April 26, 2013 in Investing In Real Estate
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 a year and a half now, and it was hands down one of the best things I have ever done.
Here’s How I Found My 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 messaging, 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.
The Power of Facebook
Before I move on finding your accountability partner, I want to take just a minute to talk about building relationships on facebook since that was the actually how I found mine.
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 be a person you need to connect with.
When I was just diving in to this whole social media experience several people sought me out and scheduled a time to talk. Over time, this lead to what has become real friendships and strong business connections. We have done guest posts on each other’s blogs, video interviews and found all sorts of other ways to connect and build our businesses. I really need to point out 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 complimentary businesses.
But when it comes to your accountability partner, I believe that they should definitely be in the same type of business you are in which is real estate in my case. They don’t have to be in the same niche, but the same general business category.
My Accountability Partner 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 accountability partner happens to be a person that invests in multi-family homes whereas I primarily invest in single family homes.
She also has another business not related to real estate. It is a business that is built on creating passive streams of income; the ATM business. The interesting thing that has happened over the past 18 months is that what was once her secondary business (the ATM) business, has become her primary business and real estate has somewhat been put on the back burner for now. What do these two types of businesses have in common?
Passive income! Both the ATM business and real estate 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 homerun on the first date. You just need to keep trying.
I have said it before; this is not the time to tap friend or relative for this job. You need an outside person that can “hold your feet to the fire” if necessary.
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.
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.
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 connect 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 up front that it is important for you 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. I will be talking about the second piece of your “secret sauce” next week mastermind groups.
Here are a couple of past articles that I think you will like:
- 8 Steps to Success Formula For Your Real Estate Business
- 21 Ways to Manage the Stuff that Sucks Up Your Time
If you haven’t already subscribed, be sure to do that today so you don’t miss any of the business building tips I have coming your way. I want 2013 to be your best year ever! And if you enjoyed this article, please share it.