Benefits Of An Accountability Partner In Business
John had been working on building a business for over a year, yet he had very little to show for the hours he spent at the computer. But when he connected with Levi, another online entrepreneur, that all changed.
Suddenly, John got twice as much done in half the time. Within a few weeks, he filled his business with eager clients and started working on his first product. He even got the complicated shopping cart software that had been stumping him set up.
So, what happened? Why was John suddenly more productive without getting more hours in the day?
What John experienced was a direct result of having accountability. In a traditional job, most employees report to a boss or manager. This creates natural accountability that can be difficult to duplicate when you're an online entrepreneur working from home.
We have printable worksheets available to help you when working with an accountability partner. It includes guided questions that will trigger thoughts and ideas to help you create a well thought out plan. Click >>here<< for the worksheets.
How An Accountability Partner Can Help You Reach Your Goals
You're not where you want to be in your business. You have goals, but you're inching toward them. 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 with plenty of energy, but your energy fizzled out within a few days or a few weeks. Weeks and maybe even months have passed, and you're not any closer to achieving your goals.
An Accountability Partner Might Be The Answer for You
Before Jesus started his public ministry, he selected twelve disciples to travel and minister with him. He was, in essence, choosing accountability partners that would not only encourage and strengthen him but also take the journey with him.
An accountability relationship is a precious fellowship that allows you to start moving toward your goals with the support of others. It's easy to set a goal and make no progress when no one looks over your shoulder.
But when you have an accountability partner or partners slacking off is much harder. This is because we usually work harder to honor commitments we make to other people than we do the commitments we make to ourselves.
An Accountability Partner Will Help You Shape Your Goals
An accountability partner can help you shape your goals, so you set achievable ones. For example, you could set goals to get three new clients, write two chapters of your book, and create your new sales page this week. An accountability partner would gently point out that those are good goals but will be challenging to achieve in the same week.
An Accountability Partner Will Help You Breakdown Your Goals
It's good to set ambitious goals 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.
Before he visited some towns and cities, Jesus sent out his disciples to spread the news of his arrival. But he didn't send out his helpers alone; he sent them out in pairs so they could minister to each other.
1"After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go." (Luke 10:1)
By doing this, Jesus was creating accountability partners. They encouraged and helped each other when they were weary, allowing them to break down the long trips into more enjoyable journeys.
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 your online course, but the tech stuff has you feeling confused, your partner could offer moral support and new solutions.
With the support of an accountability partner, you'll be able to escape the rut you're in. You'll also feel more energized and be able to tackle your goals once again.
Are You Ready to Start Looking for 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 goals 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, 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 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 your successes and failures. It's easy to dismiss your failures as someone else's fault or say 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 bad habits, deepest dreams, and 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 want your partnership to succeed.
Transparency is essential because it allows you and your partner to pray for one another where you're weak. James 5 says,
16"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16)
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 partner is being humble enough to accept feedback even if you don't always agree with what your partner says.
Starting an accountability partnership can benefit 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.
How to Find the Right Accountability Partner
As an online entrepreneur looking for an accountability partner, you might be worried that you won't find someone.
While it's true that online entrepreneurs are a rare breed, there are plenty of other business owners 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
When looking for an accountability partner, the first thing you want to do is 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 flock.
It would be best if you also thought about any networking groups you participate in. Is there anyone 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 on 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 who shares your values and beliefs. 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 dollar, 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.
A good accountability partner can help you when you're tempted to fall away from your values. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were able to stand confidently before the king because they knew the power of their God, and they had the consolation and comfort that comes from standing with others of the same faith.
Keep It Short Term
When you find someone that you think might make a good accountability partner, 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 will continue it.
You'll want to plan for an hour or so for the first meeting. This gives you and your partner time to talk about your core values, goals, and 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 like The Accountability Squad.
This group lets you 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 an excellent fit for you.
What to Discuss 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 & 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.
Hebrews 10:24-25 is a good passage that encourages believers to gather together frequently. While it may have been talking about church, it’s a good thing whenever Christians can fellowship together!
24“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Be Open to Change
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, 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 you and your accountability partner.
Talk About Your Goals
You'll want to talk about your values and goals with your partner during your first session. You'll probably have a mix of short-term and long-term goals for your business and work.
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, 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 you could 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 sending your friend a small Starbucks card if you're virtual accountability partners. 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.
4 Ways Accountability Partners Can Help Each Other
Accountability partnerships are a great way to challenge yourself and let go of excuses. With an accountability partner 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 solopreneurs and small business owners can help each other besides accountability.
An Accountability Partner Can Help with Brainstorming
Have you ever had an idea for a great project, but you 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 a 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 set up a shopping cart, you'll want someone to test it.
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 bringing different skillsets to the table.
For example, if you offer copywriting services and your accountability partner provides web design services, you could team up to create a DIY website course.
12"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Although this passage may appear to be talking about marriage, it's also helpful advice for any partnership. It's much easier to get overwhelmed and discouraged in your business if you're trying to do it all yourself.
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 you can vouch for their ethics and excellent customer service since you've already been accountability partners.
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 them how you'd like to further your working relationship.
Pray before You Begin Your Search
Having an accountability partner can be a wonderful thing. But don't feel like you have to rush to choose one. Take your time and prayerfully search out the right person.
9"The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense." (Proverbs 27:9)
Having the right accountability partner by your side creates a beautiful friendship that honors God and allows you to lift each other up!
Grace and peace,
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