🖊 This article was last updated on October 3, 2019
When it comes to motivation, it can be a little tough as a solopreneur. We don’t have a team of colleagues behind us pushing us forward, or a manager we need to impress. What tends to happen is that our focus wanders, leaving our goals unmet and our to-do list untouched.
What’s a solopreneur to do? Well, there is a productivity “tool” you can use called an ‘Accountability Partner’ which is designed to improve concentration and help solopreneurs like you stay on track.
What is Accountability?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what an accountability partner is, let’s look at what we mean exactly by the term accountability and why it’s so important.
the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.The Business Dictionary
Let’s break that down in basic Layman’s terms. There are three main aspects of accountability:
- Being aware of what you have to do.
- Telling someone (or yourself) that you’ll do it.
- Being open and honest about your progress…and whether you actually did what you said you were going to!
Why is Accountability Important?
You may be a solopreneur, but no man (or woman) is an island! Your business relies on good business relationships with clients, customers, and/or freelancers and accountability builds trust.
When you say you’re going to deliver work and don’t do it, that trust is broken and it’s hard to repair! Being accountable means taking action and being responsible. If your clients see that in your work ethic, they will have confidence in you and your business.
So, What is an Accountability Partner?
An accountability partner is a person with whom you share your work goals and give them feedback later. As the title suggests, it’s a partnership, so you will also listen to their business goals and receive updates as to how they have progressed as well.
It’s a mutually beneficial relationship where you both provide motivation and support as you each tackle your daily tasks and business growth. The aim of the game here is to help each other to succeed.
How does it work?
Sometimes, we can have the best intentions. We tell ourselves that today is the day, we’re definitely going to do that mammoth task that we’ve been putting off. Then… we don’t. We make excuses for ourselves. We tell ourselves it’s not that urgent. No one knows. No harm done. Right?
With an accountability partner, there is no place to hide!
It puts our intentions out there and if we don’t follow through then we look bad. We are social animals who aim to please and keep our promises. By telling another person we put pressure on ourselves and we are more likely to carry out the tasks we said we’d do.
It’s the most positive form of peer-pressure! In the same way as having a gym-buddy helps to motivate you to actually GO to the gym, having an accountability partner pushes you to actually DO the work.
Who Makes the Best Accountability Partners?
The best accountability partners are people you don’t know personally. A family member or friend might be great at the cheerleading part but will they be tough enough when you procrastinate all day rather than touch that to-do list?
Another plus point for partnering with someone we don’t know is that sometimes we fear the opinions of strangers more than the people we know well. Our natural urge to impress or please acts as an added incentive to do what we said we’d do!
It also helps if the person we partner with is a peer in the same or similar field of work as they are more likely to understand our goals and may even have some great ideas and feedback.
Where to Find an Accountability Partner
You can try topic related forums or social media platforms. Facebook groups in your particular business niche are a good place to start. If you prefer a face-to-face partnership, check out local Meet Ups in your area.
But the easiest way to find an accountability partner is through one of the dedicated websites.
GetMotivatedBuddies is for those looking for a more long-term accountability relationship. You can search or be auto-matched with a ‘buddy’ based on your goals, habits, and behaviors. It does come at a price though but it’s a small monthly fee and the returns of hitting your goals might just be worth it.
Focusmate takes a more co-working approach and is about short-term accountability. You choose a time when you want to be productive and Focusmate pairs you with another productivity-hopeful. You log in to video chat at the appointed time, say hello to your partner, share your work plan for the 50-minute session and when it’s almost done, you can review. This one’s free! (+ you have a chance to meet me as well)
There are many benefits of an accountability partner. For starters, it’s like having your own personal business coach! Being connected to another professional who has also committed to being accountable can really change the way you work. It can banish distractions, increases focus, and help you tackle those most important or the most hated tasks!