I have a not-so-secret weapon for getting things accomplished and it’s simple, I have an accountability partner. This individual acts essentially as a client for the well-being of my business and their role is to assist in my business development.
Most of the projects I work on are 1-on-1 with my clients, they hire me to do project X and we work together on schedule, scope, and budget. For these projects, the accountability is built into all aspects of the relationship. However, that doesn’t exist if I want to work on expanding my skills or explore a new way to work with clients. As a solopreneur it’s difficult to get past all the planning, through the starting, and actually make it to the finish without calling in every excuse under the sun. That’s where an accountability partner comes in.
An accountability partner is different than a mentor in that it’s more someone you can trust and who will keep you honest and less someone you go to for sage advice.
Three tips for a successful accountability partnership
- When choosing someone to partner with, it’s important to find someone you can be completely honest and truthful with. I’ve found it’s helpful to choose someone who is not a very close long-time friend or family member. Why? While I do often talk about my business with these key influencers in my life, I’ve found that if they also hold the accountability relationship card, we tend not to focus or be as truthful as we could be.
- Be thoughtful and realistic, both in setting goals and when offering feedback to your partner.
- As you work together be flexible to find out the method and frequency of accountability that works for both of you. What may work well during the winter months might not be practical in the summer as schedules and business cycles change.