If I could pick one thing that you could do today that would make an enormous change in your business over the next 12 months it would be to get an accountability partner. I have had one for over 7 or 8 years now, and it was hands down one of the best things I have ever done.
Here’s How I Found My First Accountability Partner
I was actually trying to find someone to be my accountability partner when a friend of mine suggested that a mutual acquaintance was also looking for someone. We just scheduled a time to talk on the phone via Facebook messages, and we both conducted what you might call an “interview” of the other person.
Now it might seem strange that I said we initially sent messages back and forth through Facebook. But the truth of the matter is that is the only way we had connected up until that point. I knew what type of business she was in, and she knew the same basic information about me; that’s all. Our mutual friend was also someone whom we both met initially on Facebook. (Recognize the theme here? Facebook.)
The Power of Facebook
Before I move on, I want to take just a minute to talk about building relationships on Facebook since that was actually how I found my first accountability partner. It is also how I originally met the current one.
If you haven’t discovered the power of building relationships through Facebook you are really missing the boat. If you find someone’s business articles, posts, and activities interesting this might just be a person you need to connect with.
When I was just diving into this whole social media experience some years ago, several people sought me out and scheduled a time to talk on the phone. Over time, this led to what has become real friendships and strong business connections. We have done guest posts on each other’s blogs, video interviews, podcasts, co-hosted live events, and found all sorts of other ways to connect and build our businesses.
Do they Need to Be “Just Like You”?
No, they don't. It's important to understand that this person doesn’t need to be in the exact same business as you are to build a mutually beneficial relationship. Great relationships often come from complementary businesses. But for someone that's in real estate, your “person” should also be in real estate in some form.
Now one of you might be a wholesaler, and one might be a rehabber or even a buy-and-hold investor of small apartments. That part really doesn't matter. They just need to be in the same general business category (real estate).
My Accountability Partners and Why Our Relationship Works
Your accountability partner should have experience in your type of business otherwise they won’t really have any idea about the day-to-day challenges you have in your business. My first accountability partner happened to be a person that invested in multi-family homes whereas I was only interested in single-family homes.
She also had another business not related to real estate that was about building passive streams of income not from real estate. Both businesses have the ability to generate passive income. We are also both building online businesses too which will generate … passive income. Can you begin to see how beneficial it is that we are both alike in some respects and different in other ways?
So How Can You Find An Accountability Partner?
Just ask. You can start by asking people that you know if they could make a recommendation. Finding an accountability partner can be a little bit like dating; you might not hit a home run on the first date. You just need to keep trying.
I have said it before; this is not the time to tap friends or relatives for this job. You need an outside person that can “hold your feet to the fire” if necessary. And, you need someone that will tell you the truth when you really don't want to hear it.
5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Relationship
1. The person you choose should be in the same general type of business as you are in such as the broad topic of “real estate” or “internet business”. They need to understand the challenges of your business. However, they do not need to be in the same exact niche. In fact, it’s probably good if they are not just like you. I also recommend that they not be located in your city. You don’t want an accountability partner that is also a competitor.
Your accountability partner is there to help you stay on track, but they will also be invaluable when it comes to helping you grow. This is a good time to point out that it’s OK to have more than one accountability partner especially if your business is growing in several different directions. (I do.)
2. You both must have clearly defined written goals. You cannot help each other if this piece is missing. The purpose of this relationship is to help each other stay on track and to be “accountable” for what you did or did not do.
3. Your accountability partner must be able to commit to a weekly phone call on a set day and time each week. This is non-negotiable, and this is not a let's catch up and chat session. I would recommend that both of you have a copy of The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and work with this framework. I wrote a review of that book here…
There will be times when you will have to reschedule for emergencies, seminars, and other events. But as a general rule, that scheduled call should take place no matter what. We meet every Tuesday morning before the start of the day. It’s best to have your meeting before you dive into your day.
If you pick the right person, you will find that you will begin connecting at other times during the week either by phone, email, or text. It’s great to have someone to use as a sounding board when you are stuck, frustrated, or just need a swift kick in the butt to get you out of your “funk”.
Just remember to be respectful of their time. It’s a good idea to send them a text or email and say, “Do you have a few minutes to talk”? That gives them the opportunity to say yes, in an hour or even I don’t have time today.
4. If you find yourself in the position where the person you have partnered with is always “MIA” on the day of the call or routinely has another commitment, find someone else. In fact, this is one thing that should be discussed in your initial interview. Let them know upfront that it is important for you to find someone willing to make the commitment for a specific period of time such as 6 months. At the end of that time, you will know if the two of you are a fit. If it’s not working you can move on to someone else without any hard feelings.
5. Be willing to give and receive constructive criticism and feedback. You aren’t looking for someone that will help you hold onto your excuses. Your accountability partner is there to help you stay focused, move forward, grow your business and meet your goals so choose wisely.
I have the best accountability partners! Follow these guidelines and you will be able to say that too.
Do you have an accountability partner?
If you answered no, commit to finding one in the next 7 days.
If you want to schedule a 1 on 1 call with me to talk about specific strategies for building your brand and creating more effective marketing for your business, you can do that here by clicking this link.
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