Does the idea of walking up and asking someone to be your accountability partner twist your stomach in knots? Read on.
One of the best ways of breaking bad habits and forming new successful ones is finding someone who will hold you accountable. When you’re a solopreneur or small business owner, it can get pretty lonely. Having someone who you can celebrate victories and hold your goal deadlines together can make a huge difference in achieving what you want.
I talk a lot about finding accountability partners as a part of creating a marketing strategy, breaking them into smaller tasks and finally reaching completion step by step. The longer term a project is, the harder it can be to stay on track.
A big client might appear, an emergency occur, life gets busy. All these can distract from the daily or weekly dedication needed to keep sales flowing and your business growing.
Accountability partners help stay on track.
But how do you find one?
One of the first places to look is your local networking groups and forums that you already attend. Many of these have mastermind groups and some even have accountability programs set up. This will take a lot of the anxiety out of the process. Ask some of the committee members or other leadership. If they don’t have such a program, chances are they may know someone who’d be interested in being your accountability partner.
Remember, when you ‘get’ a partner, you’re also ‘being’ a partner, so it benefits them too. Don’t feel like you’re just asking for a handout here.
If you can’t find someone that way, ask around with some of your contacts and friends to see if they know of anyone else looking for a partner. If you know someone you’d love to have as your accountability partner, ask them. Be careful not to ask someone who is too afraid of holding you to your word.
If none of that works for you, I looked around in hopes of finding some online options for the exceptionally introverted. (Trust me, I get it, it’s hard for me to socialize some days too.)
Interestingly, I didn’t find many options but here are two that I did find in my research. (NOTE: I have not tried these services and can’t endorse or say if they work well or are even fully legit. I’m just trying to give options if you’re looking.)
This claims to be a professional service that charges $6.99 a month for 2 calls a week. You are paired up with an “angel” employed by the business. You set the goals covering any topic, including your marketing plans, and they hold you accountable.
This is a free service. You are paired up with another person who also signed up. The limit is it only covers a few goal topics: getting fit, eating healthy, meditation, mastering mornings and reading more. The website doesn’t say how you two contact each other, I assume via email or phone.
A final, less effective, option would be Do It Yourself Accountability Apps. They are programs for your phones or tablets or computers that you enter in tasks and goals with dates and then mark them as complete or not complete. Some apps, such as Habit RPG, turn it into a game with virtual rewards. Some like Google Tasks, integrate with all the other Google programs (calendar, gmail, etc). These lack the same effectiveness of a live person holding you accountable, but some people find this just enough reminder to get things done.
A few apps I found (There are tons!):
What about you? What do you use to increase your productivity and keep on task? Do you know of more ways of finding accountability partners? How did you find your first?