to see if they have these qualities:
You want to know this person is going to show up to scheduled meetings and actually put in the time of holding you accountable.
You want someone who is going to tell you like it is. If you are being a slacker or not setting the most productive goals you want someone who will call you out on it.
There is a good chance this person is going to learn a lot about your business, the behind the scenes, and upcoming projects. So you want to be able to trust them with this sensitive information!
Action Step 2: Set Expectations
At this point you have either found your person or have some great candidates. If you have some great candidates I encourage you to show them you are serious by setting up + sending a PDF with all the expectations you have. This way they know exactly what they are getting themselves into and can easily say yes or no. I did this when creating my mastermind and it worked perfectly! So here are the expectations you need to set:
(1) When + How To Meet
How Many Times A Week
Get clear from the beginning on how many times you want to checkin with each other. Do you want to have three 30 minute phone calls a week? Or 1 phone call a week and daily text checkins. Be honest with yourself, what do you need to stay productive and accountable? If you need more phone calls then commit to that!
If you are having calls every week make sure you pick the days + times and get them scheduled into your calendar. This will keep you both accountable on blocking out that time for each other!
What You Will Talk About
Make an agenda for exactly what needs to be addressed in each call. This way the call never gets awkward and you aren’t wasting time. Here’s a call agenda example:
A. What did you accomplish since our last call?
B. What are you currently working on?
C. What needs to be accomplished by our next call?
(2) Proof of Completion
So this one is optional, and might take guts for you to do because you are seriously committing. But if the point of this is to get things done then why not right?!
How To Show Proof
Decide how you will make your goals measurable or show proof that they are completed. This could simply be taking a screenshot of a written blog post, or a hard email you had to send. Then showing it to your partner. Or texting each other at 7am to show that you both woke up on time!
Action Step 3: Setting a Rewards + Consequence System
Another optional step rewards and consequences. They both make this opportunity all the more effective. So it will only benefit you in the long run which is why I encourage you to do it!
Come up with a rewards system for yourself that you can work toward. For example one week of being productive and you can have a Netflix binge. One month of completed goals and you can take a week off! Set rewards you really crave and want to have so that you are all the more pushed to work for them!
Treat Each Other
As human beings most of us naturally want to do more for others than we do for ourselves. Because of that I encourage you to set up a rewards system for each other. For example if you are productive for a month your partner get’s to buy a new pair of shoes. That way you will work hard so that she get’s to buy the shoe’s she’s been wanting!
Make Consequences That Affect You Both
As I said above for rewards we usually work harder when someone else is involved. So for consequences have your partner at the expense of your unproductiveness and I can guarantee you will be more focused than ever to get things done! An example here is if you don’t complete your tasks then you can’t have any checkins for the week. That means because you didn’t do your work, not only you, but your partner also suffers by not having you hold them accountable for the week. That’s not fair to them, so it will definitely keep you on track!
Set Consequences That Push You
Another consequence that may push you could involve money. For every time you don’t follow through, you have to pay your partner money. This may seem crazy but again, it will really push you to stay on track!
I hope this post opened your eyes to the benefits of having an accountability partner. As a solo business owner it’s really easy to get lost in all the decision making we’re faced with daily. Leaving us spinning around and never making any progress. You don’t want to be there, and I don’t want that for you. So follow the steps in this post and find yourself an accountability partner that will help you be more productive. In the comments below let me know where you will be looking for an accountability partner!