Staying in your lane, do you drive like that or do you swerve from lane to lane, shiny object to shiny object? I have found myself getting off course lately. When you have so many irons in the fire and business is growing it’s easy to get off track and take your eye off the prize. I do it. I think everyone that has entrepreneurial spirit falls into that trap now and again.

My solution for re-focusing is making my to do list, not a litany of items I’ll never get done but a simple priority list of 3-4 things that MUST get done that day. That way as the day nears its end,  I feel as though I have accomplished something that’s meaningful in the evolution of my business. I hold the same true for my personal life. Having a to do list that is too long is just plain overwhelming and I know it cannot possibly get done, even though many times, I believe I’m a superhero of sorts.

But what do you do when you really need to move forward and your list isn’t enough of a motivator? What do you do when you know you need to be held to the task and avoid the distractions?  Well, I say “accountability partner to the rescue.” Don’t misinterpret that, no accountability partner can rescue your business but they can throw you a lifeline that will help you navigate the inevitable stormy seas of life.

So HOW do you choose an accountability partner? My experience has shown that you need to choose a person that has similar goals and objectives and thus is interested in getting their business and life to a significantly higher place in a set amount of time as well. Remember, your partner is not there to be your parent. People that are not goal centered don’t make great partners because they let you off the hook too easy. I once had a weekly accountability call that became a sheer waste of time. We spent more time chatting about her personal life and drama than on anything business related. I felt myself getting anxious knowing we had a call coming up. That is a sure way to know it’s time to move on. Don’t be afraid to end it if it’s not serving you both.

Accountability partners should have these characteristics to help you both be successful.

  1. Respect for Punctuality.
  2. Clear idea of their goal.
  3. Courage to be brutally honest.
  4. Able to enforce consequences.

When I setup my most successful accountability partnership we set out to work on our business goals for 3 months. We met via phone for twenty minutes a week. We each had 6-7 minutes to verbalize our challenges or successes and objectives for the next week. We then gave one another about 3-5 minutes of feedback.

This short timeline worked for us. We made it work well because we prepared our talking points weekly.  If you did not accomplish your weekly goal you owed the other person a gift card. It worked brilliantly. I ended up owing a couple of gift cards but found it to be an incredible experience. In fact I have a weekly accountability partner now that I just adore. Yes, the brutal honesty is tough to swallow sometimes but I want to continue to grow and be successful and numbers just don’t lie. If you are slacking you are only cheating yourself.

If you need to grow and want to have even more success then be accountable to yourself and offer to be a partner to another. It’s more fun and exciting with an accountability partner. You both end up winning.

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